Where Do I Start?
The incredible impact a self-care regimen can make on our lives should be clear. The next question in discovering all about self-care is the types and how each can benefit our whole being. Remember, this is all about YOU taking care of YOU.
All. Of. You. So what types are there? Let’s take a look:
Mental health is probably the least talked about yet one of the most crucial aspects of daily living. Depression and anxiety run rampant in our society and we are barely willing to acknowledge it, let alone take steps to overcome and even prevent it.
Activities for psychological self-care involve two requirements: 1) at least one of the five senses (touch, smell, sight, sound and taste), and 2) being in the moment.
Try things like closing your eyes and truly enjoying the scent of a candle, listening to some soothing music, or letting the sun reign down vitamin D.
A massage with essential oils is another great way to be in the moment and truly relax. The object is to be still, not overstimulated and be one with the moment.
Some of us have an unhealthy habit of shoving unpleasant emotions down so far we don’t have to deal with them. Self-care involves dealing with those emotions, allowing them time and space to process, and then moving forward.
For emotional self-care, journaling (one of the best things that has helped me over the years), talking to a life coach or trusted friend, and singing songs representative of your current emotion are great ideas.
You don’t have to be religious to get in touch with your spiritual side. For self-care in this category you could try positive affirmations, reading self-help books, visit a religious or other service, or spending some time in nature (for me it is my chapel).
Our bodies are the only vessel we get in this lifetime. And yes, exercise important, but think about the bigger picture. Getting physical is an excellent way to burn off steam along with those extra calories.
Cross-fit might be great for some, while others might be a little more comfortable talking the dog for a walk. It can be in a gym or outside, in a group or alone. Whatever works best for you and your fitness level.
Humans thrive on social interaction. The introvert might disagree, but there’s an innate level of satisfaction in creating long-lasting and substantial bonds with other humans.
There are countless ways to engage in social self-care: Support groups, brunch with friends, attending a social group meeting like a book club, or volunteering your time at a school or non-profit organization.
If “people-ing” isn’t your thing, try reaching out to someone via email or engaging in online forums.
Prioritize Yourself and Take Action
We’ve gone over the five main areas of benefits and five main type of self-care, but how do you really get in there and decide what’s right for you? First and foremost, you need to make self-care a priority and not an “if I get time” activity.
This is for your own personal enrichment and wellbeing. You have to invest in yourself to reaps the rewards. And you are definitely worth the investment!
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