Self-care Practices For All Areas of Your Life
Some weeks, you may feel on top the world… but others may feel never-ending. Life is full of factors that are out of your control, and that stress can actually affect your health. Stress can drain your energy, increase anxiety, cause headaches, weight gain, and lack of concentration.
Practicing self-care on a regular basis will help you to handle all of the challenges and uncertainties life can bring. Self-care simply means taking care of yourself in all areas of life: emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. There is no prescribed formula that works perfectly for everyone. Craft your self-practice to suit what works best for you, so you will enjoy it.
Below are the areas of life everyone should incorporate in their self-care practice:
1. Physical Self-Care
This aspect of self-care is the most straight forward and focuses on making sure that your body is well-nourished and happy. When you are consciously caring for your body, you will think and feel better. The three basic aspects of physical self-care are good nutrition, proper recovery time (sleep and rest), and exercise. Begin with practices that are fun and rewarding to you.
Small steps such as eating more of the greens you love, drinking more water, and being active will make an impact on your well-being. (Remember to find the balance and rest when your body needs it too.)
2. Mental Self-Care
Constant thoughts running around in your head can drain you. Mental self-care includes activities that declutter your mind and reduce your stress levels. These activities look different for everyone. Fuel your mind by learning about a subject that fascinates you, and reading books or watching movies that inspire you.
Some easy ways to relax each day include yoga, doing a craft, unplugging from technology, decluttering your home, or going for a walk.
3. Social Self-Care
Life gets busy and it can feel impossible to make time to nurture relationships with friends or family. Social self-care is identifying your social needs and maintaining close connections in your life. There isn't a certain number of hours you should devote to your friends or work on your relationships. Everyone has slightly different social needs. Build enough time in your schedule to create an optimal social life for your well-being.
4. Spiritual Self-Care
In this case, spiritual self-care doesn’t refer to religion or believing in a sort of higher being (although if that is what helps you - great!). Instead, in this sense, spiritual self-care is the act of getting in touch with your values—what really matters to you. This practice will help you cope with stress and foster a calm mind.
Spiritual self-care activities include cleaning your spaces, joining a community that shares your values, meditating, going for a walk, or volunteering for causes you care about. It’s up to you to engage in whatever form of makes you feel best!
5. Emotional Self-Care
Emotional self-care doesn’t mean that you never have negative or uncomfortable emotions, like anger, anxiety, and sadness. It’s the practice of identifying and accepting all of your feelings in a healthy way. Allow yourself to process what you are going through.
Include activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis. For example, writing down how you are feeling can help you feel more fully present and not confined to those feelings from the past.
Identify the ways you can incorporate these practices to develop your personal self-care practice. If you take a few moments each day to care for your wellbeing, then you will be rewarded with a positive outlook and decreased stress.