Do you feel like “self-care” is all you hear about lately? Everybody everywhere seems to be talking about beginning a self-care routine and about making time for yourself these days. It’s good that the topic is all over the internet. I’m glad to see that people are stepping back from the busy culture It’s a good thing that people are coming to an understanding that making time for themselves is important when it comes to to living a fulfilling and happy life.
Of course, all the talk about self-care is bound to include lots of misinformation. It’s important to make sure we truly know what self-care means. Is it taking a long bath, treating yourself to a massage, or getting a manicure? It may be. But there’s lots more to it than that.
I’ll start by breaking down what self-care means and explain the five different aspects of our inner being. I’ll close by sharing some practical ideas so you can add to your self-care routine.
So What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is defined as practices and activities that people regularly engage in to enhance their well-being and to reduce stress.
Let’s pause briefly and take note of the word regularly. It means that we need to schedule the practices into our schedules often, not just once in a while. Ultimately, self-care is about finding something that you can make a habit of so you feel relaxed and comfortable, separated from the pressures of your day-to-day life.
It’s also important to note that there are countless different ways to practice self-care. Some practices that work for other people may not work for you. I was talking to s friend recently about self-care. She said she was having difficulties getting into what are more popularly considered to be self-care habits, like doing yoga or taking long baths. However, the activity that really appealed to her was hiking, because hiking helps her calm her mind.
Since there are so many ways to practice self-care, it helps to approach it by breaking self-care down into how it relates to the five different aspects of our inner being.
The Five Aspects of Our Inner Being
There are three main aspects of our inner being that are commonly emphasized the most as it relates to self-care—the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. But there are two additional aspects that receive less attention—emotional and social. Incorporating activities into your life from each of the five dimensions means that you’re nourishing every aspect of your inner being. This will ultimately improve your self-care, and you may not even realize you’re doing it!
I’m going to dive a little deeper into each different aspect. I’ll explain what each one is and how nourishing it can benefit you. I’ll also give examples of actives related to each dimension, so you can start planning which of them you’d like to regularly practice in your life.
The Mental Aspect
Desiring to learn about new concepts and to expand your knowledge contributes positively to your overall well-being. Mental self-care is about finding a balance between stimulating your mind and giving your mind a break. This can help with innovation, creativity and continual learning. I’m an advocate of personal growth, but I appreciate regular opportunities to switch off my brain and to let it rest a bit.
Examples of activities to improve your mental self-care include learning a new language, doing a social media detox, listening to music, taking or teaching a class, and reading a book.
The Physical Aspect
The physical aspect of self-care include movement, nutrition, health, safety, sexual needs, and physical touch. When you’re active with your physical well-being in mind, you’ll increase your self-esteem and boost your energy levels.
Examples of activities to improve your physical self-care include 7snuggling with your significant other, 6laughing out loud, 5getting some extra sleep,4dancing like nobody’s watching, 3eating nutritious foods, 2taking a long shower or an Epsom bath, and trying a new workout routine.
The Spiritual Aspect
The spiritual aspect of self-care involves personal practices that let you follow the beliefs and values that give you purpose. Focusing on this aspect can help you find a connection to something greater than yourself, develop a sense of belonging, and find deeper meaning in life. Even if you aren’t religious, it’s still important for you to make some sort of a connection with your spiritual aspect.
Examples of activities to improve your spiritual self-care include meditating or another mindfulness activity, volunteering with a charity organization, practicing or learning yoga, participating in a religious service, and taking a nature walk.
The Social Aspect
Though people usually assume that self-care is strictly personal, social connections are another important aspect of self-care. Interpersonal social connections help create senses of acceptance and belonging, which people need. Social connections allow us to create and to share common bonds with other people.
Examples of activities to improve your social self-care include reaching out to new people, participating in a workout class, hosting a family dinner, taking a walk with friends working at a coffee shop, and starting or joining a book club.
The Emotional Aspect
Tending to the emotional aspect of self-care will help you understand yourself better, form and nurture healthy relationships, and cope with challenges. When we practice emotional self-care, we’ll cultivate greater senses of love, kindness, and compassion for others and for ourselves.
Examples of activities to improve your emotional self-care include connecting with a friend, diffusing essential oils, writing in a gratitude journal, seeing a professional counselor or therapist, repeating positive affirmations, writing yourself an encouraging letter, and avoiding excess commitments.
Incorporating These Practices
Now that I’ve explained the five aspects of self-care, it’s time for you to start thinking about how you could incorporate some of them into your daily routine, or you could incorporate them into your own Self-Care Power Hour (I wrote whole other blog post all about that!). Start by thinking about which activities you’d find relaxing or fun, and then make the effort to make those activities a habit!
What Do You Think About All This?
What are your thoughts about the five aspects of your inner self and how they relate to self-care? Has this post influenced your views on self-care? I’d love to hear all about your own self-care practices. Comment below or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!