Self-care is a word I will never tire of. It's an essential. It's vital. It's a need. I don't think I heard that message as clearly as I did in 2020. The importance of self-care was already buzzing around in the form of various sound bytes filling the social media realm like fluffy white clouds in the sky. Messages of pouring into self were everywhere I turned. And on the opposite side of that spectrum was the push for productivity, the hustle and the grind. The messages seemed to conflict back then. But I wouldn't learn until a cabin weekend away, unplugged with nature in the fall of 2019, that rest was not the antithesis to productivity; it was the key.
From that moment, I prioritized wellness and self-care. To keep it all the way a buck, that lesson got a little lost in the wake of how 2020 played out. It would peek out in the most random spurts, holding me still until I was myself again, but for much of the year, self-care wouldn't come into play as much as I knew I needed it. Life got in the way. Forget thriving, surviving got in the way. And as a result, my mental health completely suffered. For the first time in my life, I had to navigate a series of depressive episodes back-to-back. And though I feel blessed that the pain of that year was also met with elements of sheer pleasure, and didn't have the depth a lot of people experienced through loss, I found myself in holes sometimes that felt difficult to get out of at the time.
Rest is not the antithesis to productivity. It is the key.
In the process of finding my way back to a life that didn't lack color, I reencountered the power of self-care. I was reminded of the fact that when it comes to the tool, don't sleep. What I also learned in that process was the fact that there are different self-care strokes for different folks, and depending on which of the types of self-care resonate with you, the more of an impact a self-care will have on your overall well-being. Knowing the self-care types and which one works best for you will transform your world for the better. Keep reading to learn more.
What Are The 6 Types Of Self-Care?
- Physical Self-Care
- Emotional Self-Care
- Spiritual Self-Care
- Intellectual Self-Care
- Social Self-Care
- Mental Self-Care
What Is Physical Self-Care?
When it comes to the bodies that we live in, they are temples and should be honored as such. If you're wondering what is physical self-care, you guessed it, physical self-care has everything to do with acts rooted in physical well-being. While physical self-care can consist of exercise, physical fitness is not the end all be all when it comes to this type of self-care. It can include yoga and going for a walk or bike ride, but physical self-care can also include rituals like adopting a mindful skincare routine, keeping up with doctors' appointments, prioritizing sexual health, and maintaining a healthy diet that makes you feel good inside and out.
What Is Emotional Self-Care?
As a person who connects to the world and life deeply through emotions, emotional self-care is a form of self-care that resonates most with me. Emotional self-care entails becoming one with your emotional self. You check-in with yourself, and you put in work to understand any feelings, emotions or triggers you might be navigating through. It is not about replacing negative emotions with positive emotions as much as it's about acknowledging how you feel and why you might feel that way. Center yourself through emotional self-care acts like journaling and/or morning pages, meditation, or implementing a mindfulness routine.
What Is Spiritual Self-Care?
When it comes to the types of self-care I most readily gravitate towards, spiritual self-care is a really close second. Due to my love for spiritual maintenance, this form of self-care feels almost effortless. When you think of the word "spiritual", "religion" might come to mind, but religion isn't the only way to connect to your spirituality (though your relationship with faith can play a role in how you practice spiritual self-care). The purpose is to feed your soul as you tap into means to achieve inner peace. This can look like church or prayer, yes, but it can also look like meditating, reciting positive affirmations, and taking a walk in nature.
What Is Intellectual Self-Care?
Developing the mind is the name of the game with intellectual self-care. There is personal growth on the other side of learning and investing in personal development. Life is about love, but it is also about pushing yourself to learn as much as possible. Along with that knowledge, it is about opening yourself up to new experiences and thereby unlocking a mindset of abundance. Expand your mind by gaining new skills. Do so by reading books, listening to podcasts that expand your worldview, or watching documentaries.
What Is Social Self-Care?
Human beings are inherently social creatures. We thrive off of feelings of connectedness and tend to prioritize the relationships we have in our lives, be it familial, platonic, or romantic. Regardless of if you are an extrovert, an introvert, or an ambivert, quality time with people we love and who make us feel understood and less alone makes us feel cared for. Social self-care looks like calling a friend or loved one or spending time with friends or family members. You can also get your social self-care fix through establishing new connections with strangers in order to build and deepen relationships.
What Is Mental Self-Care?
Mental self-care is a form of self-care that emphasizes mindfulness and the act of being present. A lot of time our worries, anxieties, and feelings of self-doubt stem from living too far in the past or too ahead in the future. However, by being present, you empower your mind and care for yourself in the process by nourishing your mental well-being. Some ways to access that nowness through mental self-care include practicing mindfulness, engaging in positive self-talk, and going to therapy.
For more inspiration, self-care, and wellness tips, check out xoNecole's Wellness section here.
Originally published on Sheriden Chanel
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