Ways to self care include eating the right foods and exercising but it does indeed go far beyond that. We, as humans, are complex creatures and need to stick with the following examples of self care practices in order to be the best people we can be.
Many individuals think that taking care of yourself means relaxing in a bubble bath or perhaps treating themselves to a vacation. Although these ideas are great ones, we need to begin to think deeper as to what we can do to begin to love ourselves.
Let’s examine different ways to self care and how we can apply them to our daily lives.
#1. Physical Self Care
This is probably the most obvious of them all. When we are trying to find ways to cope with stress, we think about things we can do to improve ourselves physically. We need to pay attention to the signs of stress our bodies give us and act accordingly.
Eating nutrient-rich foods and exercising is key but so is getting good sleep or even stretching on a regular basis. Our bodies are made to work well if they are loved and treated properly.
#2. Emotional Self Care
I cannot explain enough how essential it is, to be honest with yourself regarding your emotions. Be true to yourself and recognize WHAT you are feeling and WHY you are feeling as you are. This may take some difficult soul searching but it will allow you to be able to understand your feelings. It can also help you to develop strategies to deal with feelings of anxiety and racing thoughts.
We are often our worst enemies and are over critical of ourselves. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Forgive yourself as you would your best friend. No one is perfect and developing our emotional awareness can give us the ability to handle what life throws our way.
#3. Social Self Care
Human beings are social creatures by nature and therefore that means we NEED each other. This does not mean that we need to be surrounded by many people all of the time but we do need to learn to make connections with other people. This may be family or friends or mentors or a teacher.
People who struggle to manage their depression often isolate themselves which consequently, worsens the depression. Instead, it is important that we all reach our for help, and interact positively with others. Learn to set healthy boundaries and communicate effectively as one of the ways to self care.
Have your “go-to” person – the person (or people) who when things are not only difficult but fabulous as well as the one you reach out to. We need support systems in place but remember those relationships need to be developed and nurtured.
Another key factor in your social self care is to have positive social media interactions. Many of us look to the internet and social media platforms to connect with people. (Please be cautious of this because if this is your only way of interacting with people, you are not truly connecting.) Think about how you interact online. Find positive and uplifting social groups and watch to not get caught up in negative banter or “trolling” online.
#4. Spiritual Self Care
Taking care of yourself spiritually does not necessarily have to be connected to a religion or specific doctrine or dogma. That being said, if religion provides you with what you need, I say go for it.
Spiritual self care means connecting with your true self. Getting to know yourself on a deeper level is crucial to finding your purpose. Try meditating, or spending time in nature. Create your special space – in a room, in your backyard, on a hiking trail and take some moments to center yourself. Yoga and journaling are often good ways to discover the true you.
#5. Personal Self Care
You are the one who knows yourself the best but keep in mind that you are ever-changing. As a result, you must be on a continual journey of self-discovery.
Ways to self care can be engaging in hobbies and activities that you enjoy and being willing to try new things. For instance, I consider myself very much a left-brain thinker. I like things in a linear fashion, very methodical and organized. However, I discovered my acrylic painting hobby as a means of self-expression and stress relief.
Honor yourself and who you truly are. Take pride in your essence and work on those aspects of yourself you want to shine out to the world. It may also mean working on those areas that take away that shine.
#6. Spatial Self Care
Your environment inevitably affects your emotions, reactions, and how you approach different situations. Surround yourself with people and things that you love, that bring you true joy. This also means providing yourself with a safe living environment that is stable and secure.
If we are constantly surrounded by chaos and negative individuals, we will feel on edge and anxious, always struggling to find a state of calm.
Keeping your personal space free from clutter allows us to think more freely and focus on what it is that is important. We can be more productive and ultimately more successful, boosting our self-esteem and confidence.
#7. Financial Self Care
The saying “money can’t buy you happiness” is partially true but when our finances are not in order, our lives can be a constant struggle. Be honest with your spending and learn how to spend wisely so that you can meet your most basic needs.
Make sure your bills are paid on time and work on ways to build your credit score so that you can have more financial freedom. These are some not so obvious ways to self care but yet are just as important as the others.
Take a class on money management or budgeting if you struggle with this aspect of your life. There are tons of very knowledgeable people out there that can help you.
Of course, it is important to save your money in case of emergencies but also plan to splurge every so often. It is ok to treat yourself to a new shirt or coloring your hair. The important thing is you are spending within your means so you are not causing future headaches for yourself.
#8. Work Self Care
A large majority of our time is spent at our workplace and many of us find it to be an enormous source of our stress which often manages to seep back into our personal life. Therefore, it is important to also take care of yourself at work.
Communication with your colleagues can sometimes be difficult, especially if the topic is touchy. However, creating an environment where communication is honest and true is essential. Do not allow things to fester until you can no longer control your reaction. This only leads to more issues. Handle things positively and maturely, in a timely fashion.
Be sure to set boundaries at your workplace. If you are being asked to do things that are too far above and beyond your job description, it is ok to say no to them. Also, express if you are unsure about your responsibilities and duties. No one knows what is going on in your head if you do not express them.
If you are struggling with what you are being asked to do, ask about it. Inquire about additional professional development opportunities for personal growth. Not only will it show that you are taking initiative, but it also will make your daily job easier and who knows, it may also lead to a promotion!
Working yourself to pure exhaustion doesn’t help anyone. Learn to take breaks and take a quick walk around the block. Do a bit of stretching or have a cup of coffee with a colleague to discuss other things besides work.
Finding ways to self care is crucial if you want to be able to live your life to the fullest. Take all aspects of self care into consideration as they are all connected and inevitably, affect one another.
When you see one aspect of your life causing you issues or trouble, begin to evaluate if you have been implementing enough self care routines.