WHAT IS SELF-CARE ANYWAY? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Are you tired of hearing the word self-care yet? These days, the whole world seems to be talking about making time for you and starting your own self-care routine. Even though this topic is all over the interwebs, I’m definitely glad to see people retreating from the culture of busy and realizing that finding time for ourselves is VITAL to living a happy and fulfilling life. Really, if you don’t have time for yourself, you don’t have time for others.
But, of course, with all of this talk about self-care comes a lot of misconception. It’s important to take a moment to make sure we actually know what we mean when we say self-care. Is it taking a bath, getting a massage, and painting your nails? Maybe, but there’s more to it than that.
Today, I’m going to break down the meaning of self-care, tell you all about the five different dimensions and give you tons of practical ideas that you can start incorporating into your self-care regime.
SO WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Let’s get started with a quick and easy definition of self-care to really break it down.
Self·care //: activities and practices we engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance our well-being
I’m going to just pause you for a moment and direct your attention to the word regular here. These are practices we need to schedule into our days often, rather than just once in a while. Ultimately, self-care is about finding something that you can do on the REGULAR to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, away from the pressure of your to-do list(s).
What’s also important to note is that there are so many different ways to take care of yourself. While certain practices may work for others, you may find that they don’t work for you. Meditation, yoga and baths aren’t for everyone.
As you can imagine, there are endless possibilities for your self-care practice, and one way to look at it is by splitting self-care into five different dimensions that make for a well-rounded approach.
THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF SELF-CARE
The five different dimensions of self-care include physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional aspects. Incorporating activities from each dimension into your life means you’ll be nourishing every aspect in your life and ultimately getting better at self-care (probably without even realizing you’re doing it).
Let’s dive a little deeper into these different dimensions by explaining what they are and how they can benefit you, as well as giving examples for each dimension so you can begin thinking about which self-care practices you want to incorporate into your life regularly.
01 / PHYSICAL
The physical dimension of self-care encompasses safety, health, nutrition, movement, physical touch, and sexual needs. When you practice activities for your physical well-being, you can increase your energy levels and boost your self-esteem – plus, you’ll feel like most irresistible person on the planet.
Examples of Physical Self-Care:
Trying a new workout
Taking an Epsom bath or long shower
Eating nourishing foods
Dancing around your room in your undies
Getting extra sleep
Laughing out loud
Kissing your partner
02 / INTELLECTUAL
The desire to learn new concepts and expand your knowledge contributes positively to your overall well-being. Intellectual self-care is about finding the balance between stimulating your mind and giving your mind a break, and this can help with creativity, innovation, and continual learning. I’m a big advocate for personal growth, but I greatly appreciate the opportunity to switch off and let my brain rest for a while.
Examples of Intellectual Self-Care:
Reading a book
Taking or teaching a class
Listening to music
Taking a Media Detox Challenge
Learning a new language
03 / SOCIAL
Social connection is another important dimension of self-care, even though most people associate self-care with themselves. But social connection helps create a sense of belonging and acceptance which we humans need, and it allows us to create and share a common bond with others.
Examples of Social Self-Care:
Going to a workout class
Walking with friends
Joining or starting a book club
Working at a coffee shop
Organizing a family dinner
Reaching out to a new person
04 / SPIRITUAL
The spiritual dimension of self-care involves a personal practice that allows you to follow the values and beliefs that give you purpose. Dedicating time to this dimension can help you find more meaning in life, develop a sense of belonging, and find a connection to something greater than oneself. Even if you’re not religious, it’s still important make a connection with the spiritual dimension somehow.
Examples of Spiritual Self-Care:
Going on a nature walk
Squeezing in a yoga practice
Volunteering with a local organization
Trying meditation or another mindfulness practice
05 / EMOTIONAL
Tapping into the emotional self-care dimension helps us understand ourselves more, cope with challenges, and develop and nourish healthy relationships. When we tend to our emotional needs, we cultivate a greater sense of compassion, kindness, and love for ourselves and others.
Examples of Emotional Self-Care:
Writing in a gratitude journal
Saying positive affirmations
Diffusing essential oils
Writing yourself or a friend a letter
Connecting with a friend
Seeing a therapist / coach / holistic practitioner
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Now that you’ve learned all about the dimensions of self-care, think about how you might start to incorporate them into your regular routine. Maybe it’s walking with a friend on your lunch break, reading a book before bed, or trying out some positive affirmations in the morning. You could also try scheduling self-care into your agenda to make sure it happens on a regular basis. Look at your monthly google calendar (my favorite tool!) and each week write down a new self-lovin’ routine / practice you’re going to take part in! I.E. for my Birthday next week I booked a facial. TOTALLY not a regular thing for me, but I’m giving myself, and skin a little extra love. I always say I need to do this more often, so every 3 months I’m going to book one. Write it in my calendar and that it, non-negotiable me time.
Just think about what you would find fun or relaxing and make a conscious effort to do more of it!
I’d love to hear about your favorite self-care practice and how you plan to incorporate the self-care dimensions into your routine!
Have a beautiful weekend friends,