The general pace of life in today’s world is incredibly fast and unrelenting. It is as if the human race is caught in a frenzied rush to get somewhere. In an age of instant everything, it is unbelievable just how much we can subject our bodies to, without collapsing into a heap of hopelessness.
Ironically there is also a passionate need to unwind and delve deep into ourselves. Perhaps the mad rush for success and the good life necessitates a need to step back occasionally and survey the canvas of life.
Nothing has deterred the young millennials as well as others from taking a break every once in a while. This is a period of uncompromising time where you indulge in contemplation and retrospection, taking care of the body and the mind equally.
Taking care of yourself or self-care is a way to balance your hectic life. But is there a motive behind this interesting aspect of life? Here is everything you need to know about self-care.
Self-care – Its definition
Self-care is an umbrella term that encompasses intentional ways you choose to be kind to your body, mind, and soul. It is about enjoying what you are doing at the moment and finding peace in it. Self-care constitutes everything that you do to improve your spiritual, emotional, physical, rational, educational, and professional life.
Self-care is not only about the personal self. It is also about how you behave and treat others. It is not a selfish act where you put your needs above someone else’s. It is everything about knowing that you need to be in a good place so you can care for others.
What are the different types of self-care?
Although the term has been around for years, self-care was not clearly identified and explained until a few years ago. It is a fancy term to be associated with, but very few people know that there are different types of self-care.
In this section, we elaborate on the different types of self-care.
1. Physical self-care
Physical self-care is everything that you do to improve and care for your body. Many people narrow this definition down to exercise and going to a spa. However, there are a lot of ways you can take care of your body. Some of these are:
- Going for a walk with your pet
- Trying a new sport
- Pampering yourself at home or at a spa
- Joining a dance class or a yoga class
- Engaging in a physical activity that you love
2. Emotional self-care
Right next after the physical, emotional self-care is something that is way up in the list. Our emotions have a paramount influence on our lives. Some of the ways you can practice emotional self-care are:
- Talking to a therapist when you need to
- Writing a journal where you document your feelings
- Sharing a heart to heart conversation with a friend
- Having a good laugh or a cry watching your favorite show or movie
- Letting your creative juice flow through arts, music, poetry, and photography
3. Spiritual self-care
This is one aspect that most people care about more than anything else. Spiritual self-care is entirely different from emotional self-care. Some ways to practice emotional self-care are:
- Practicing meditation
- Praying at a religious place
- Being mindful of the things in life and being grateful
- Reading or reciting positive affirmations
- Attending religious or humanistic services
4. Social self-care
This is a category that might benefit the extroverts more than introverts. However, social self-care is another important aspect of human life. You can practice social self-care through activities such as:
- Meeting up with a friend you have not seen in a long time
- Visiting family members or grandparents
- Becoming a member of a support group
- Joining an art or a cooking class and making new friends
- Weeding out toxic people in your life
5. Sensory self-care
This is a relatively new definition but a very important one nonetheless. Sensory self-care was grouped with emotional self-care until a few years ago. Following are the ways you can practice sensory self-care:
- Cuddling with your pet
- Snuggling under the blanket with your partner
- Walking barefoot and feeling the grass and the ground
- Taking a walk in the park and smelling the fresh air
- Sitting out in the open and feeling the sun’s rays on your skin
- Indulging in your favorite food
- Playing your favorite music and dancing to it
Why is self-care important?
Self-care involves the participation of all the senses. This results in holistic wellbeing, which is vital for a healthy and purposeful living.
Through self-care, you can reap a multitude of benefits which includes:
- Improved physical health – Because you make it a point to take care of your health, you have a better immune system, and your body becomes more stable and fit. Self-care is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, so your body is stronger and more resilient.
- Improved confidence and self-esteem – When you practice mindful living, you become acutely aware of your strengths. You also acknowledge that you have weaknesses but accept that they are part of life and work to improve them. This makes you more confident, and you become more self-aware without being critical.
- Improved creativity and productivity – As you become more aware of your abilities and what you can or cannot do, your productivity levels also improve significantly. You understand your priorities and focus on them, which motivates you to be more creative.
Self-care is everything that you practice to live a wholesome and content life. Through these mindful practices, you become more aware of your life, your needs as well as the needs of others.
Since you become aware of your capabilities as well as your limitations, ultimately, you become a channel of goodness to others around you. When you have abounding love and compassion within you, you can spare a lot more for others. And there is nothing selfish about that.