The Eight Areas of Self-Care You Need to Know
Physical self-care is one element that we respond to with little resistance because it is easy for us to identify physical pain, discomfort, lack of energy, etc.
When we are tired, we feel it.
When we eat like garbage, we feel it.
When we are dehydrated, we feel it.
But it can mean A LOT more than that.
What is physical self-care?
Physical self-care involves anything that impacts our bodies - this includes movement, health, nutrition, sleeping requirements & rest. It can also mean ensuring we are proactively taking care of our bodies and playing a proactive role in our own health care by attending health appointments such as physicals and dentist appointments. Physical self-care is not only about addressing our body's immediate needs, but also being proactive about what our bodies might need in the future, and doing what is in our control to take this preventative approach in our health care.
I think many of us experienced a need for intellectual self-care over the last 18ish months of our lives. The mental isolation and stagnation that was a result of the pandemic left a lot of people reaching for new hobbies, activities, and new ways to keep stimulated. Our brains need this. It gives us excitement and helps us to grow and expand. We are capable of so many things, and taking care of our intellectual & creative sides will ease us into a world of flow (this is a state where magic can happen!).
What is intellectual self-care?
Intellectual self-care care is all about stimulating your mind, maintaining a healthy psyche & tapping into your creative side. Do you know the phrase 'use it or lose it'? Learning, creating & practicing anything that gives your mind a much-needed boost keeps our brains active & energized. This has great positive impacts on your ability to manage stress, increases your overall happiness, and allows you to tap into potential opportunities for growth. Now, even if you do not associate yourself with being a 'creative person' that does not mean you do not tap into this part of your brain! You are probably doing it without even realizing it, and in your lesson worksheet, I will list many ways that tap into this creative side, even for the self-proclaimed non-creatives!
But ew, I don't like people. 😂Just kidding. Social self-care is about way more than your social life. It's about connection. Interaction. Nurturing relationships. When life gets busy and we get overwhelmed - we tend to withdraw, cancel plans and become a little bit... isolated. But finding time for that connection and interaction is important.
What is social self-care?
We are human and we NEED connection and interaction. There is no way around this - we need it to survive & thrive. Social self-care comes easier for some and not so easy for others. This is all about relationships and nurturing the ones that leave us feeling fulfilled and happy to be a part of. On the flip side, it also means sometimes needing to let go of the ones that leave us drained, sad & make us question ourselves. These would be considered toxic relationships. Yes, social self-care can involve wine with your besties, but it runs way deeper than that.
One of the most annoying things about being human is having feelings, amirite? We, humans, are conscious beings, which means we are complicated AF and this makes emotional self-care A HUGE DEAL.
When we don't address our emotional needs, we feel stuck, stressed and can put ourselves on a path to complete emotional burnout real quick. This can be a difficult area to navigate as there aren't black & white answers - the path is grey because it comes from within, and we need to do some serious self-reflection to forge our way through that path that we create.
What is emotional self-care?
Emotional self-care refers to taking care of all of our emotional needs in a way that honors them and yourself in your path forward. This can include how we manage stress, display empathy, face our feelings & more. Emotions are a very fluid and evolving thing, which makes caring for them tough to plan out - this is why this aspect of self-care is so important to stay connected to, so we can learn to honor it in the moments where it matters most.
Now, don't let the name of this type of self-care lead you to think this is about religion or faith per se. For some, it could be, but this type of self-care is for everyone, no matter what your beliefs are. Spiritual self-care is about connecting with yourself and encompasses any activities that might nurture your soul. For some, this might mean connecting to a higher power, but it will look different for everyone. From prayer to yoga, to creating vision boards that light you up, the ways you can connect with your inner self and spirit are quite vast.
What is spiritual self-care?
Our core beliefs and values are what guide us when it comes to spiritual self-care. Who we are, to our most authentic selves is where everything we do in this world stems from. When we act, think, and live out of alignment with our own being & purpose - we can feel stuck, angry & stunted in our growth.
This may not be glamorous - but we also need to face the reality that we cannot pay the bills on hopes & dreams. Money is just another form of energy - but not everyone has the best relationship with it. It can work with you - or against you. The good news is that we can have COMPLETE control over our perspective & relationship with money & finances. You can have power over it, instead of giving it power over you. It is time to look at your relationship with money so you can eliminate the stresses and negative impacts it can have on your overall well-being.
What is financial self-care?
Oomph. Do you mean being responsible with my money and making informed financial decisions is a part of self-care? Yup. As if adulting wasn't hard enough. Financial self-care involves having a conscious relationship with money and your financial situation. This may not be exciting to work on, but it is incredibly important, and should not be underestimated.
Whether you have noticed it or not, our surroundings play a big role in our well-being. The state of our spaces around us can have a great impact on our mood, productivity, and can also be an indicator of our mental health. Cluttered spaces can often equal cluttered minds. Keeping things organized, having designated spaces for certain activities (ex. work or hobby spaces), and even ensuring our personal touches are present in our personal spaces can provide peace, reduce stress & increase our productivity.
What is environmental self-care?
Environmental self-care may not be as obvious and talked about as some of the other practices, but it is important to pay attention to our surroundings. They can sneakily be causing us feelings of anxiousness & stress without us even realizing it. Types of environments can include our homes, workplaces, or even our vehicles. When things around us are cluttered & disorganized, guess what? That might just be making you feel the same way.
Whether your work or business is based out of an office, at home - or both, there is a demand for self-care in the professional world. In a society where hustle & grind has been the mantra we were conditioned to live by, it is more important now than ever to start taking care of yourself and that fine line between your professional and personal lives.
Having the ability to step out of work without it following you back home (or down the hallway) is a masterful skill - one you deserve to have.
What is professional self-care?
Professional self-care isn't just for the employed - entrepreneurs, business owners & leaders of all kinds... I am talking to you. Anyone that has anything that could classify as WORK (even in volunteer or pro bono applications!) - this will apply. Professional self-care is all about activities & boundaries that support a healthy, harmonious relationship with your work & career. It isn't necessarily about balance - but the symbiotic relationship that allows you to happily flow between your work & personal life and makes you feel supported & fulfilled in that work.
Self-care is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional health, but it can be easily neglected due to our busy lives and focus on the needs of others. Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. In this blog post, we explored 8 areas of self-care and why they are important. Physical self-care involves taking care of our bodies through movement, nutrition, and rest, and being proactive about our health. Intellectual self-care involves stimulating our minds, maintaining a healthy psyche, and tapping into our creative side. Social self-care is about connection and interaction with others, nurturing relationships that leave us feeling fulfilled and happy, and letting go of toxic relationships. Emotional self-care involves addressing our emotional needs through self-reflection and managing stress, empathy, and feelings. Spiritual self-care is about connecting with ourselves and encompasses any activities that might nurture our soul, whether it is through prayer, yoga, or other means. By taking a proactive approach to self-care, we can improve our overall well-being, increase our resilience, and better manage the stresses and challenges that life throws our way.
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