There are six types of self-care and the way to practice each is different! And yeah! Self-Care is a BIG DEAL!
Regularly taking the time to nurture and take care of yourself is crucial to your total well-being. Guess what? Self-care is not selfish!
In fact, the more you nurture yourself, the better you become at supporting others.
There are six types of self-care, and depending on your particular need at the time, you may find yourself seeking a specific type more than the others. Notably, all types are important, and I would advise that we should be practicing a little bit of each.
THE SIX TYPES OF SELF-CARE
Having an understanding of the six types of Self-care will help you be better at understanding your needs, and how you can best nurture them.
Let’s take a look at these six types of self-care, as well as examples of ways you can actually practice them.
(1) Physical Self-Care
Whenever the word “Self-care” pops up, many automatically think of the physical. Taking care of our bodies is a significant component of self-care, however, it does not have to include a vigorous exercise routine.
To be honest, the word exercise can actually be intimidating, most especially if we are already feeling so busy in our daily lives. The thought of adding another stressful task to our schedule can feel notably overwhelming.
Importantly, self-care should be enjoyed. If it starts to feel like it’s an obligation, then it may start adding to your stress levels, instead of reducing them.
Some ideas for physical Self-care:
- Eating more veggies and fruits
- Drinking more water
- Going for a walk during your lunch hour
- Going for a run
(2) Emotional Self-Care
One of the six types of self-care is “Emotional self-care”. Majorly, emotional self-care is all about becoming more in tune with your emotions. It is about checking in with yourself, becoming more mindful of all your triggers and thinking patterns, as well as finding ways to work through them, instead of bottling them up inside.
Importantly, It is okay to cry, to feel sad, to laugh, to feel angry. Bottom line, it is okay to feel exactly the way you are feeling because you are human. Emotional self-care enables you to learn how to have more compassion for yourself & your emotions.
Some ideas for Emotional Self-Care:
- Journaling: Write down your feelings. This will help you better understand them
- Practicing mindfulness & meditation: learning to be more present
- Setting more boundaries: it is okay to say NO
- Being Creative: Express your emotions through creative works like painting, writing, cooking, etc.
- Start a gratitude journal: Focusing on what you are grateful for can help put things into better perspective
- Work on changing your negative self-talk: Practice replacing all the negative with positive self-talk
(3) Intellectual Self-Care
Most often, we neglect to care for our intellectual wellbeing. Intellectual self-care includes doing what you enjoy that nourishes & challenges your mind. Simply put, it expands your knowledge.
Intellectual self-care often involves figuring out what your current talents or strengths are and developing them. It can also include learning a new skill.
Some ideas for intellectual self-care:
- Reading a book
- Completing a puzzle
- Learning a new language
- Taking a course on something that interests you
- Playing games like Monopoly
- Watching a documentary on a topic you’re interested in
(4) Spiritual Self-Care
Spiritual self-care nourishes your soul, helps you find inner peace, and gives you a greater understanding of life beyond yourself. This self-care doesn’t necessarily have to relate to religion, although it can be religious for some people.
This connection to something bigger than yourself can help you find purpose and meaning in life. It can give you the courage to push through when times get difficult and inspire hope time and time again.
Some ideas for spiritual self-care:
- Practicing meditation
- Spending time in nature
- Writing in a gratitude journal
- Donating to a charity or cause you believe in
Also Read: The Five Apology Languages
(5) Sensory Self-Care
Sensory self-care helps you nourish your senses of sight, smell, touch and sound. It is an effective way of bringing your mind to the present moment, as well as helping you lower your stress levels. Living in the present moment helps you cope better with any past and future worry you may be feeling.
Some ideas for sensory self-care:
- Burning your favorite scented candle
- Taking a warm bath with your favorite scented bath bomb
- Spending time in nature
- Listening to soothing music
- Walking barefoot on the grass
(6) Social Self-Care
Naturally, Humans are social beings. We enjoy being connected with others. Social self-care may be different for introverts and extroverts due to the difference in our levels of comfort in social situations. However, a connection is essential to us all. Having a support system of individuals we can trust, and nourishing these relationships is a major part of self-care.
Some ideas for social self-care:
- Spending time with loved ones
- Going to lunch with a friend
- Joining a yoga class, or any class that interests you and that you can meet new people
- Reconnecting with an old friend
- Striking up a conversation with someone at the coffee shop when you pick up your morning coffee
It is important to state that one size does not fit all. As humans, we have different self-care needs.
Having read this article, which of the six types of self-care resonates with you?