November 21


5 Types Of Self-Care And How To Practice Them

By Freya Martin

November 21, 2020

self care, self-care

Self-care is an essential part of our mental wellbeing and it’s important to spend this relaxation time nurturing your mental health, building resilience, and reducing stress (which can have a huge negative impact on both mental and physical health). Some find it helpful to define their different unique needs and identify how certain types of self-care can help them. In this way, you can utilise these types of self-care to create balance in your self-care routines, catering to all your needs.

While others may categorise self-care in more steps, to make things easy, I type my self-care into the following…

5 Types Of Self-Care

  • Physical Self-Care
  • Emotional Self-Care
  • Mental Self-Care
  • Spiritual Self-Care
  • Social Self-Care

Below I have gone into more details about these 5 types of self-care which can help you understand your personal needs and how to practice self-care accordingly. You can also find a few self-care ideas and examples

1. Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care is reasonably self-explanatory; its self-care centred on taking care and relaxing your body. These activities usually help to engage in physical activities and also can include sensorial self-care; hearing, touch, smell, taste, and sight.

While some of the below examples include exercises or physical activity, be sure to focus on what YOU personally enjoy and find relaxing and engaging. Some of your physical self-care activities may be as simple as getting your regular 8-hour sleep per day or keeping hydrated. In comparison, feel free to indulge your senses or go all out with a spa weekend to treat your body.

Physical Self-Care Ideas:

  • Yoga
  • Taking a hot bath or shower
  • Rehydrating with lemon water
  • Going for a walk or run
  • Dancing
  • Going for a massage

2. Emotional Self-Care

Taking care of your emotional health should be an important part of your self-care routine. Understanding your own emotional patterns, triggers and wellbeing is the main aim of emotional self-care.

As a consequence, this type of self-care can help you learn more about yourself and your emotions. Just like physical self-care engages your physical senses, emotional self-care can help engage your feelings, allowing you to move through trauma.

Here are a few examples and ideas to add to your self-care routine…

Emotional Self-Care Ideas:

  • Talking to a coach or therapist
  • Meditating
  • Using affirmations
  • Mindful creativity, such as expressive art
  • Starting a gratitude journal
  • Setting and maintaining boundaries

3. Mental Self-Care

When writing this guide, it was harder to pinpoint how to define or name ‘mental’ self-care. Similar to physical self-care, this type of self-care focuses on the brain. It should aim to stimulate your mind and boost intellectual engagement. By expanding our knowledge, we can discover new joys and challenges.

Remember, once again, to focus on what you enjoy. We often put off learning new skills as we feel like we stagnate. Mental self-care is a great opportunity to really embrace personal growth and development.

Mental Self-Care Ideas:

  • Reading a book
  • Visiting a new, educational place such as a museum
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Taking a course
  • Watching a documentary
  • Completing a puzzle

Article recommendation: How To Change Unwanted Habits

4. Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care can be for everyone, whether you are religious, agnostic or atheist. This type of self-care is deeply personal and can encompass all these other types of self-care too! Add rituals into your routine which helps you find inner peace or gives you a glimpse into your greater meaning.

This type of self-care is important to us all as it promotes hope and allows us to connect with our inner selves. 

As previously stated, this can be deeply personal so below are just a few ideas about how you can engage with spiritual self-care.

Spiritual Self-Care Ideas:

  • Spending time in nature
  • Giving back to society (e.g. giving to charity)
  • Creating a vision board
  • Writing and using mantras
  • Practice meditation
  • Unplug from technology

5. Social Self-Care

No matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, we are all social beings at our core, whether that is with family, close friends or casual socialisation. Most of us crave connections to our communities and this support can be crucial on personal growth journeys.

This type of self-care can help us take time to nurture relationships, find comfort in friends, seek validation, and feel a sense of love. Use social self-care as a challenge to say YES and reach out to those you wish to reconnect with or grow closer to.

Social Self-Care Ideas:

  • Host an event, such as a games night (in person or virtually)
  • Catch up with a friend on the phone
  • Write a card or letter
  • Joining a new class or course with others
  • Seek out a peer-support group
  • Reaching out and asking for help when you need it

Other Types Of Self-Care

In my research into this topic, I also discovered how other people use categories such as financial self-care, professional self-care, and space self-care. Do you categorise your self-care rituals and needs? Let us know your types of self-care in the comments!

5 Types Of Self-Care Infographic

Freya Martin

Living almost a double life, during the day Freya works as a social media and branding manager and at night she worships the moon, researches true crime & conspiracy theories, and nerds out to dungeons & dragons. As a queer woman with chronic illnesses, Freya has made it her mission to make the world a better place for future generations. In this way, she is an advocate for mental health awareness, body positivity, and equality in what can be a harsh modern world.

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