5 key areas of self-care

August 01, 2018
Lets define what self-care is before we get into this post. So what is it actually? Self-care is an activity that we do consciously to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Good self-care is crucial to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety. Self-care is also key to having a sound relationship with yourself and others.

Self-care is so important for many reasons. One reason its so important is because it’s the building blocks for maintaining a healthy well-being. Self-care can be deemed as a "treat" or "reward" for some people. This especially happened when self-care became more spoken about in the last couple years. Self-care shouldn't be deemed as either of these things though. It should be part of your daily life and routine to help keep you self aware and help you grow as a person. 

Self-care is much more than treating yourself. Its more than jumping into a nice warm relaxing bath with a candle lit with some calming music. Its more than snuggling up on the sofa with your favourite netflix series or with a good old book and cuppa tea. Self-care is a matter of health, both physical and mental. Self-care is something everyone and their granny should be doing, not just when your feeling under the weather. 

When most people think about self care it's usually physical areas that usually jump out to them. But physical self care isn't the only form of self-care that you need to tend to your body with. Personally,  I categorise self care into five areas. I have broken it down into five so it's easier for me to focus on the areas I need to at a specific time. The areas I focus on change over time but some jump up more than others. 

So what are my five categories?

  • Physical
  • Emotional/ mental
  • Social
  • Intellectual 
  • Spiritual

Physical: As I said above physical self-care is what many of us focus on. Physical self-care ranges from exercising to eating healthy balanced meals and snacks to treating yourself. 

Emotional/ mental: Physical and mental self-care can overlap because of how we view ourselves can have an impact on how we care for ourselves. Emotional and mental self care somewhat go hand and hand and that's why I have grouped them together. They are both about healthy positive thinking and balance. Emotional self-care is where we focus on reducing the anxiety and chaos that is going on in our lives. 

Social: Us as humans are social beings so it is very important we develop and deepen relationships with those around us. Social self-care is about making sure your circle of friends and loved ones are caring and supportive. Even introverts have to tend to social self-care. 

Intellectual: I mean every day is a school day at the end of the day so of course intellectual self care was going to be included in this post. Intellectual self-care is about partaking in activities that help deepen your thinking and grow your knowledge. It can also help sharpen your mind. Intellectual self care is important because we always want to grow and develop as people and we cant do this if our knowledge stays the same. I mean, who doesn't want to learn about interesting new facts or about something they are fascinated with? I must admit I am a documentaries gal over a movie.

Spiritual: Spiritual self-care can mean a whole host/ range of  things for different people. For some it can be spending time in nature or praying or meditating. Whatever your spiritual self-care might be it's about encouraging you to get a deeper and a more personal understanding of yourself and the world. 

So now we have covered what the five areas of self-care I have narrowed it down to and you know what they consist of.  I bet your wondering "but how can I practice these forms of self-care". Well, here are my top three ways to practice the five areas of self-care (remember there are other ways too).

  1. When you look into the mirror, compliment at least one physical thing you love about yourself
  2. Eat well and  consciously 
  3. Have a pamper evening
  4. Get enough sleep (I cheated and added an extra in physical care)
Emotional/ mental 
  1. Take time to reflect (this is something I have recently started doing more of and it's really helping me learn more about myself)
  2. Keep a gratitude journal (spoke about this more in my post all about small wins and victories)
  3. Talk to someone you can trust about your personal struggles
  1. Rid yourself of all toxic relationships
  2. Don’t let yourself be a people pleaser (I know it's hard to do, I'm still bad at this)
  3. Always take time to laugh (this can also help your mental health and if your struggling with ways to boost your mood i wrote my tips here)
  1. Start a new hobby ( I did this back at the start of 2017 by starting dog agility it's been the best thing I've done)
  2. Watch a documentary or watch the news
  3. Research topics you are interested in or want to know more about
  1. Spend time alone with yourself (me myself and I time is VERY important)
  2. Get out and about in nature: go running, jogging or for walks (these also cross into physical self care)
  3. Set devotional time (if your religious)
I hope that this post has been helpful to you, I know back when I first started hearing about self care I only thought that self-care was about physical self care, I know it's quite common to think that too. I hope breaking it into the different categories was of some benefit to you and that you can implement them all into your self-care routine. What's your favourite way to practice self-care at the moment? Do you have any other ways you like to practice self-care that I haven't mentioned?


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