The term “self-care” has been buzzing around for quite some time. For example, Jennifer Anniston uses journaling and meditation while Serena Williams plays video games. With so many people claiming different ways to achieve self-care, it can be challenging to know how it’s actually done and what it really is.
Self-care is essentially exactly how it sounds: taking care of yourself. But in truth, it’s so much more than that.
If you’re ready to grab the reins in your life and truly enhance your well-being, you need to discover the different elements of self-care and how you can be successful. Remember – self care is for everyone, so don’t skip on these tips and tricks.
What is Self Care?
Self-care isn’t just a nifty buzzword you want to plaster over your Instagram account. It’s something more than that. And while some may tout self-care as being “selfish,” it’s truly anything but.
Remember that there is 100% nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself – otherwise known as self-care – is a great way to improve your overall well-being. With proper self-care, you can change your entire life.
There are five significant elements of self-care: mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. These five categories sum up everything a person needs to concern themselves within life. Knowing how to properly fulfill these categories are critical to a successful and happy life.
Five Elements of Self-Care and How to Be Successful
There are five crucial categories to tend to when it comes to self-care, but knowing how to do it can be tricky. Below, you will find a rough breakdown of different ways you can be successful in every category of self-care.
Your mental health is more important than you think. Have you ever heard the term “Mind over matter?” It’s entirely true. Your brain is a powerhouse that can and will affect your entire well-being. Just look at studies that show the brain can heal you – just with thoughts.
There are three critical ways to engage in mental self-care.
- Keep your brain healthy and sharp. It’s imperative to keep your brain in tip-top shape, not just for now but for your future. Doing things like video games, puzzles, and reading will expand your mind and keep it “sharp,” ultimately reducing future problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Be mentally healthy. Struggling with things like depression and anxiety are not beneficial for your brain, but they can be challenging to recover from. If necessary, don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals to get the care you need.
- Encourage peace in your mind. Being a “negative Nancy” is no good. Encouraging your brain to be at peace will allow you to grow a sense of gratitude and happiness that will enhance your overall well-being.
Your physical health is just as important as your mental health. That’s because they go hand-in-hand. When you’re engaging in a self-care routine that involves the physical body, your mind will be able to think clearer, leading to reduced stress levels, negativity, and more.
There are many ways to engage in physical self-care, including:
- Get adequate sleep. You have heard time and time again that sleep is important. Why? Because it’s true. You should be getting at least eight hours of sleep per night to reap the benefits, including a strong heart and immune system and improved productivity.
- Everyday activity. Not everyone wants to sign up for a gym membership and lift weights, and that’s okay. While this is a great activity for your physical health, any kind of cardiac activity will be beneficial. Go for a walk and take deep breaths outside. Your body and mind will thank you.
- Healthy diet. Again, this is something you’ve heard since you were a child. But proper nutrition is the basis of a healthy life. Period. And don’t think that eating a healthy diet has to be boring. There is an abundance of healthy recipes that are anything but boring.
- Go to the doctor. Most people wait until something serious is going on before they visit their physician. This is not self-care. Just because there are no signs or symptoms doesn’t mean you might have something that needs fixing (big or small). You take your car in for regular oil changes – why not take yourself in for regular checkups, too?
Everyone struggles with feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, and more, at one point or another. Being emotionally stable is key for self-care. Here are a few ways you can improve your emotional health.
- Meditation and yoga
- Enjoying favorite activities, such as going to a baseball game or movie
- Joining a support group
- Going for a walk
- Take deep breaths
- Do something relaxing, like getting your nails done
Remember – if you’re struggling emotionally and can’t cope, seek out mental health professionals who can get you on the right track.
When some people read this, they might think, “No way, not for me”. You need to understand that spirituality and religion don’t always interlink. You can be spiritual without believing anything. However, spiritual health is just as important as any other category. It can help you feel grounded. Here’s how.
- Attend a religious service
- Read scripture
- Repeat mantras
- Go outside and sit in nature for 20 minutes
- Declutter your space and get organized
Last but not least, don’t forget the importance of your social circle. Social interactions are an absolute must for self-care. However, keep in mind that this may differ from person to person. Some people may require more socialization than others and vice versa.
Here are some great ways to increase your socialization:
- Call your friends. Give your friends a call rather than sending a text. If they live far away, consider setting up a special time of day to call each other and catch up.
- Hang out with buddies. There are endless options for hangouts. Do something you all enjoy. For example, host a game night and have your friends bring some snacks. Go out to the movies or go ice skating.
- Don’t forget your family, too. Social self-care includes spending more time with your loved ones, too. If you have been slacking in the family department, it might be time to set up a dinner or put together a grand reunion.
- Join a community. There are many local organizations, especially nonprofit organizations, that might pique your interest. Here, you can work on your gratitude while meeting new people and socializing with those who have similar desires.
- Join a team or club. If you have a particular hobby or activity you enjoy, such as basketball or art, try finding a local group or club to join. This will help you get out and meet new people with similar interests, encouraging friendships and socialization overall.
Self care is for everyone, and the benefits are insurmountable. If you are looking to improve your life in every sense of the word – whether it’s becoming healthier, getting rid of depression, or feeling more grounded – self-care is the key. Set up a routine with self-care reminders that you’re comfortable with and get to it. You won’t be disappointed!
Have you set up a self-care routine? What does your routine look like?