Updated: Mar 16
They say that self-care is not only bubble bath and healthy eating.
They have a point, self-care is much more. It’s much broader and varied.
Self-care is also about looking after our emotional wellbeing, spiritual values, professional growth and development, as well as anything else that makes us happy and makes us who we are.
While researching this subject, I came across several suggestions about areas or types of self-care. Some websites such as Verywellmind.com, claim there are five types of self-care. Others, like Modern Therapy, go as far as eight.
I prefer to divide self-care into 5 types, such as physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and professional. It is my preference. And it’s also a matter of nomenclature - we call similar things different names.
For instance, emotional self-care might be called social self-care by others.
Let’s dive into those 5 types of self-care that I have identified.
1. Physical self-care
Physical self-care is about looking after your body, nurturing it, keeping it healthy and well. It might include eating habits, exercises, skincare routine. It might also include regular medical check-ups, dental care and bubble bath.
We should not underestimate the value of physical self-care as a healthy body helps to keep your mind in a better shape.
To nourish your physical self-care you might consider:
Some sort of exercise, you could start with the Body Coach, as he's catering to all levels
Or something as simple as walking. This site provides 6 simple steps how start your regular practice
2. Psychological self-care
This type of self-care is very close to my heart as it’s about personal development, growth and motivation. Verywellmind.com calls it mental self-care, which I think is close enough. However, the term they are using does not resonate with me. It feels more clinical. Whereas psychological self-care implies self-development and self-realisation, which might include solving puzzles and attending lifelong learning courses. All f these activities would contribute to a healthier and more energetic mind. And that’s where my passion lies.
3. Professional self-care
I believe that professional self-care is almost as important as physical self-care.
We spend almost 50% of our waking hours at work or within a professional environment. And we need to take a good care of how we feel in a world of work to feel more positive and upbeat about our life.
Professional self-care could include knowing your talents and limitations, being able to negotiate better deals for yourself and looking after your personal needs while at work.
It’s also about professional boundaries and needs. Do you know when to say no to an additional task? Do you know when it’s time to leave your current employment and think about a career change? It all is part of professional self-care,
4. Emotional self-care
Emotional self-care deals with emotions, feelings and all the tools that are available to help us stay in touch with our inner self.
Studies show that children as young as 4 months old can differentiate between emotions. And then we spend a lot of time teaching our kids how to control their emotions, how to differentiate between positive and negative and how to deal with varied feelings that might flood their little brains at the same time.
But adults do not always know how to process their feelings, especially if those feelings are negative or uncomfortable. Spending some time looking after your emotional self-care, you stand a chance to learn more about feelings and emotions and sensations that you might be trying to ignore in particular.
This might include practicing gratitude, meditation, or attending therapy.
5. Spiritual self-care
The last but not leas is spiritual self-care. Some might view it as part of psychological and emotional self-care. But there is a difference.
Spiritual self-care is more about higher meaning and values that you hold. It does not need to be connected to religion. It’s more about what you, as an individual, believe in and value. And if we don’t differentiate it as a separate type of self-care, yet again, we could de-prioritise it and live our lives without reflecting on our deepest values.
Modern Therapy blog suggests it might include mindful walks in nature, gratitude journal or meditation practise. But it could be any practice that brings you closer to your soul, to your deeper self, whatever you want to call it.
And there you have it. My 5 types of self-care you need to prioritise right now.
Make sure you allow a few minutes a day for each of 5 types. Some types might require more time, others might only need a few minutes a day. But remember to give some love to all of them and then I am sure your life will feel more fulfilling, balanced, and enjoyable.