Lots of people practice self-care on a regular basis. When it comes to the many types of self care, you’ve got lots of options. If you’re interested in incorporating self care activities into your life, know that you have plenty of options.
You actually owe it to yourself to try to follow some sort of self-care routine. After all, you put in a lot of work every week, and you’re probably exhausted by the time you’re done. No matter what type of routine you follow, you might just find it will wind up being the most satisfying experience of your life.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is just what it seems like – taking the time to take care of yourself. If you want a more formal definition, the World Health Organization defines it as things you can do to promote health and to try and prevent illness by incorporating nutrition, hygiene, lifestyle, and more.1
But that’s just one definition. Granted, it comes from a pretty official source, but self-care can mean different things to different people.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider implementing some sort of self-care regimen. It might help boost your confidence, or help ease stress and anxiety. Self-care supports physical health and emotional health in general.2
Different Types of Self Care and Self Care Activities
This is just a partial list of some of the many types of self-care, as well as some examples of each.
One of the best ways to ensure overall happiness is to be able to keep your emotions under control when times get tough. There are a lot of things you can do to process emotions in a positive way. Emotional self-care might prove helpful if you’re easily affected by the negativity of others, or you have issues with guilt, anger, or embarrassment.3
Engaging in emotional self-care every day can help you do a better job of coping with everyday stressors. Here are a few things to consider:
- Keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions.
- Adopt a mantra or affirmation you can repeat when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
- Consider meditation.
- Use positive self-talk.
- Speak with a therapist.4
Just as emotional self-care can potentially benefit minds, physical care may benefit bodies. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to immediately adopt a grueling exercise regimen. Sure, exercise is good, but physical self-care doesn’t have to include testing the boundaries of your endurance.5
Taking care of your skin and your hair, for instance, can make you feel just as good as a stimulating workout. Here are a few ways to do just that.
- Self-care for your skin – Make sure you wash off your makeup brushes on a regular basis. After a while, they can accumulate bacteria that you’ll be applying to your face every day. Just run them over a bar of soap under some warm water. While you’re at it, decluttering your vanity area will make it a lot easier – and faster – to get ready in the morning.6 And of course, always invest in high-quality skin care routine. Protective serums and hydrating moisturizers can do a lot for the health of your skin.
- Self-care for your hair – GIve yourself a good scalp massage Not only will it feel fantastic, it will also help boost blood circulation, which could make it easier for your hair to grow. You could also try “tapping,” which can give you a tingly feeling all over your body. This simply involves gently tapping your scalp, as well as your jaw, brows and nape of your neck, with the tips of your fingers.7
These are a few of the other ways you can enhance your overall physical well-being.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and mix in naps whenever you can.
- Get a massage once in a while.
- Get – and stay – active by walking, practicing yoga, dancing, or just going out for regular bicycle rides.
- Follow a healthy, nutritious diet, and make sure you drink enough water.
- Draw a bubble bath.8
Mental self-care involves keeping your mind sharp and clear to take on whatever challenges life throws your way. Intellectual exercises to stimulate your mind might be helpful.9
Examples of mental self-care include:
- Trying to solve a difficult puzzle.
- Finding a podcast with stimulating content.
- Reading a challenging book.
- Taking up poetry or a musical instrument.
- Taking a trip to a museum.
- Starting a mentally challenging hobby, such as chess.10
Social self-care is about not only nurturing and strengthening the real-life relationships you already have, but starting and growing new ones. By doing so, you’ll gain an understanding about how different people think, and maybe get some new perspectives in the process.11
These are just a few ways to incorporate social self-care into your overall self-care routine.
- Call old friends to see how they’re doing.
- Talk to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
- Volunteer with a local charitable organization.
- Play online games with friends.
- Spend time with your pets.12
Do you feel unorganized, and does that feeling wear on you day after day? You might potentially benefit from some practical self-care. By making time to attend to little details, you might find that life runs more smoothly. You won’t find yourself as stressed, because you won’t be in such a rush to do things like get to work, or get your kids off to school on time.13
Getting a firm grip on your home will be one of the best practical self-care routines you could possibly have. Here are a few ways to do just that.
- Organize your closets.
- Establish a firm system for doing laundry.
- Plan your family’s meals for the week, and stick to the plan.
- Don’t ignore financial self-care. This means setting a budget and saving money wherever you can.14
Professional self-care involves strengthening your work life in ways that not only make you more productive, but also make you happier overall because you’ve struck the proper work-life balance. At the same time, you’ll be more fulfilled with your career. The purpose is to reduce your overall stress.15
- Separate your work time from your personal time.
- Try to stay organized.
- Step away from the desk a few times during the day. Go outside and breathe in some fresh air, or just take a walk around the office.
- Don’t take on more than you can do in a reasonable amount of time. Prioritize what really needs to be done over things that can wait a few days – don’t try to do it all at once.16
You don’t necessarily need to be religious to practice spiritual self care. A lot of people observe rituals and go to church to embrace their spirituality. But it can also mean forming a connection with whatever you consider to be the most meaningful thing in your life. That could be a higher power, but it could also be nature, art, or simply being kind.17
With spiritual self-care, you want to nourish your own spirit in some way. You can try:
- Praying each day, or going to church every week.
- Meditating a few minutes every day.
- Connect with yourself – think about what’s really important to you, and who you want to be.18
Establishing A Successful Self-Care Routine
There is no right or wrong way to start or maintain a self-care routine. Just as there are many types of self care – and many types of self care activities – there are a lot of ways to take better care of yourself.
Pick one type, or pick them all – whatever works best. Hopefully, you’ll reap the benefits of whatever you choose to pursue for decades to come.
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