Do you have a set routine of self care? Do you get enough time to focus on yourself? Have you ever felt that the self care routine you have may not be as helpful as you believed it to be? If I ask you what is self care? You would respond with answers such as taking care of yourself or making sure you have time for yourself and these answers are correct but self care goes deeper than this. There are many different aspects in your life such as your social group and your physical health and so much more. Having one set routine of self care such as reading a book or getting a face mask is great but it does not help you with other parts of your life. Unfortunately, however, many people view self-care as a luxury, rather than a priority. Consequently, they're left feeling overwhelmed, tired, and ill-equipped to handle life's inevitable challenges. It's important to assess how you're caring for yourself in several different domains so you can ensure you're caring for your mind, body, and spirit.
There are 5 types of self care that are needed for different areas in your life and these are:
1. Physical self-care -
Physical self-care includes how you're fueling your body, how much sleep you're getting, how much physical activity you are doing, and how well you're caring for your physical needs. Attending appointments, taking medication as prescribed, and managing your health are all part of good physical self-care. Questions such as am I getting proper sleep or is my diet adequate for my body are essential when focusing on your physical self care.
2. Social self-care -
Socialization is key to self-care. But, often, it's hard to make time for friends and it's easy to neglect your relationships when life gets busy. There isn't a certain number of hours you should devote to your friends or work on your relationships. Everyone has slightly different social needs. The key is to figure out what your social needs are and to build enough time in your schedule to create an optimal social life. Questions such as am I getting enough face to face time with my friends or am I cultivating a healthy relationship with my family are important when it comes to social self care.
3. Mental self-care -
Mental self-care includes doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles, or learning about a subject that fascinates you. You might find reading books or watching movies that inspire you fuels your mind. Mental self-care also involves doing things that help you stay mentally healthy. Practicing self-compassion and acceptance, for example, helps you maintain a healthier inner dialogue. Questions such as am I doing enough mentally stimulating activities or am I focusing on my mental health enough are crucial when working on your mental self care.
4. Spiritual self-care -
Research shows that a lifestyle including religion or spirituality is generally a healthier lifestyle. Nurturing your spirit, however, doesn't have to involve religion. It can involve anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, or connection with the universe.
Whether you enjoy meditation, attending a religious service, or praying, spiritual self-care is important.
5. Emotional self-care -
It's important to have healthy coping skills to deal with uncomfortable emotions, like anger, anxiety, and sadness. Emotional self-care may include activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis.
Whether you talk to a partner or close friend about how you feel, or you set aside time for leisure activities that help you process your emotions, it's important to incorporate emotional self-care into your life. When assessing your emotional self-care strategies, consider these questions - do I have healthy coping mechanisms or do I incorporate activities into my life that help me feel recharged?
Self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. Your self-care plan will need to be customized to your needs. Assess which areas of your life need some more attention and self-care. And reassess your life often. As your situation changes, your self-care needs are likely to shift too.