Trying to discover what type of self-care you need in your life right now can seem like a daunting task. Self-care is different for all of us, and changes depending on our moods and situations. Many of us think of self-care as one-dimensional and don’t realise how many different areas of our lives it can extend too and affect, it’s a vital coping mechanism for dealing with stressors we have no control over. Self-care is viewed as a luxury rather than a priority. When you take the necessary steps to take care of your mind and body, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever life throws your way.
Physical self-care and taking care of our bodies is important, and should be something you enjoy rather than feeling like an obligation. Practicing yoga and exercise, eating a healthy diet full of nutritious fruits and vegetables, going for a bike ride, being kind to your body, and sleep are some of the ways you can practice physical self-care.
Emotional self-care means checking in with yourself and becoming in-tune with your emotions, it’s about becoming aware of negative thinking patterns and self-beliefs and finding ways to work through them. Mediation, mindfulness, practicing gratitude, and journaling are great ways to explore emotional self-care. This can also be a great time to get creative – cooking, writing, painting, and sketching are great ways to get those artistic juices flowing.
Spiritual self-care nourishes the soul and aims to find purpose and meaning in life. Creating a spiritual practice unique to you, spending time outdoors in nature, meditating, and donating to a cause you believe in are ways to apply spiritual self-care to your life.
Intellectual self-care challenges the mind, broadens your knowledge, and includes doing things you enjoy that feed your thinking power and stimulate those brain muscles. Intellectual self-care can include reading a book, listening to a podcast on a new topic, learning a new skill, watching a documentary, and taking pleasure in continued learning. You’re never too old to be a student of life.
Social self-care looks very different to introverts and extroverts due to the differences in dealing with social situations and the challenges they may offer. Humans are social beings, in-person connection is vital to living out a well-rounded and balanced life. Spending time with friends and family, reconnecting with old friends, and setting boundaries in your social life are good ways to establish social self-care.
Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all mentality, it needs to be customised and tailored to each individual. It can seem overwhelming at first, but there’s no need to try and tackle everything at once. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re left feeling fatigued, beaten down by life, and can even experience burnout. How can we be expected to tackle the never-ending obstacles we face if we feel this way? Whilst self-care may seem selfish, it can be one of our greatest allies when it comes to coping with life in a healthy and constructive way.
Written by J’Nae Phillips