Article written by Tanya Douglas
"Self-care. Self-care is important. Pamper yourself; self-care matters. Love yourself, self-care
first." - We've all heard the term infinite times. Subliminal messages we receive via life coaches, gyms, pharmaceutical companies, spa centers - you get the picture. To put it bluntly, the idea, the pseudo-philosophy behind modern self-care, sells. But, has it been somewhat misinterpreted, exploited, or misused? Indeed, 100% yes. Self-care is not some new age term to flaunt; it's not a "new thing", and it's not "trending now." Oh, it's been around ever since the first synapse passed the first-recorded impulse from one neuron to another. Is it a miracle? - far from it. It's always been a fundamental part of the human psyche. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Desperate or innate? Humans are a force of nature; it's time to pull the intrinsic wisdom ace. It all starts today with our six types of self-care.
1. Emotional self-care
Our response to emotional distress is of paramount importance to our well-being. The modern world is fast-paced; it’s relentless, tyrannical, and merciless. It leaves little room for processing emotion. On to the next one, on to the next one, until eternity. So, yes. We are, for lack of a better term, self-proclaimed queens and kings of masterful suppression; the archetypes of divine endurance can, after all, take it. Worthy of cosmical applause, and, yet, so very wrong. Finding healthy ways to process and cope with difficult emotions is critical. Healthy outlets lead to healthy living. By routinely engaging in self-care, you'll find yourself fast-tracking to adopting new, healthy mechanisms. Emotional self-care activities include:
● talking to a therapist, spiritual guide, or other forms of counselors
● journaling your emotions
● painting your distress
● dancing the intensity away
2. Practical self-care
We dread practicality. A mundane form of existence is seldom something we like to spend our precious, earthly hours on. And who could blame us? The practical side of things introduces nothing but the idea of laborious tasks; its dull downbeat drum is hardly serotonin-inducing. "Hey, Google - nearest escape route." Well, to err is human. Although noticeably less exhilarating or liberating than other forms of self-care, this practical angle gifts us with an awfully overlooked, and yet, essential, component - structure. By implementing "structure," other planes of our tangled existence unfold, giving way to further development of healthy, sustainable habits. Like meditation, discipline is one of the most important steps toward leading a happier life. Practical self-care activities include:
● good diet / preparing your meals
● decluttering your space
● financial stability
● professionally evolving
● spick and span closet
● crossing off a to-do list
3. Physical self-care
Out of six types of self-care, this one takes the throne. Many people associate self-care solely
with this tangible aspect of our beings. And, they're not entirely wrong. It is, for apparent
reasons, our primary self-care subject. It's simply - there. Maslow's hierarchy of needs (originally published in 1943) is something we're all familiar with, with physiological needs being the lowest level of the "need pyramid." And although it may be true, they are also the most important elements for our survival: food, sleep, shelter, water, warmth, and, most importantly - our intact health. There isn't a universal formula for physical self-care; our needs differ to great extent. For example, a professional wrestler should take time to recover from intensive training and matches by enjoying spa treatments, massages, meditation, and yoga. A young programmer should do the opposite: get physically active, preferably outdoors. Understand your lifestyle; make the necessary changes.
4. Mental self-care
The pink elephant in the self-care room. Care to join? Free hugs. We're yet to unlock Siddharta Gautama's secret to enlightenment. Maybe we never will. And that's okay. Practicing Buddhism can weigh heavy on our Western souls. Not inherently possessing an inner Buddha does not equal our psyche's demise. We're not searching for nirvana; we’re simply here to connect with the self. Recognizing our needs, setting healthy boundaries, and taking "off" time should become our reflex response to the Overwhelm rapids. It's about nurture. Time to give back to yourself. Addressing burning issues and finding healthy mechanisms will lead to personal growth and self-improvement. Moving house is one of the most common stress triggers. Many people get overwhelmed, completely disregarding their personal needs during the transition phase. In order to successfully deescalate any turmoil, we suggest practicing:
● writing poetry
● finding a fulfilling hobby
● self-help reads
5. Social self-care
A social butterfly or an all-wise hermit? We need balance. The nature of our social orbit
depends on the people we choose to let it. Interpersonal relationships are the backbone of our emotional apparatus; that’s why it is exceptionally important to 1. distinguish between toxic and healthy bonds; 2. nurture healthy relationships.
Energy vampires, be it family members, friends, or coworkers, drain our emotional
energy, often leaving us feeling inadequate for the role we're meant to play. Learning to say NO (and "goodbye" if need be) to the ones who do not appreciate our qualities and
dedication will inevitably lead to healthier self-esteem and higher emotional energy levels.
2. Introverts often struggle with staying in touch with the ones who matter. Remember:
social interaction is a necessity and it will, irrefutably, do you good. Grab dinner with your
friends, and say yes to that date. Do not fear dialing numbers. Hearing the voice of a
person you love will soothe your entire being. Pinky promise.
6. Spiritual self-care
Save the best for last, they said. The spiritual aspect of self-care is multifaceted; a god with
many faces. At its core, it surpasses beliefs, religions, and reason. Some find it in a church;
others find it while climbing Mount Everest. It's a nebula, a baby sparrow, an inconspicuous creek, and the scent of thyme. The quiet. A single snowflake. We are a sheer force of nature, for we can find beauty, solace, and meaning in every single atom we may witness. Connecting with your inner spirit is key to healing and self-care. Find your "god."
We hope you enjoyed our article. Final lesson: Be kind to yourself; start practicing essential
types of self-care today. And, remember: it's never too late to start loving who you are.