In my latest post about self care, I wrote about different ways to maintain your mental and physical health while away at school. From eating right to spending quality time with yourself, there are lots of ways to tend to your bodily and mental health!
This post dives deeper into the theme of self care and examines the different practices we can use to meet our diverse needs and why they work so well. There are 5 types of self care that are essential to a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
This one goes without saying. Our bodies require a lot of care and attention. From the time we’re born to the time we die, we’re constantly tending to our bodily needs! Physical wellness should always be a priority. Bodily self care means eating right, drinking plenty of water, and getting plenty of sleep. No more all-nighters, please!
More examples: taking multivitamins to ensure you get all the nutrients you need, exercising regularly, protecting your skin from the sun, practicing dental hygiene, resting when you’re sick
Humans are naturally very curious. We like to learn and our brains are constantly changing! We love growth and we like to be challenged in new ways. By gaining new skills and experiences, we develop a sense of accomplishment and an improved sense of self. Intellectual self care means learning, growing, and working hard to improve yourself.
More examples: playing chess or other strategy games, reading a book, taking classes in subjects that interest you, watching a documentary, listening to a speech or an informational podcast, writing, learning an instrument
Do what feeds your soul. Practice your own personal spirituality. This could mean going to a religious service, attending a Bible study, praying, meditating, or doing yoga. There’s a practice out there for everyone! If you haven’t found one yet, try them all. Having clarity on your personal beliefs will allow you to gain self confidence, hope, and inner peace.
More examples: talking to a priest or pastor, reading about religion/spirituality, writing personal reflections in a journal, listening to spiritual music, writing a personal creed, reading passages from a religious text
We are social creatures who crave community. That’s why it’s so important to spend time with others. Social self care can mean spending quality time with your friends and family, having a great conversation, going on a date, or simply asking for advice when you need it. Sometimes social self care can require you to step outside your comfort zone and make yourself vulnerable — if you’re an introvert like me, making new friends can be a little intimidating! But, vulnerability builds trust and is key to self growth.
More examples: going out for lunch with a colleague/classmate, attending a networking event, telling somebody about your day (and asking them about theirs!), calling an old friend to check in, having a girls’ night
Emotional self care is all about being honest with yourself about your feelings and validating them. So many times, we try to convince ourselves that we aren’t hurt, sad, angry, or jealous (really, insert any blah emotion!), and then we bottle those feelings up only to later explode. Get in touch with your emotions and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. You’ll learn about yourself and be able to channel those feelings into something positive and constructive.
More examples: talking to a therapist, allowing yourself to cry, listening to music that fits your mood, venting to a friend, listening to a Ted talk, reading an inspirational book
Remember, there are various types of self care because we’re wonderful human beings who have diverse abilities and needs! Wellness is so much more than eating healthily and exercising. Check in with yourself and reflect on how you can practice self care today.