Self-care is so important and we almost never do it because we are always busy with our own hectic schedules. We think it is okay to just ignore our well-being and mental health. There’s different types of self-care and with this post today we shall explore and dive much more into each type.
Self-care is so important to nourish our mind, body and soul. We all should regularly undertake some form of self-care whenever possible. It mainly gives us a more wholesome and positive outlook to our life.
It is good to have a daily self-care routine. It makes us get our lives into some perspective.
The various types of self-care listed here are somewhat different but all interconnected to each other in some way or the other.
With the whole pandemic that has been a part of our lives at the moment, it is vital that we take care of ourselves. There’s various ways in which we can do that. We are always finding ways to beat the Covid-19 blues. Besides that we now are in the Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is Kindness because #kindnessmatters .It is very important to be kind.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Sometimes we think self-care is only about eating comforting food or trying on different face masks but self-care is much more than just that. Self-care is about doing that something extra to make ourselves feel better. Self-care helps us to tend to ourselves and in turn reduce stress and anxiety. It makes us feel good about ourselves and those around us.
Self-care means recognising your vital needs on a regular basis and honouring them. It is important to create a self-care plan that works for you. Sometimes self-care is necessary for survival. This could be the most basic form of self-care. It is important to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a caretaker, a patient, etc. or everyone really, everyone needs self-care from time to time.
VARIOUS TYPES OF SELF-CARE
Being so busy in our lives all the time, it is close to impossible to stick to a good self-care routine on a daily basis. But, even though we’re so busy we should try our best to stick to at least few of these basic types of self-care. I would recommend the first three types, i.e. physical self-care, mental self-care and emotional self-care which targets mainly the body, mind and soul. This whole blog is mainly based on that core idea, so it gives me immense joy to list down all these and more self-care types for all of you.
No matter how busy you are, make sure to give yourself 20mins or less each day for your self-care routine. Make your self-care routine a habit. It actually really works wonders.
Physical self-care generally means the way you take care of your body. It is important to know what you eat and this brings us to an important point under physical self-care which is nutrition. It is important to eat nutritious food to maintain basic health and wellbeing. It is always important to watch what you eat and drink. Many of us, including me love to overindulge in junk foods but at the end of the day besides adding extra pounds to your body it also makes you vulnerable to illnesses, thus putting off your mood. It is important to drink good amount of water everyday. It makes us feel fresh and is perfect for detoxing our body.
This brings us to another point under physical self-care. It is very important to detox our bodies from time to time. We should try to make detoxing a way of life. Detoxing our body not only helps us physically, but also mentally. Detoxing can combat depression and helps us to be more focussed in life. It revitalises our immune system thus helping us to lead a healthier life.
Sleeping well is also another physical form of self-care. When we sleep our body works to regenerate our cells, organs and tissues. You should aim for the recommended 6-8 hours of sound sleep per night. Anything less than 4 hours or more than 8 hours is bad for our health and well-being. Growth hormones are also released into our blood stream during our deepest state of sleep.
Another form of physical self-care is having those little therapeutic self-pampering sessions now and then. You can have a pedicure or facial at home or maybe even one of those lovely bubble-baths. We as a couple enjoy occasional face-masks sessions. Besides hydrating our skin, it also helps in making our relationship stronger.
We would highly recommend this for couple and also especially for those with kids. Do not forget that you are a couple first and then parents. If you’re a parent for 23 hours a day, be a couple for the other one hour. It is important for your mental wellbeing and growth as a couple.
Exercising is also another important form of physical self-care. Exercising does not only mean tirelessly spending time at the gym and working out. Any form of physical activity like stretching or walking or running is also forms of exercising. Exercising helps in improving your circulation and breathing too. It is good to have a stretching routine first thing in the morning with some basic breathing exercises. Personally, I prefer doing that as I don’t see myself killing it at the gym ever. It is just not my thing and makes me very anxious.
Even more than physical self-care, I think mental self-care should be given more importance. Only when we feel positive and sane, that is when we can do anything else or even follow a self-care routine. With all that’s been going on lately, it is very important that we all strive to maintain basic mental health and wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organisation,
Mental health is ''a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.''
Mental self-care affects the way we feel, think and act. It is important to manage stress effectively. And there’s certain important life lessons we have to remind ourselves everyday to help nourish our mental health.
From time to time, we have to give ourselves positive affirmations. This helps us to be mindful of ourselves and those around us. It is also good to give ourselves those much needed self-talks or pep-talks from time to time to boost our morale. Try standing infront of the mirror and giving yourself a good positive and uplifting talk just like how you’d do it for others.
If you think you’ve got a problem with your mental health and even if you’ve got the slightest doubt about it then PLEASE SEEK HELP. Seek therapy if needed.
Another important aspect of mental wellness is self-love. In his book ‘Good Vibes, Good Life’, Vex King defines self-love as the balance between accepting yourself as you are while knowing you deserve better, and then working towards it.
Emotional self-care means how you take care of yourself emotionally. It is important to acquaint ourselves with certain triggers which affect our emotional wellbeing. Coping with emotions is difficult and can sometimes cause unnecessary stress. It is important to cope with these emotions effectively therefore emotional self-care is vital. The way you feel can greatly impact the way you deal with others. It is important to tend to this aspect.
You can undertake emotional self-care by expressing gratitude. It is important to be grateful in all you do.
‘Greatness starts with being grateful’.Tweet
Another quote from Vex King’s book,
''The more you count your blessings, the more blessings you'll have to count''.
You could maybe even start journaling daily. Write a gratitude journal or a self-care journal. Sometimes, reading motivational quotes also help to a great extent. Start by reading a positive quote every morning and living your day by it.
If you feel like crying for whatever reason, just let it go. Crying might sound negative but it feels really therapeutic to cry out loud whenever you feel like it. Just don’t be crazy about it and cry unnecessarily for every small petty thing.
Spiritual self-care could be in the form of meditation, appreciating nature, yoga, praying or attending a retreat or renewal session for the body, mind and soul.
Meditation bring a sense of calm and clarity. It helps to make you more aware of everything that is going on around you. It lets you find your inner peace and this can facilitate your spiritual wellbeing. It is one of the most important and crucial self-care type which is generally ignored or not given that much importance. I use the app synctuition to meditate.
Taking a walk amidst nature can also calm you down. It is one of those beautiful spiritual self-care options you got.
Practice basic yoga. It helps in improving circulation and eliminating bad fats from your body in turn controlling your weight. It teaches breathe control which is crucial for your health and also meditative postures to counteract stressful lifestyles.
Listening to some inspirational podcasts and relaxing music also is a form of spiritual self-care.
It is important to take small breaks in between during the day to relax. During these small breaks I like to read something, even if it is just some piece of news or a new recipe online. Being well-read and well-informed is also another form of intellectual self-care.
Learn some new skill regularly. You can try out the Skillshare app for the same or maybe even YouTube.
Having a hobby also helps in intellectual wellbeing. It is good to have a creative or mentally stimulating hobby. Playing a challenging game or solving a tricky puzzle is another form of intellectual self-care.
How about playing a new instrument? or how about learning a new language? Intellectual self-care could be anything from listening to a podcast, to taking a class, to improving your skill set and knowledge inturn contributing to your personal growth and intellectual wellbeing.
Start writing a journal and then later maybe even reading the same journal. That could be another intellectual self-care exercise. Blogging could be another form of intellectual self-care.
Have you ever noticed whenever your room or house is messy, you automatically feel low or anxious. Cleaning your house or the place you live in contributes greatly to your physical health and wellbeing. We have to be mindful of our environment and live more sustainably. This is a form of environmental self-care. Have a good and disciplined cleaning routine and allocate 30 minutes of your day to do it.
Try your hands at gardening if you like doing it. Weeding and nurturing plants is very therapeutic. Include some indoor plants in your house specially the ones which improve air quality.
Make a conscious effort to decrease the environmental carbon footprint. Make sure your car has an updated MOT certificate. Whenever possible walk or take the public transport or maybe even ride a bike to reduce the emission of harmful gasses in the environment. This is another activity which you can do under environmental self-care.
Decorate your house and personal space and always keep it looking pleasing. This is good for your personal self-care and well being.
Socialising with your family and friends and having meaningful relationships is a crucial part of social self-care. Whenever you are at your lowest or do not feel too well mentally try and connect with a friend or a family member. It is good for your mental wellbeing that you know that there are certain people you can count on in both good times and bad.
Sometimes, social self-care also means that you need to take a break from socialising, this mainly is for introverts because their idea of self-care is to be alone by themselves thus feeling great and fulfilled. Another important aspect of social self-care is keeping toxic people away from your life. While it is good to connect on social media, it is also very important to block unwanted and negative people from your life.
Occasionally having a girl/boys night out or even a sleepover with a friend is considered as an activity of social self-care.
It is very important to give time to your marriage or your kids and connect with them on various levels. This helps in building stronger relationship.
Besides socialising with humans, it is also important to socialise and spend time with pets only if you are an ardent pet lover. Having a pet or pets helps you boost your mental wellbeing, in turn reducing stress. They can really improve your mental health.
Financial self-care is as important as any other self-care. Not having enough savings or even little money to cover your basic needs can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. This affects you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Being financially stable is important and so is saving or investing. We could possibly have a recession after this pandemic is done with. Therefore, it is important to save money and invest. It is important to plan and budget your spending.
Besides your mainstream job try and have a side hustle too, something you can fall back on in case you become jobless. Pay off any debts if you’ve got as this can really help in maintaining financial wellbeing. Make sure you have your pension covered and are prepared for retirement without anything to worry for later.
Life is very unpredictable so it is important to have emergency funds and savings. Have an insurance plan. If you’ve got kids, teach them how to earn and save money at a very young age. You can start by giving them small attainable tasks and then rewarding them with cash, which in turn they can use to buy treats for themselves. With this they will learn how to earn, save and responsibly spend money at a young age.
Also besides all of the above, make sure to include these few things as part of your self-care routine.
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Block unwanted people out of your life and even FACEBOOK
- Stay clear of drama and gossip
- Express gratitude
- Choose real friendships
- Be there for others
- Leave a toxic job
- Celebrate your achievements
- Respect your uniqueness
- Be kind to yourself and others
- Value your inner beauty
- Repeat affirmations daily
- Write down your goals
- Stay away from the evils of procrastination
- Be consistent in all you do, specially following a self-care routine
With all the above listed types of self-care choose the ones which serve you best. Start slowly, choosing one self-care activity at a time and then eventually turning it into a habit. Do not overwhelm yourselves with too many self-care routines. Just stick to at least one and do it well.
COME BACK TOMORROW FOR ANOTHER POST AS THESE ARE SPECIAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2020 BLOG POSTS