It seems like we’re always hearing about the idea and importance of self care. It’s often followed by the suggestion to light a candle and take a bubble bath.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with spending a relaxing evening in the tub, I like to think of self care with a more complete approach.
See, taking care of yourself involves a lot more than just polishing your nails. There are really 5 different aspects of it, and I’ve created a self care checklist to help you take care of your entire self.
You can use the checklist template weekly to ‘check in’ with yourself. After all, if you don’t keep an eye on your happiness, no one else will!
We are the ones responsible for our own lives.
Let’s take a look at the different types of self care, and what it really looks like in your daily life.
This post may contain affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.
What defines self care?
Self care is deliberate action we take to take care of our emotional, physical, or mental health.
We often get too sucked into the tasks and annoyances of daily life that we neglect taking care of things that really need our attention.
We only get one self, one body, one life. You simply must stay at the top of your priority list.
Sign up below to get access to the self care checklist template, plus tons of other printables in the exclusive Freebie Vault!
5 different types of self care
Physical – Physical self care activities include anything that takes care of your body’s well-being. Examples could include everything from eating a nutritious diet or getting regular physical activity, to grooming tasks that make you look and feel your best.
Emotional – Taking care of yourself emotionally means taking the time to check in with your emotions. Recognizing how you’re feeling (and not judging yourself for it) is the first step in honoring who you are. Some emotional self care activities are allowing yourself to say no to something or someone you don’t have the energy for, talking with a friend about what you’re feeling, or starting a journal.
Mental – Mental self care is all about exercising your mind. From reading books, to taking a class, to going to a museum. There’s not a lot of emphasis on learning new things as an adult, but it’s necessary to keep your mind alive and functioning well.
Spiritual – Spiritual self care doesn’t necessary have to involve religion, though it certainly can. It involves knowing what is inspirational and meaningful to you. Some ways to explore it are meditating or praying, spending time in nature, or contributing to a cause you’re passionate about.
Social – It is a very good idea to keep an eye on your social needs. For extroverts, this means getting adequate time socializing. For my fellow introverts, it often looks more like getting enough time alone, away from socializing. But we all do need to socialize sometimes, so make sure you get enough of what works best for you.
Now let’s look at some truly helpful examples of self care!
Meaningful examples of self care
1. Read a self-improvement book
I imagine you’re reading this post right now because you’re genuinely interested in taking better care of yourself.
Take it one step further, and trying reading some books on the subject. The best personal development book I’ve read lately is The Success Principles.
The book’s tagline is ‘how to get from where you are to where you want to be.’ It’s a good one to own, and refer back to over and over.
Some other super helpful books:
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
- Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow
2. Try a new exercise
You don’t even have to think of it as exercise. Just a way to move your body.
Pick something you think you’ll like. And if you don’t like it, pick something else.
There are so many different types of exercise that there’s something for you!
3. Unfollow negative people on social media
This includes people who post negative comments, political crap you don’t agree with, and (even more importantly) those who make you feel bad about yourself.
You don’t need any “noise” in your life that will affect your mind negatively.
If certain people’s picture perfect posts make you feel down about your own life, it’s time to hide them!
4. Make a plan to improve some part of your life
What changeable thing in your life is bothering you? Maybe it’s your lack of attention to your finances, or how you just can’t seem to keep your house clean.
Create a new plan or system for changing how you take care of that issue.
Having a method for dealing with a task that’s been wearing you down can inspire you to take new action in a variety of ways.
5. Declutter something in your home
Clutter is actually directly related to your level of happiness. It affects how much you enjoy being in your home, and can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.
Pick a small area to organize. Take everything out, get rid of anything you don’t use, and put the items back in an aesthetically pleasing way.
6. Plan a date with a friend
Remember how socializing is an important part of self care? Make a plan to see someone you enjoy spending time with.
If they’re too far away to meet in person, you could Skype or FaceTime instead.
Even just making the plan will probably help you feel better.
7. Sign up to learn something new
To keep your mind alert, and your spirit engaged, find a way to learn something new.
A place like Udemy is an excellent way to take a course online, very inexpensively!
No matter what subject you’re interested in learning about, Udemy has a class for it. And best of all, you can do it right from home. They have over 100,000 courses to choose from.
Check out their website here, where you can browse their offerings, read reviews, and find something perfect for you!
8. Write down 5 things you love about yourself
Yes, I realize this can be a challenge sometimes. Especially on a bad day. But on a bad day is when you need to do this the most!
Many of us don’t think lovingly or kindly toward ourselves. This simple exercise serves as a quick reminder of your best qualities.
If you’re really struggling, try to think objectively of what others love about you. Start by writing those ideas down.
9. Create a bucket list
You could write a bucket list filled with your crazy awesome goals and dreams. Or fun, courageous things you want to try.
If that seems too big to think about today, try writing a seasonal bucket list instead!
Just jot down a few things you want to do to take advantage of during the current or upcoming season.
Use these as inspiration:
- Fun Things to Do in the Spring: 70 Ideas to Add to Your Spring Bucket List
- 120 Free and Cheap Summer Activities
- 107 Ideas for your Fall Bucket List
- 75 Winter Bucket List Ideas to Help You Enjoy the Season More
Making a bucket list is a great self care technique because it gets you forward thinking. Instead of dwelling on what’s bothering you today.
10. Do a brain dump
Your whirling mind might be causing you some anxiety. Or maybe anxiety causes the whirling brain?
Either way, if you know how that feels, you just have to do a brain dump.
Use the self care checklist template to write out whatever random things that are on your mind.
That will leave so much more space in your brain, and you can relax knowing that it’s written down now. You don’t have to try and remember it all!
Go forth, and take good care of yourself
I hope this gave you some good ideas for ways to take care of yourself that don’t involve face masks and deep conditioning treatments.
While those ways of treating yourself are fun and relaxing, also try thinking of self care on a deeper level. Ask yourself what it is that will actually nourish you.
Don’t forget to download the self care checklist! And actually use it. : )
You May Also Like:
- How to Get Out of a Rut in Life: 21 Tips for Breaking Out of Your Funk
- Twenty 30-Day Challenge Ideas That Will Improve Your Life
- How to Live a Happy Life: 15 Things Happy People Don’t Do
- How to Organize Your Life in a Notebook: 15 Lists to Make to Stay on Track
P.S. Get your copy of the self care checklist below, plus tons of other awesome freebies!