If you don’t live under a rock then you probably know what selfcare is mostly about. Pampering yourself and rebooting your entire body so you can start off new. Most of the time this means face masks, exfoliators and nice smelling candles. But you probably don’t know that there are different kinds of selfcare.
There are 6 aspects that need your attention.
This is what you are used. Most guides to selfcare are all about this aspect, because they advise you to pay attention to your body.
The most common ways to do this is by taking a hot bath and scrubbing yourself with a good smelling shower gel. Or if you prefer the method when you soak yourself in tea you can also put 6-7 green tea bags in the bathtub and let them sit for a while before you get in. Many people say that this “draws out toxins from your body”. This is a myth, so please don’t believe it, there’s even an Adam Ruins Everything about how BS it is. You can still do it, because it’s relaxing, just don’t think it draws out anything from your body.
There is another aspect to physical selfcare. When you don’t relax and sit back and instead push yourself to be better. With exercise. Crunches, lunges, planking, whatever you like. You can do it for 5 minutes or you can do it for 50, whichever you feel more comfortable with. But taking care of your body also means that you don’t let it get weak.
This kind of selfcare is when you become aware of your emotions and feelings. It’s much harder than you would think, because I’m not only talking about surface level emotions. I’m talking about the feelings that lie beneath them and why they are still there.
But emotional selfcare also means letting go of these underlying negative feelings.
So, since this is a little more challenging than taking care of your physical self, you need to be consistent with it. It’s not a one time quick fix that will put you in place. You have to take a few minutes out of your days to spend time on taking care of your mental health, because if you let it build up things will go very wrong.
You can meditate or journal to keep your emotions in check. Either set an alarm or download an app that reminds you each day to do it. And remember, be honest if you are looking to explore what lies deep down within you.
This is very similar to emotional selfcare, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. The whole point of taking care of your spiritual self is to stay connected to your own soul. No, it’s not a religious thing to begin with, so you can practice it even if you don’t have a connection to some kind of god.
Although, if you are a believer then this will probably be much easier for you, because you can sit down and take a minute or two to pray. To project your own energy into the world and to accept the energy that is given to you. This can happen is several ways, depending on your religion.
If you are an atheist your job is a little harder, because it’s kind of hard to separate emotional and spiritual selfcare in your case. In most cases all you can do will be practicing mindfulness, journaling and meditating. But if you believe in karma or some other type of thing besides a god you can also do some exercises that “draw good luck to you”.
You know, the ones where you reassure yourself with sentences like: “I’m powerful. I can do XYZ. I have the motivation and dedication it takes.” Simple, but very effective.
To be honest, this is my favorite type of selfcare, especially when I need to cheer myself up. It’s a challenging way to regroup yourself and your mind, which is the main goal of taking care of your intellect.
This is the easiest to maintain. The best things you can do to nourish your mind is reading, learning a new language or watching educational videos. These all take very little time and will benefit you in the long term as well, especially if you do the same thing as me. I’m learning sign language!
I highly suggest taking at least 30 minutes to do this every day.
Socialization is something that every human needs, because we evolved this way. I don’t care whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, spending a little time with someone else is crucial for your mental well-being.
Back in the stone age people relied on each other and those who stayed alone quickly went extinct, because nobody was there to protect and help them. Because of this, our brains developed to reward us for being among other humans. This wouldn’t be all that bad, but nowadays we are getting more and more disconnected because of the internet (and no, online interactions aren’t the same as real ones, unfortunately).
If you look back on the last few days of your life and realize that you didn’t get enough social interaction do something about it. Schedule a date night, invite a friend out or just go to a place where you can meet new people. Put yourself out there for a bit.
This might seem weird, but if you have anxiety then this is the best kind of selfcare out there. Taking care of your sensors means calming them down and bringing your anxiety levels down as well.
There is a good chance that you have experienced sensory overload. I sure as hell have. It’s when everything is too much, you can’t take it anymore and you are close to the point of breaking down. Loudness, weird touches, bad smells. These can all trigger sensory overload. Although, you don’t need to get to this point to practice this selfcare.
The best thing you can do is sit in a sensory deprivation tank, but we all know that’s not available all the time. Therefore, you need to create a space that you can go back to where your senses won’t be disturbed.
Your bedroom or a clean bathroom is the best option. Make the room as dark as possible or cover your eyes while closing them and take deep breaths. Deep enough to make a little noise when you exhale. Focus on this one specific sound and close everything else out.
Or if you crave something specific, then you can also walk barefoot on grass or light a scented candle.
Now you see that there are many forms of selfcare and I hope you will be able to use all of them to your advantage. They can make all the difference in your everyday life.
What kind of selfcare do you practice?