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Self-care is a broad term that involves taking the necessary steps to ensure our health and well-being.
It’s about knowing what we need to do to look after ourselves, taking responsibility for it, and keeping track of our self-care habits for our health and wellness.
Self-care involves basic things such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
It can also include financial self-care, taking breaks, and dealing with stress effectively.
Let’s explore the different types of self-care, look at some examples, and learn how to implement each correctly.
9 Types of Self Care
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the practice of taking responsibility for your health and wellness.
The main idea behind self-care is that:
- You are your own best friend
- You can’t expect others to take care of you if they aren’t even aware that there’s a problem
- If someone loves us, they’ll want us to be healthy and happy
Ultimately, self-care is taking care of your physical and emotional health to be at your best and be there for others.
It’s taking time to do what makes you feel good – going for a walk, watching TV, reading a book, or playing with your dog.
Self-care is also about being kind to yourself.
It means accepting that, sometimes, the world is hard and unfair, but we still deserve love and kindness.
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1. Physical Self-Care
Physical self-care is all about caring for your physical body and physical well-being.
It’s the foundation for everything else; we can’t thrive without it!
You might think that physical self-care is just about working out and eating right, but there are many ways to practice physical self-care that don’t involve going to the gym or a healthy diet.
The key is being present with your body throughout your day.
Take time to breathe deeply, stretch when you need a break from sitting at your desk all day, and do something nice for yourself (like getting a massage or making some warm soup).
A simple bike ride or extra vitamin D can improve your daily life and promote health.
2. Mental/Emotional Self-Care
Emotional self-care—also called mental self-care—is a practice that involves paying attention to your emotions, behaviors, and mental health to help you manage stress and avoid burnout.
It’s important to practice emotional self-care because when you’re feeling good, you can be more productive at work, increase your overall quality of life, and be kinder to others.
We all can do well with maintaining a positive attitude in the face of stress, even if it’s a struggle.
Try to be kind to yourself during difficult times, even when the world seems cruel.
Part of being kind also includes not taking things personally or expecting others to be perfect; neither you nor anyone else is perfect, and no one is obligated to act like it all the time.
3. Intellectual Self-Care
One of the best ways to take care of your mind is through intellectual stimulation.
This can be done through reading, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, learning a new language or skill, and learning about a new subject.
Here are some common self-care routine examples:
- Watch a documentary on Netflix.
- Read a book by your favorite author.
- Listen to an audiobook while you commute to work or school – this way, you learn something new while doing something already programmed into your schedule!
Our brains need intellectual stimulation to stay sharp.
We must find ways to feed them new information, challenges, and methods of looking at the world.
This keeps us from getting bored or complacent with how we think about things and go about everyday activities – and prevents us from becoming too rigid in our thinking or too quick to dismiss new ideas.
4. Social Self-Care
Social self-care is having fun with others, such as your family and friends, and it’s an important part of taking care of yourself and should form a crucial part of your self-care routine.
When you’re isolated or only around negative people, it can feel like nobody cares about you or what’s going on in your life.
But when you reach out to others and practice social self-care, you get the chance to share what’s going on with them—and that allows them to support you with self-care interventions.
It’s a way for them to connect with you and show their love and concern for your well-being, all while building and strengthening healthy relationships.
In your self-care plan, include hosting a game night or meeting in a coffee shop with your closest friends.
Social self-care is an important way to take care of yourself by connecting with others and being around people, allowing you to feel more confident and capable.
You should still have clear boundaries and time for self-reflection, but spending time with those closest to you can help with stress management and foster a positive well-being.
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5. Spiritual Self-Care
Spiritual self-care is a way of caring for yourself, including activities that help you connect with your inner self or spirit.
It helps you realize that the universe isn’t just something out there—it’s part of you, too.
When we connect with our inner selves, we can find peace in ourselves and learn more about who we are.
Spirituality is a deeply personal thing, and what feels like spiritual self-care to one person might not feel that way to another.
Some common examples of spiritual self-care activities are:
- Going to church or temple, sitting in silence meditating, or doing yoga
- Attending a religious service
- Spending time in nature (going on hikes)
- Meeting with friends
- Keeping a journal of your thoughts and experiences, which can help you process past events and emotions
Spiritual self-care differs from physical or mental self-care because it strengthens your soul rather than just healing your mind or body.
You can’t always control what happens in life, but by taking time for yourself and focusing on your innermost being, you can face whatever comes your way with confidence and grace.
6. Financial Self-Care
Financial self-care is taking care of your finances in a way that allows you to live freely and joyfully.
It’s a skill that allows you to choose how you spend money so you’re always living well within your means for the future.
Financial self-care involves setting realistic financial goals, analyzing your current financial situation, creating a plan for achieving those goals (including saving and investing), working toward them with discipline, and then celebrating when they’re met!
You can even see a financial advisor if you need extra guidance.
With no financial worries weighing us down, we can focus on our mental health instead of worrying about bills or debt payments.
If something unexpected happens (like losing a job), we don’t have any immediate concerns about whether we’ll be able to pay our bills or feed ourselves that month.
7. Personal Self-Care
A lot of people don’t understand the importance of personal self-care.
They think it’s something you only discuss with your therapist or maybe your best friend.
But the truth is that personal self-care is something you should be doing every day—not only with a licensed psychologist—and not just because it’s good for your mental health.
Personal self-care is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, impacting your physical and mental health.
It’s about taking time for yourself and your needs and doing everything you enjoy most.
Here are some self-care practices:
- Take a bath with your favorite candles and bath bomb
- Go to the gym and work out
- Clean up your living space and declutter
- Try a social media detox
- Listen to music that makes me feel good/happy
- Do something creative like painting or drawing
- Take time to eat a healthy meal instead of grabbing fast food on the way home from work
- Get enough sleep every night so that you feel rested and energized in the morning
- Play with your pet or spend quality time with your kids or partner after work each day (or both!)
8. Professional Self-Care
Professional self-care is about taking time to reflect on your work, learn new skills, and learn from others.
If you’re in healthcare, professional self-care can help you find ways to deal with stress at work, such as mindfulness meditation or yoga classes offered in most cities.
If there aren’t any health-related services near your office, look into online resources like Headspace that offer guided meditations designed specifically for professionals working long hours under stressful conditions.
9. Practical Self-Care
Practical self-care somewhat overlaps with the other types of self-care and is closely related to performing all the practical tasks that keep your life flowing smoothly.
It entails being active, eating right, and caring for your physical health.
It also includes maintaining your home, developing your career, or managing your finances by saving whenever possible.
You can practice self-care by:
- Opening a savings account so you can accumulate wealth
- Ensuring you do not spend more than you earn
- Learning how to commute from one place to another
- Learning to swim
- Taking classes for continuous professional development
How do you develop self-care?
Self-care is more than just a luxury.
It’s a necessity.
Your mental and physical health will suffer if you don’t care for yourself.
When people neglect their self-care needs, they’re unable to meet the demands of others or complete tasks at work and home successfully.
The good news is that the pandemic caused people to look at this topic differently and be much more serious about it.
Research shows that 69% plan to do more self-care in 2021 than they did in the previous year.
The best way to think about self-care is taking care of yourself—physically and emotionally—and using that energy to live a better and longer life.
Self-care can help you build resilience to bounce back from problems more easily or handle stress better than before because it increases your control over your life situation.
It also helps you develop self-esteem through positive experiences like getting enough sleep or going on vacation without worrying about work (even if it’s only for one night!)
What is the importance of self-care?
Self-care is important because it allows us to take the time we need to recharge and refresh ourselves so we can give our best selves to the world.
It’s not selfish; it’s the opposite.
Taking care of yourself helps you feel better about yourself and the world around you, an essential process while you discover how to have a glow-up.
It helps you be more productive at work, more present for your friends and family, and more resilient in the face of challenges – all of which make life easier for everyone around you.
What are self-care skills?
Self-care skills are the tools you need to help you take care of yourself.
They can include anything, such as counting your blessings every morning, sending a friend an encouraging text at night, or taking a bubble bath with candles and essential oils.
Self-care isn’t only about showing ourselves love and embracing our inner child.
It’s also about recognizing when our mental health needs attention and taking steps toward getting it (this includes seeking professional treatment).
Practicing these self-care methods regularly makes us more adept at recognizing ways to improve our well-being.
This allows us to make better decisions for ourselves and others around us!
I hope you’ll take the time to think about what self-care means to you and your life.
So many different things fall under the umbrella of self-care, and it looks different for everyone.
So, if one of these self-care practices doesn’t work for you, there are multiple types of self-care activities that you can implement to improve your emotional well-being.
I challenge you to make a list of all your self-care activities (big and small!) so that when you have an emergency or a bad day at work, you have plenty of things to turn to.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.