When we talk about self-care, we often think about sheet masks, an entire spa day, even maybe a shopping spree. Yes, self-care can include those things, but it is definitely more than that. There are many things we do that we often forget are forms of self care. We’re going to go into the different forms of self-care, so you can keep better track of all the ways you can take care of yourself.
1. PHYSICAL SELF-CARE
This is the one we often think about when we talk about self-care. This form is all the ways we take care of our body, and not just on special self care days either. Physical self care includes how we treat our bodies on a daily basis. This includes being mindful of the kind of food we eat, the amount of rest we get, our hydration levels, how often and how much we move our bodies, how long we spend in front of screens, and skincare.
Of course, we all deserve an extra treat some days, and that’s where those luxurious, long baths with bath bombs come in. Scented candlesare indulgences we can have on a daily basis, especially when it’s made of soy wax which means it is safe for the body.
2. EMOTIONAL SELF CARE
This form of self-care is not as commonly talked about as physical self care. It could be a touchy subject because there’s no one-size fits-all prescription for how to do it right. Every human being has vastly different experiences, emotional states, and emotional requirements from the next person. Not to mention, the mental health that each of us have to protect.
There are many different ways to take care of our emotional states and it’s essential to get to know ourselves as best as we can so we know just what to do. This form of self-care branches off to include other people, where it then takes the form of social self-care. Social self-care is caring about how we feel around other people, at work or school, around our families, friends, and other social environments. The way we interact with others and the way they treat us directly affect our emotional states, so it is very important to learn our instinctive reactions in unexpected and expected social interactions, as well as to take some time to be inwardly reflective of how we can take accountability for the way we feel. Remember that your emotional state and your mental health are your responsibility, but of course the help of professionals like psychiatrists, therapists, and coaches are there and you don’t have to figure out your emotional self-care journey alone.
Aside from minimising stress and anxiety, emotional self-care is also definitely seeking or creating more opportunities for emotional fulfilment for yourself. That may come in the form of spending more time with people you can be yourself with or pursuing a creative hobby that gives you nothing but joy. The most important thing about emotional self-care is to make responsible decisions that put you and your emotional wellbeing first.
3. FINANCIAL SELF-CARE
Financial self-care is the way we manage our resources. Plenty of stress for a lot of people comes from how finances are managed, or in some cases, mismanaged in their lives. As the economy is getting unpredictable and harder to navigate, financial self-care becomes even more crucial. Something that may help put things into perspective and aid in making clear financial decisions is to remember that money and other material resources are tools. They are meant to take care of you as you take care of them. This is true regardless of the amount you are managing. Part of financial self-care is also preparing for your future self, so it is definitely worth putting in the work to study how you can save, invest, and all the other ways you can make your money work for you.
This is not to say you can’t have those shopping sprees we mentioned earlier. You definitely deserve that fun once in a while, just set a budget and remind yourself or the financial goals you have. When everything is settled before you indulge in that, trust us, you will feel more free and abundant while you do it, rather than apprehensive and guilty.
4. PRACTICAL SELF-CARE
This form of self care could be the least glamorous one, because it includes the mundane chores we have to do to make sure the gears of our life continue to run smoothly. Practical self-care is washing the dishes and putting the laundry away. It is getting the groceries and making sure the bathroom smells great and is always clean. This is organising your closet so you don’t stress out about not being able to find that dress you really wanted to wear today. It’s decluttering and fixing your garage and basement, so that you are able to actually use the space and you’re not stressed when you see the mess first thing upon coming home after a long day at work.
All of these tasks are sometimes forgotten, or there is hesitation to get them done, but doing them is actually self- care. Again you are taking care of your future self by putting in some effort now.
5. SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE
Now, before you click out because this sounds new age and not your cup of tea, hear us out. Spiritual self- care is not religious or even esoteric, although it could be, if that is what you choose. But on its own, it simply means connecting to your purpose.
Having a purpose or a reason to get out of bed in the morning is fundamental because it adds a dimension to our lives that nothing else could provide. It could be that your purpose is to watch your kids grow up. It could be that you want to see the world, or build your dream home. It could be that your purpose is to help others or to be really good at your job. This is important because the other forms of self-care could be hard to do when we don’t have a clear answer to the question “why”. Why bother to eat healthy? Why bother to clean the house or arrange your finances? These questions become really hard to answer and the self-care practices we talked about above could be hard to justify when we are not connected to any form of purpose. There are concrete ways to practice spiritual self-care such as being mindful, spending time in nature, enriching your mind with reading, among many others. But just like all the other forms of self-care, you are the one who is going to decide how you do it.
Any kind of concrete self-care activity you decide to engage in will be rooted in a “why”
After having talked about these different forms of self-care, you may want to take a few moments to look at your current self-care routine and see what you would like to change, add, or edit out completely. Our self-care needs evolve as we do. It’s possible to be stuck in an outdated routine that doesn’t match the needs we have currently and that’s why we feel depleted. There are self-care practices that are personally tested and proven to work for our lifestyle and personality. Whatever the case may be, we hope that with this understanding of self-care, you would never again feel guilty for doing what it takes to take care of yourself. No one else can do this for you and you are only able to give others as much as you give yourself.