Leanna Stockard, MA, AMFT
By now, I am sure that you have heard of the importance of coping skills and taking part in regular self-care routines. Generally, when we plan self-care routines, we focus on one or two activities that help us feel better, such as going for a run, or getting our nails done. Too often, I see people utilizing coping skills and not seeing results. It takes time and self-awareness to learn what helps you, what does not, and to determine what exactly you need at the time. Although the strategies that are being utilized can be helpful, there is a chance that you may need to tap into another area of your life and provide it with self-love. After all, self-care is taking care of you, and there is more than one aspect that makes you, you.
6 Types of Self-Care
Physical self-care is taking care of your body! When we think of physical self-care, our thoughts generally go to exercise and healthy eating, but they are not the only ways! Other ways to tap into physical self-care are allowing yourself to relax after a tough week, going to a dance party, routine check-ups for your health, or simply getting your hair done. Physical self-care is about feeling good about yourself physically.
Emotional self-care is taking care of your emotions and feelings, without judging them. I generally like to tap into my emotional self-care by watching a sad movie and allowing myself to cry. You can also take care of yourself emotionally by finding things that make you laugh, complimenting yourself, looking up “feel good” quotes, or journaling your feelings. Find things that make you feel a certain way; understand those feelings and allow yourself to feel them.
Mental/psychological self-care is taking care of your mind! Challenging your mind could be done with puzzles, reading a new book, or even taking some time to self-reflect how your day went. A way to tap into your mental self-care is saying “no” to the people or things that are too challenging. This is very important- to be over-challenged can promote a lot of stress in your life.
Spiritual self-care is taking care of your spirit and being a part of something larger than yourself. Spiritual self-care helps you get in touch with your soul, and could include volunteering on the weekends, exercising your religion, going to yoga and realigning your chakra, or going for a walk into nature.
Professional self-care is establishing a work/life balance that works best for you. Often times, we begin to find that we are constantly thinking about work or checking our emails. If you find that work is interfering with your personal life, some steps to help establish a healthy work/life balance involves taking breaks throughout the day at work, saying no to that extra project, or even making your workplace an environment that you recognize as your own.
Social self-care is taking care of our relationships. This can be tapped into by spending time with people that make you feel good or letting go of overbearing friends. Taking care of yourself socially can also include saying no to friends when you are not feeling up for the party or when they are asking too much of you.
A healthy balance is important for each area of self-care. With increased self-awareness you will be able to tap into and understand what you need in the moment. Remember, it is not selfish to put your well being first. If you are struggling to find a self-care routine for you, it may be helpful to connect with a therapist! Contact Symmetry Counseling today to get connected with one of our talented clinicians!