Stock image of a young woman outside breathing fresh air on a wooden deck near a forest.

Why and How You Should Practice All Forms of Self-Care

Practicing self-care not only helps ourselves but also helps others. It helps us to recognize when our resources are running low and when to step back to replenish. We should not think of it as being selfish as we all have many stressors in our lives that we can’t always eliminate. Self-care needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly and yearly but we often overlook the daily and weekly.

Taking a few moments to learn the different types of self-care practices and activities can help you operate more effectively and efficiently in your personal and professional lives. Below are a few types of self-care and tips on how to incorporate each into your everyday life.

Physical Self-Care

Physical is one of the first self-care types most people think of. In order for our bodies to run efficiently we need to take care of them.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Am I fueling your body with an adequate diet?
  • Am I doing any activity that will help let off steam or help de-stress?

Do these things to help improve your physical self-care:

  • Take a 20 minute nap to feel refreshed.
  • Commit to make one heathier choice in your food.
  • Join a gym, go for a walk or even dance in the living room to your favorite song

Mental Self-Care

Mental self-care involves doing things that help you to keep your mind sharp and maintain a heathier inner dialogue.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I taking time for activities that mentally stimulate me?
  • Am I practicing self-compassion and acceptance?

Do these things to help improve your mental self-care:

  • Take a few minutes to do some type of puzzle, crossword, Sudoku, etc.
  • Forgive yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Sit on the porch and do nothing!
  • Reflect on previous wins and achievements.

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care helps us to deal with emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness. We need to make sure not to push down these feelings but accept them, and feel them so you can move on. Emotions are not necessarily “good” or “bad” but how we behave in response to them is fundamental.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have healthy ways to process my emotions?
  • Am I participating in activities that help me feel recharged?

Do these things to help your emotional self-care:

  • Keep a daily journal to honestly write down your feelings.
  • Sing along to those favorite songs you dance to!
  • Watch funny videos and laugh!
  • Take time to be with friends or family.
  • Smile at yourself in the mirror.

Social Self-Care

Social self-care involves our socialization with friends and family. It can be easy to neglect our relationships when life gets hectic. Choose to do things with people who really make you feel good. This can help us combat loneliness and isolation.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I getting enough face-to-face time with friends or family?
  • What am I doing to nurture my relationships with friends and family?

Do these things to help your social self-care:

  • Write an email or note to someone who lives far away and you miss.
  • Stop socializing with those who undermine or disempower you.
  • Make a date to have lunch or dinner with a great friend.
  • Consider joining a group of people who share same interests as you.

Financial Self-Care

Financial self-care is an often overlooked form of self-care. The ability for you to properly manage your own money will affect every aspect of your life. Most people do not view money positively and it causes stress. Finding ways to help establish healthy money habits will improve your relationship with your money.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I know where I am spending my money?
  • Am I taking care of my basic needs of housing, food, shelter, etc.?
  • Where can I make small changes?
  • What goals can I make?

Do these things to help your financial self-care:

  • Talk to a financial professional, trusted friend or family member about your worries.
  • Set financial goals and priories.
  • Review your current spending habits and see where you can make improvements.
  • Use a budget app or tracker, like our Money Management tool in Great Western ebanking.

Most importantly, self-care is different for everyone. What makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated, might be the total opposite for you. Your plan will need to be customized to your needs and should be reassessed often. When you have taken steps to care for your mind and body and over all wellbeing, you will be better equipped to live your best life!

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