In this article, I will go over the eight types of self-care and some practical ideas for implementing them into your daily life.
In today’s stressful, crazy, mixed-up world, self-care is more important than ever!
I’m so glad you are here!
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What is Self-care?
So what is self-care anyway?!
The World Health Organization describes self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Why is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is a necessary part of life; it should not be considered a luxury. Taking care of yourself is important for your physical, mental, emotional, and overall well-being.
Research shows that engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more. (source)
In addition, there are consequences to not practicing self-care or not taking care of yourself.
Consequences of not practicing self-care:
- Overwhelm and burnout
- Depression and anxiety
- Mood swings
- Anger and resentment
- Increased stress and stress-related disease
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia
- Challenges in choosing healthy food and urges to eat “comfort” foods
- Worsening mental health symptoms like depression or anxiety
- Strain in relationships
- Reduced performance at work
- Brain Fog and difficulty concentrating
- Less motivation to engage in social activities
Self-care Reduces Stress
One of the biggest consequences of self-neglect or lack of self-care is high-stress levels.
Studies have found many health problems related to stress.
Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and more. (source)
So, in summary, if you manage stress well, you’ve got a much better chance of living a happy, healthy, long life!
Practicing self-care consistently is the key to stress management.
Related: How to start a self-care routine
Shop Eight Types of Self-care
What is Practicing Self-Care?
Practicing self-care has been defined as taking all the steps possible to care for your physical health and well-being, including hygiene, nutrition, managing stress, and seeking medical care if needed.
According to the global self-care federation, Self-care is the practice of individuals looking after their health using the knowledge and information available to them.
It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their health efficiently and conveniently, collaborating with health and social care professionals as needed.
Whoa! That makes it pretty clear.
Now, let’s outline the eight types of self-care and discuss some practical ways to put them into daily practice.
The Eight Types of Self-care
There are eight types of self-care.
From caring for your intellectual needs to validating your emotional feeling, self-care is a lot more than just a spa day or doing a digital detox. (although those are all good things!)
The eight types of self-care are:
1. Physical Self-care
First up on the eight types of self-care is physical self-care. Physical self-care is just what you would think. It’s about taking care of your physical self.
Physical self-care examples:
- Healthy diet– Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential to physical self-care.
In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, ensure you are taking the right vitamins and supplements to ensure you are not deficient in any vitamins and minerals.
- Proper exercise– According to Mayo Clinic, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily.
I have used my apple watch for years to keep track of my daily steps, heart rate, sleep schedule, and more!
Friends also swear by Fitbit for tracking physical self-care activities.
- Weight management– Use this weight calculator to learn your ideal weight.
In addition, it’s a good idea to keep track of your weight without getting obsessive about it, of course :).
We have this digital scale that includes an app that helps keep track of weight and weight-loss goals.
I weigh myself once per month on the first day of the month to record where I’m at. It works for me.
- Good sleep hygiene– This is a great resource to learn What good sleep hygiene is, why it matters, and how to revamp your habits to get better nightly sleep!
- Maintain good oral hygiene-Your oral health is more important than you might realize. Learn how the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can affect your general health. learn more >
- Staying properly hydrated– Drinking enough water is vital to your health and well-being.
I use this water bottle to help me stay on track. I love it because it has time markers to easily track water consumption!
- Good Daily hygiene– Good personal hygiene is important for maintaining physical and mental health. learn more >
2. Psychological Self-care
Psychological self-care is the act of taking care of your mental health.
It involves being mindful of your emotions and practicing healthy behaviors.
Psychological Self-care can help you to stay happy, healthy, and productive throughout the day. It can help you to feel more confident and in control.
Psychological self-care examples:
- Good nutrition-Eat a balanced diet is vital to good mental health. Check out this article about how your diet can affect your mental health.
- Regular exercise-Even small exercises can help reduce stress. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
- Stress Management– Simply put, Stress is a killer! You must do what you can to keep stress levels down. Make a plan to manage your stress today!
- Relaxation techniques– Meditate, practice yoga, or listen to soothing music. Develop relaxing routines and rituals and bring you to a place of peace.
- Take care of your mind- Do puzzles, read, and always be learning! Consider hobbies that you find interesting.
- Have someone to talk to– Whether a family member, trusted friend, counselor, pastor or therapist, having someone to talk to is key to psychological self-care.
Find a psychologist near you.
3. Emotional Self-care
Emotional self-care refers to becoming aware of, identifying, and caring for your emotions and feelings to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
In today’s stressful, crazy, mixed-up world, self-care, including your emotional life, is more important than ever!
Nurturing your emotions and processing feelings can help you decrease stress, calm your nervous system, cope with tough situations, and boost your mood.
Emotional Self-care Examples:
Taking care of yourself emotionally needs to be a priority. Here are a few emotional self-care ideas to inspire you to practice emotional self-care.
- Practice gratitude daily– Practicing gratitude daily is good for your mind, body, and soul and is a holy grail of self-care practice.
- Meditate-Meditation involves focused attention and awareness, which has many psychological benefits. (There’s an app for that!)
- Journaling– Journaling is the act of keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, and insights. Journaling has many benefits. It can reduce anxiety, broaden awareness, and help regulate emotions, just to name a few.
- Practice mindfulness- Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. Want to learn how to practice mindfulness? Click here.
- Say no more often- Saying “NO” can be hard, but it can also be very important to your emotional, mental, and physical health.
But over-committing yourself or doing things you don’t want to do is unhealthy. Period. No is a full sentence. Use it more often and enjoy the results.
Next time you are faced with a decision of yes or no, remember this quote:
“When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
- Practice healthy boundaries– Practicing healthy boundaries means respecting the boundaries of others and drawing your own.
Healthy boundaries are an essential component of self-care.
Want to learn how to set healthy boundaries? Check out this article.
- Limit excessive exposure to media– Create no screen zones. For example, put all phones in a basket at dinnertime.
Consider practicing regular digital detoxes and indulge in screen-less activities such as reading, crafting, or socializing with friends.
4. Spiritual Self-care
Spiritual self-care does not have to be religious, although, for some, it is. For me, spiritual self-care is when I connect my core values and beliefs with my true north.
Examples of Spiritual Self-care
- Going to a place of worship
- Studying and Journaling
- Worship and Prayer
- Meditation and self-reflection
- Repeating a mantra or affirmations.
- Practicing Yoga
- Spending time in nature
5. Social Self-care
Social self-care is the practice of making an effort to maintain social connections with family, friends, co-workers, and the community.
We are social beings. We have been created to connect; therefore, social self-care is an essential piece of the self-care puzzle.
Social Self-Care Examples:
- Making time to connect with family, friends, co-workers, and community
- Reaching out and keeping in touch with old friends
- Spending quality time with people in your life
- Observing and setting healthy boundaries in relationships
- Social Events like a game night with friends or block parties.
6. Financial Self-care
Practicing financial self-care means focusing your time and energy on your finances.
It means making concrete plans and decisions to cultivate a healthy money mindset while securing a positive financial future.
According to experts, financial health or wellness includes: spending money based on your values, having low or reasonable debt; saving money to meet your goals; and having a safety net, such as an emergency fund or insurance.
Financial Self-care Activities:
- Establish a healthy money mindset.
- Check your bank accounts regularly.
- Track your income and expenses.
- Strive to prioritize debt
- Check credit scores regularly
- Plan for the future and retirement
- Prioritize your debt.
- Invest wisely.
7. Environmental Self-care
Environmental self-care is the management of one’s environment. It’s about designing your environment to work for you.
Your environment should make you feel a sense of peace and security. It should excite and motivate you rather than overwhelm you or make you feel depressed or sad.
Environmental Self-Care Examples:
We can’t control everything around us, but we can control our personal space for the most part. Our homes, workspaces, and even the inside of our cars.
- Purge anything and everything that does not bring joy
- Make your bed first thing in the morning!
- Wash and detail your car often.
- Play music that you love in the background.
- Declutter closets, drawers, pantries, etc.
- Add indoor plants to your living and workspaces
- Keep things tidy!
- Control temperature and humidity.
- Deep clean once per month or as needed
- Add comfort items like candles, throw blankets, and photos.
- Consider using a weighted blanket!
- Use essential oils
- Clear negative energy as needed.
- Wear comfortable clothing whenever possible!
8. Professional Self-care
Professional self-care is about the things you do that are related to your work life.
Practicing self-care while at work and adopting self-care practices that lead to a healthy work-life balance will make you more productive in your career and in your life. (source)
Professional Self-care Examples:
- Do what you love, love what you do.
- Develop a solid work ethic (always on time, honest and reliable, etc.)
- Create a healthy workspace free from clutter and chaos.
- Differentiate work time from personal time.
- Be respectful of co-workers and clients, etc.
- Maintain healthy working boundaries.
The Eight Types of Self-care + How to Practice them
Okkie Dokie! The eight types of self-care and some practical ways to practice each type of self-care in your daily life.
Practicing self-care is not an option. It is essential.
We must take care of ourselves first to give our best selves to the world, our families, friends, and the community.
Are you with me? So what do you think? What areas of self-care do you think you need to give more attention to?
Me? I need to work on financial self-care and being more involved in our finances. My husband handles it all mostly (because I hate it), but I know I need to be more involved.
I hope this inspires you to take your self-care up a notch!
Until next time,