Identifying the 8 Types of Self-Care & and How to Practice Them
Have you ever felt like self-care was a waste of time? Maybe you were practicing the wrong type of self-care? Knowing the 8 types of self-care can help you address your needs with precision.
In this post, I will share why you need to prioritize self-care and share about the 8 types of self-care as well as examples of self-care activities you can do to replenish your life.
Why is Self-Care so Important?
When you take the time you need for self-care, you can be at your best. And when you are feeling your best, you naturally become happier, more generous and loving with those around you.
However, when you don’t get the self-care you need, you can experience a decrease in energy, an increase in stress, a bad mood, and sometimes you may even get resentful towards those you love.
If you continue to take too much on and are bad at taking time for self-care, it can lead to overwhelm or even burnout.
What are the 8 Types of Self-Care?
We have all heard of self-care, but did you know there are several different types of self-care? Here are the eight types of self-care:
- Physical Self-Care
- Emotional Self-Care
- Spiritual Self-Care
- Financial Self-Care
- Social Self-Care
- Mental Self-Care
- Personal Self-Care
- Environmental Self-Care
What are the Benefits of Knowing the 8 Types of Self-Care?
Knowing the different types of self-care is a better way to identify what it is exactly that you need. When developing a good self-care plan, it is good to know the types of self-care and what leaves you reenergized the most.
Have you have struggled with self-care before? Maybe you’ve heard the hype. Perhaps you even sought it out and tried a few self-care practices, but it didn’t help. Maybe you needed a different type of self-care?
For example, if your financial problems are the source of stress, a little retail therapy isn’t going to be the answer.
Sometimes it’s easy to identify exactly what you need, while other times you might want to ask yourself a few questions to explore what it is exactly that you need for self-care like:
What area in my life do I feel the lowest in?
When is the last time I have done this type of self-care?
If there was one type of self-care I would benefit the most from, which would it be?
Has there been a specific type of self-care I’ve been avoiding? Why?
It’s important to explore exactly why you might be in a funk, or low on energy, or stressed so that you can find what type of self-care you need to work on.
Take note that self-care activities might cross over to other types of self-care. For example, going for a nature walk can meet your physical, mental, and environmental self-care needs. If you choose to walk with a friend, it could even work for social self-care.
Physical self-care encompasses anything we do to keep our bodies healthy and functioning at its best. We all know that we need to take care of our bodies. After all, we only get one.
When we take care of our physical bodies, we can feel healthier, have more energy, and reduce stress and anxiety. There are many things we can do to keep our aging bodies in tip-top shape.
By taking some simple shifts in providing physical self-care on the daily, will not only help steer your health in the right direction, but it will raise your confidence too!
Are you tired of feeling tired? If you feel that you are stuck or that it’s too late to change, banish that thought at once. Start feeling more energetic and happier with your body.
The wonderful thing is by simply taking better care of your body, you will start to love and respect it more.
Examples of Physical Self-Care:
Eat nourishing foods
Be mindful about how much you eat
Shave Your Legs
Use a Body Scrub
Get Ready for the Day Every Day
Take a Shower or Bath
Get the sleep you need (no more, no less)
Love your body
Emotional Self Care is when you tend to your emotional self with strategies to help you process through your feelings.
Ignoring, judging, or pushing our emotions aside are not healthy long-term strategies. It can force your emotions to only reappear in future triggers as well as several other health issues.
Instead, try using a variety of self-care ideas to develop your emotional intelligence and address your emotions as they arise.
Examples of Emotional Self-Care:
Talk about Your Feelings
Identify Emotional Drainers
Do Something Fun
Give Yourself A Hug
See the Positive of Others
Keep a Journal
Develop Your Conflict Resolution Skills
Learn Your Triggers
Develop a Positive Mindset
Develop Supportive Friendships
Allow your Feelings
Accept Mistakes as Learning Opportunities
Listen to Music that expresses Your Mood
Seek Professional Help When Needed
Spiritual Self-Care is an act that fills you with inner peace. It is a way to connect with God and with others. Spiritual Self-Care nourishes your spirit and can also have a positive effect on your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Some acts of spiritual self-care can fall under social self-care as well, as you join together in prayer and worship, strengthen relationships through the power of forgiveness, or complete acts of charity.
Just like any of the examples in this post, what may fulfill someone’s spirit, may not be what you need. If you are looking for a stronger connection spiritually, look through these examples and try one that speaks out to you.
If you are feeling spiritually dry in your prayer life, maybe you are called to connect with God in a new way like through quiet contemplation.
Examples of Spiritual Self Care:
Read Inspirational Material
Go on a Nature Walk
Watch a Sunset
Sit in Stillness
Join a Prayer Group
Get a Spiritual Advisor
Go on a Spiritual Retreat
Listen to Spiritual Music
Attend a Religious Service
Financial self-care involves the steps we take to move forward with our money goals to ensure we are moving forward. If your finances are a source of stress for you, you might require some financial self-care.
This form of self-care may not bring you immediate peace. After all, budget meetings aren’t a lot of people’s favorite past time. But it will never improve by neglect.
There are acts of financial self-care that you can do to alleviate stress in this area of your life and help you gain more control.
Examples of Financial Self-Care:
Have an Emergency Fund
Create a budget
Read a Finance Book
Improve Your Money Mindset
Hold Budget Meetings with Your Spouse
Invest in your Future
Have a Vacation Fund
Meet with a Financial Advisor
Close relationships with others are important to our well-being. I think most of us have experienced our social lives tanking since the pandemic. My heart wrenches especially for the elderly who have been kept separated from their loved ones during this time.
Social self-care is important and can impact us negatively if not fulfilled. According to Better Help, “Not having social relationships, especially in the long term, seems to affect self-esteem, job or work performance, and overall communication skills.”
We are social beings and it is important to be connected with others. Here are a few examples of social self-care that can help you reconnect and fill up your social tank.
Examples of Social Self-Care:
Call a Friend
Join a Social Club
Take Your Spouse on a Date
Have a Game Night
Increase Communication Skills
Hire a Coach
Visit a Family Member
Play with the kids
Taking care of our mental health is extremely important. Chronic stress can lead to developing disorders like depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and several other unwanted ailments. There are many mental self-care practices we can implement to keep our minds clear and focused.
Examples of Mental Self-Care:
Quiet Your Mind with a Meditation
Go to Your Favorite Store
Do a Brain Dump
Have a Healthy Diet
Skip Tech Before Bed
Plan a Vacation, and Take It!
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Let Go of Perfection
Turn off Your Phone
We all want to show up as our best self. But sometimes we can get lost in the busyness of life and forget who we are. We might have had dreams, talents, and aspirations, that got lost in the mix of motherhood or our career. We might even feel lost.
Personal self-care is learning more about yourself and developing your skills so you can be at your best.
Examples of Personal Self-Care:
Study a New Skill
Read a Book
Discover Your Personality
Try Something New
Listening to a Podcast
Take a Course
Find Alone Time
Recognize Your Strengths
Talk to Yourself as a Friend
Practical self-care refers to the environments that you spend your time in that can have a big impact on how you feel. You don’t have control of what goes on in the world, but your home is something you have control over.
Your home can be a space that empowers you and gives you good energy to tackle the day ahead. Or it can deplete you and cloud your mind leaving you unable to focus and unaccomplished.
Take the time to gain control over your space. Not only will you and your family be positively affected by it, but you will also feel more productive and have a clearer mind.
Examples of Environmental Self-Care:
Make Your Bed Daily
Clean the Kitchen Before Bed
Organize Junk Drawers
Vacuum the House
Put things back where it belongs
Minimize Your Belongings
Safe & Secure
Get an Email Organizer
Create a Trello Board
Wrapping Up 8 Types of Self-Care
When you know the 8 types of self-care it will be easier to replenish any area of your life. Guessing our self-care needs can take time and effort. It can also lead to disappointment when we reserve our precious time to replenish, and it doesn’t happen.
Identify the areas you feel low in, experiment with the self-care ideas specific to what you need most.
Tip: Some practices can work for more than one self-care type. That can be helpful if you are feeling low in multiple areas.
If you are looking for some additional reading on self-care, be sure to check out these posts:
Which self-care type do you struggle with most?