With all the things going on right now, not to mention the personal stuff you are dealing with, taking care of yourself is important for your mental health. However, practicing self-care is confined to “me time,” retail therapy, or long baths.
There are different types of self-care you need to examine to have a more holistic approach to taking care of yourself.
At various points in your life, you have needs that have to be met. Our priorities change as our needs change.
For example, when living independently after college, you might have to give more value in putting money in the bank to be financially stable. That is a form of financial self-care. Or you might need to turn down an invitation for a party on a Friday night to wind down. That is an example of mental self-care.
That said, here are the different areas of self-care we need to look into.
1. Physical Self-care
When it comes to mastery of things, it is important to start with the basics. When you take this tiered approach in practicing self-care, it makes tackling the whole thing less intimidating.
Physical self-care essentially means keeping our bodies nourished and healthy. It includes taking a shower every day, brushing our teeth twice a day, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and eating healthy food.
Once you get the basics under control, it becomes easier for you to examine other aspects of your life that need taking care of.
2. Intellectual Self-care
When was the last time you tried learning something not work or study-related?
There will come a time when your mind feels like it’s in a rut. When it happens, it clearly means our brains need to recharge by learning something new.
Intellectual self-care can cover anything, such as watching a documentary, reading a book, listening to a podcast, trying a new hobby, enrolling in a course, or even meditating.
3. Professional Self-care
Modern life has become hectic. Though technology made telecommuting possible, which is supposed to provide work-life balance, the opposite is happening.
It is too commonplace that we blur the lines between our personal lives and career.
Professional self-care means that we effectively communicate our boundaries. This means clocking out when you are done with your shift, not answering emails or phone calls during rest days, and taking a day off if you have to.
4. Social Self-care
No man is an island, they say. Part of our holistic needs is good social interaction with others. It helps us feel fulfilled, loved, and validated. However, when our social batteries die, we need to pull back to recharge ourselves.
Same as with your professional life, you also need to set boundaries with your social life. Communicate your boundaries for others to understand that you need downtime to further be of help to others.
Disengaging is healthy for anyone. It gives us time to entertain deeper thoughts, reflect, and meditate about life. If disengagement means opting for a laundry service rather than doing your chores or traveling somewhere for a few days, then do it.
5. Spiritual Self-care
No matter our belief system, we have some spiritual self-care we need to tackle.
Remember, being spiritual is not the same as being religious. Spiritual self-care is more on that deep feeling of calm when you are completely immersed in doing what you love. It could be anything from doing yoga practice, working out, and meditation.
6. Financial Self-care
Being in a bad financial situation is not good for us emotionally and mentally. We often tend to focus more on negative thoughts, which further perpetuates the whole negativity cycle.
Part of the holistic self-care approach is tackling your finances as well. This could mean keeping track of how much money you are making and how much you are spending, aside from learning and studying more about investments.
7. Emotional Self-care
Emotional self-care tends to overlap with other forms of self-care. Nonetheless, it deserves to be placed in another category.
Taking care of your emotional needs is very much important to maintain a positive and healthy mental attitude.
Emotional self-care could be any activity that gives you a sense of fulfillment, relaxation, and happiness. It might be volunteering at a local shelter or just spending a lazy afternoon immersed in a favorite novel.
8. Environmental Self-care
Environmental-self care means taking care of your surroundings. When was the last time you cleaned your house? How is the state of your work desk? Same as with physical self-care, we need to tick this off our bucket list of things-that-needs-to-be-taken-care-of to feel more at peace.
The more we broaden our understanding of self-care, the more we discover meaning in our lives, big or small they might be.