What is Self-Care?

in Health & Well-being

Self-care can be tricky to define. After all, where do you start? While self-care can mean different things to everyone, what is universal about this practice is that it involves nurturing all aspects of your life. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or social, self-care is about taking care of yourself and loving yourself in the process.

Defining Self-Care

According to the World Health Organization, self-care consists of “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” But what does that mean in everyday terms?

One way to think of self-care is a set of practices that nourishes your physical, emotional, and mental health. But self-care extends beyond just your mind and body; it also involves your social and spiritual life too. Below is a breakdown of these types of self-care and how you can attend to them.

Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care is the one we’re most familiar with and involves what you eat, the quality of your sleep, your physical activity, and how much rest you’re getting. Physical self-care can even extend to your sex life! If you’re struggling in this area and want to spice things up, a visit to sites like adulttoystore.com.au can help.

Taking care of your physical health is not only important for vitality and energy, but it also improves your emotional and mental health. Where possible, find ways to eat well, move regularly, take time out, and keep to a routine sleep schedule. It’s also a good idea to see your doctor, dentist, optometrist, etc., regularly so that you’re preventing future illness.

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care involves learning how to manage your emotions and develop good coping skills. Whether it’s finding healthy ways to express emotions such as anger or sadness, attending to your emotional self-care means you’re taking charge of your emotions and not letting them rule your life.

Rather than simply reacting to everything around you, find healthy ways to express your feelings and develop coping skills so that you can be more in control of how you feel.  This could involve writing in a diary, seeing a counsellor or therapist, or talking to a partner or friend.

Mental Self-Care

Mental self-care involves taking care of your cognitive functions and psychological wellbeing. This can include keeping your mind and memory sharp with learning or through puzzles and games. Mental self-care also involves making sure that your thoughts towards yourself and your life are as productive and positive as possible.

On the flip side, mental self-care can also involve slowing things down when your mind is overactive. For example, you could start meditating or practicing mindfulness techniques to ensure that your mind is healthy, and not going into overdrive.

Social Self-Care

Our connections with others are also a vital part of our wellbeing. Whether it’s friends, family, or work colleagues, finding time to nurture our relationships is vital to social self-care. While it’s good not to overload your schedule and socialize at the expense of your own needs, it’s a good idea to figure out what your social needs are and then build this into your calendar.

Spiritual Self-Care

Finally, spiritual self-care involves taking care of our spirit. This can include religion, or it can be about nurturing the spiritual side of your life—whatever your beliefs are. This can involve fostering deeper connections with your soul and the world around you through practices like meditation, prayer, getting out into nature, etc.


Image Credits: Tiny Tribes

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