9 Types of Self-Care, Definitions, and Examples


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 doing it, and keeping track of our self care habits.

Self-care involves basic things such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly but can also include other things like financial self-care, taking breaks, and dealing with stress effectively.

In this post, let us explore together the different types of self-care practices, look at some examples, and learn how to implement each of them the right way.

9 types of self care

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is the practice of taking responsibility for your own health and wellness.

It’s important because it shows that you value yourself enough to put work into taking care of yourself.

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

For most of us, self-care can mean a lot of things. Ultimately, it is the ability to take care of yourself, so that you can be at your best and be there for others.

It’s taking time to do the things that make you feel good—whether it’s going for a walk or watching TV, or reading a book or playing with your dog.

Self-care is also about being kind to yourself.

That means not beating yourself up when things don’t go according to plan.

It means accepting that sometimes life is hard and unfair, but we still deserve love and kindness even then.

Self-care is recognizing that we’re all fallible human beings who make mistakes sometimes—and forgiving ourselves when we do!

1. Physical Self-Care

physical self care definition and examples

Physical self-care is all about taking care of your body. It’s the foundation for everything else, and we can’t thrive without it!

You might think that physical self-care is just about working out and eating right, but there are so many ways to practice physical self-care that don’t involve going to the gym or buying groceries.

The key is being present with your body as you go through 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) when things get stressful at work or home.

2. Mental/Emotional Self-Care

emotional self care definition and examples

Emotional self-care is a practice that involves taking care of your emotions, behaviors, and mental health in order to help you manage stress and avoid burnout.

It’s important to take care of yourself because when you’re feeling good, you can be more productive at work, enjoy life more, and be kinder to other people.

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 around you.

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.

In other words, everyone has their own life and stuff going on that doesn’t involve your opinions on how they should handle it all perfectly every time out of sheer kindness toward your noble self-esteem needs, so don’t take anything personally if someone doesn’t agree with everything that comes out of your mouth!

3. Intellectual Self-Care

intellectual self care definition and examples

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 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 that has already been programmed into your schedule!

Intellectual self-care is important because it helps us to keep our minds and bodies healthy and functioning.

Our brains need intellectual stimulation in order to stay sharp, and it’s important that we find ways to feed them with new information, new challenges, and new ways of looking at the world.

This keeps us from getting bored or complacent with the way we think about things—and it prevents us from becoming too rigid in our thinking or too quick to dismiss new ideas.

4. Social Self-Care

social self care definition and examples

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, it can feel like nobody cares about you or what’s going on in your life.

But when you reach out to others, you get the chance to share what’s going on with them—and that gives them a chance to support you in return.

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 existing relationships.

Social self-care is an important way to take care of yourself by taking time to connect with others and be around people, allowing you to feel more confident and capable too.

Tip: Host a self care party!

5. Spiritual Self-Care

spiritual self care definition and examples

Spiritual self-care is a way of caring for yourself that includes activities that help you connect with your inner self, or your spirit. It’s something you can do alone, or with friends and family.

It helps you realize that the universe isn’t just something out there—it’s part of you too.

When we take time to 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 examples of spiritual self-care:

  • Going to church or temple, sitting in silence meditating, or doing yoga
  • 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 is different than physical or mental self-care because it’s about strengthening 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’ll be able to face whatever comes your way with confidence and grace.

6. Financial Self-Care

financial self care definition and examples

Financial self-care is the practice of taking care of your finances in a way that allows you to live freely and joyfully.

It is a skill that allows you to make choices about how you spend money so that you are always living well within your means for the future.

Creating financial self-care involves setting realistic 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!

This is really important because it helps us feel secure—both now and in the future.

With no financial worries weighing us down, we can focus on our mental health instead of worrying about bills or debt payments.

Financial security also affords us more freedom: 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

personal self care definition and examples

A lot of people don’t understand the importance of personal self-care.

They think that it’s something you only talk about with your therapist, or maybe your best friend.

But the truth is that personal self-care is something you should be doing every day—and not just because it’s good for your mental health.

Personal self-care is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which impacts both your physical and mental health.

It’s about taking time for yourself and your needs and doing all the things that you enjoy most.

Here are some ideas for how you can take care of yourself:

  • take a bath with your favorite candles and bath bomb
  • go to the gym and work out
  • listen to music that makes me feel good/happy
  • do something creative like painting or drawing
  • taking 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
  • playing with your pet or spending some quality time with your kids or partner after work each day (or both!)

8. Professional Self-Care

professional self care definition and examples

Professional self-care is all about taking time to reflect on your work, learn new skills, and learn from other people.

If you’re a writer, that might mean keeping your eyes open for articles or books about writing and reading them.

You could also join a group of writers who meet regularly to share their work with each other and get feedback.

If you are in the health care field, professional self-care can help you find ways to deal with stress at work such as mindfulness meditation or yoga classes that are 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 definition and examples

Practical self-care somewhat overlaps with the other types of self-care listed here and is closely related to performing all the practical tasks that keep your life flowing smoothly.

It entails being physically active, eating right, and caring for your physical health.

It also includes maintaining your home, taking a course to develop your career, or taking care of your finances by setting aside money for savings whenever you can.

Here are some examples:

  • Opening a savings account so that you can accumulate wealth
  • Ensuring that 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.

If you don’t take care of yourself, your mental and physical health will suffer.

In fact, when people neglect their own self-care needs, they are unable to meet the demands of others or complete tasks at work and home successfully.

The good news is that since the pandemic, people have looked at this topic differently now and are much more serious about it.

In fact, 69 percent plan to do more self-care in 2021 than they did in the previous year [1].

The best way to think about self-care is as the act of taking care of yourself—physically and emotionally—and using that energy to live your best life possible.

Self-care can help you build resilience so that you can bounce back from problems more easily or handle stress better than before because it increases your sense of 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?

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 that we can give our best selves to the world.

It is a practice that gives us the ability to take care of ourselves, which in turn makes us better able to serve others.

It’s not selfish—it’s actually the opposite: self-care is something that builds up our capacity to be better at serving others.

Taking care of yourself helps you feel better about yourself and the world around you, an important 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.

Learn more about self-love exercises.

What are self-care skills?

Self-care skills are the tools you need to help you take care of yourself.

They can include anything from simply counting your blessings every morning to sending a friend an encouraging text at night, to taking a bubble bath with candles and essential oils.

They are important because they help us become more aware of what we need in our lives.

Self-care isn’t only about showing ourselves love and embracing our inner child; it’s also about being able to recognize when our mental health needs attention and taking steps towards getting it (this includes seeking professional treatment).

When we practice these self-care methods regularly, we become more adept at recognizing ways that we can improve our wellbeing.

This allows us to make better decisions for ourselves as well as others around us!

In this way, self-care is not just a way for us to improve our health but also for us (and those around us) to feel happier overall.

Self Care Examples

Here are a few examples of self-care activities that you can try:

  • Relaxation. Take some time to unwind from a stressful day. Try doing something that relaxes you, like reading or listening to music. You could even try meditating!
  • Exercise routine. You don’t have to join the gym or go for intense runs—even something as simple as walking outside for half an hour every day can be beneficial for your health and mental well-being. If you want more specific ideas on how to set up an exercise routine, check out our article on beginner workout routines!
  • Improving your diet and nutrition habits is another great way of caring for yourself! Eating more fruits and vegetables is one simple way of doing this; if you’re interested in learning more about healthy eating habits, check out this other article we wrote!

Read on for a list of 32 more fun self-care activities!


I hope that you will take the time to think about what self-care means to you and your life.

There are so many different things that fall under the umbrella of self-care, and it looks different for everyone.

I challenge you if you haven’t done so already, to make a list of all of your self-care activities (big and small!) so that when it comes time for an emergency or just a bad day at work, you have plenty of things to turn to.

Share them in the comments below!

Next, consider checking out a list of self care toolkit ideas to start one for yourself!

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