Every August, we celebrate national wellness month, and in 2021, the emphasis is self-care. Self-care is a holistic approach to wellness that taps into your mind, body, and spirit. The great thing about self-care is it means something different to everyone, and it can take many forms. Determining your form of self-care is a journey we all must take to better wellness.
What is Self-Care
Self-care is addressing our wellbeing. We don’t take care of ourselves as we should. How many of you put more effort into daily tasks, beat yourself up for mistakes, and say things about yourself you would never say out loud? Self-care is making sure that you put yourself first and be the one constant thing in your life. It’s about liking yourself as you are and taking the time to nurture your needs. Here are six forms of self-care and the ways to correct an imbalance you feel.
Physical self-care is something many of us are tuned into by taking care of our bodies to make sure we are healthy. This means physical activity, eating healthy, dressing well, cleaning your living space, and attending the doctor regularly to make sure you feel your best. Physically caring for yourself can affect your emotional state. When you respect the physical, it helps you feel better mentally. Other ways to take care of the physical:
- Get a massage
- Get enough sleep
- Disconnect from social media
- Take a relaxing bath
- Improve your skincare routine
The American Psychological Association states well-being is a “state of happiness and contentment, with low levels of distress, overall good physical and mental health and outlook, or good quality of life.” Psychological self-care centers around ideas like positive self-talk, personal awareness, and gratitude. Oftentimes we focus more on the things we do not like about ourselves instead of what we like. To fix this, spend time self-reflecting and writing three things you like about yourself every day. This will help to shift your mindset and cement positivity in your mind.
Emotional self-care’s goal is to be comfortable with your feelings and learn ways to express your emotions. Some activities to hone in this form is:
- Letting yourself cry it out
- Performing affirmations
- Forgiving yourself and others
- Doing activities that make you laugh
It’s essential that you understand and be aware of your emotions, so you can find ways to deal with them.
Spiritual self-care is different for everyone. It depends on what you believe, but it’s finding a sense of meaning in your life. It allows you to align your behaviors with your beliefs. Ideas for spiritual self-care:
- Yoga Practice
- Helping others in need
- Spending time in nature
Personal self-care is about fostering relationships, learning about yourself, and setting goals. This may include tapping into hobbies or figuring out what you want in life. What can you do personally to help reduce and cope with the stressors of life? Here are some examples:
- Pay off debt
- Change your scenery
- Hang out with friends
- Make a vision board
- Take a moment to yourself before heading inside your home or work
Professional self-care is doing work that leaves you fulfilled. Think about what you do and what you can do to make sure you strive to be your best in that role. Do things to help you grow and make meaningful contributions. This can also mean practicing healthy habits in the work environment to reduce any stress affecting your well-being. Here are some ideas:
- Take your lunch break
- Set boundaries when working at home
- Learn to delegate tasks
- Use your vacation days
- Take classes to improve your skills
When you understand the needs you have, you can determine the proper course of action for self-care. We must learn how to balance the stress we feel and find ways to cope. Our wellness should be our top priority to feel our best selves every day.