"It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It's necessary." — Mandy Hale
Self-Care is like clothes; everyone needs them to stay warm and protect their body from the aliments. But everyone's preference for clothing is different. Self-care practice is crucial for wellbeing but will likely differ for everyone.
Something that doesn't differ, though, is the kinds of self-care your body needs. Let's take a brief look at each of them now.
1. Physical Self-Care
Physical self-care involves caring for your physical body. For example, getting enough sleep, brushing your teeth, wearing sunscreen, comfortable clothes, staying hydrated, or getting enough nutrition.
Physical self-care involves doing basic things to keep your body feeling well. But when stress or emotional situations are present, for instance, physical self-care can often get deprioritized. So have a quick check-in. Ask the question; Are you generally meeting your physical needs day-to-day? If not, try to take a small amount of time in the day to meet one or two of those physical needs.
2. Mental Self-Care
Mental self-care involves doing specific activities that support your mental health. For example, taking medication, seeing a therapist, getting outdoors to clear your head, reduce stress, or organizing a social outlet with friends are all activities that support your mental self-care.
Prioritizing mental self-care can keep you feeling balanced. But don't forget, mental self-care needs are different for everyone. An excellent way to begin tending to your mental self-care is take a moment in the day to pause and listen to your body and your needs. Ask the question "How am I feeling today?" You might notice when that mental health needs more attention if you're feeling more anxious or stressed, for example. A quick mental health check-in like this each day can have tremendous benefits to your wellbeing.
3. Emotional Self Care
Last but not least, emotional self-care involves making time to care for your emotional wellbeing. This practice begins by learning how to tune into your emotions— to understand them more. Journaling is a helpful way to both check-in with your emotional needs and find ways to support them.
Activities that support your emotional self-care could include setting better boundaries with others, learning to say 'NO,' asking for help, or forgiving yourself for past mistakes. Practicing emotional self-care can take some more discipline, but it's worth it when you include it as a core part of your self-care practice.
How to get started with self-care
As you've seen, real self-care involves learning to listen to your physical, mental, and emotional needs and then finding some helpful ways to support these. Start small, five minutes a day to check in with how you and your body feel. Plus, taking a short moment to do something kind for yourself is a great way to get started and can make all the difference.