The 6 Forms of Self-Care
by Lindsey Turnbull
If 2020 has been a struggle for you, I hope you know that you’re not alone! Between COVID-19, fighting for Black lives, an election year, and the loss and uncertainty about many things we previously took for granted (like hugs!), 2020 has been a whole decade of emotions in a year’s time.
With such a challenging year, I have to ask, how well have you been taking care of yourself this year?
Self-care is more than bubble baths and face masks (although those can play a part), it’s about caring for yourself at every single level- and it looks different for everyone.
Have you been practicing all six (yes, really) forms of self-care: physical, social, spiritual, practical, emotional, mental? Taking care of all aspects of yourself?
Emotional Self Care
Contrary to popular belief, emotional self care is NOT trying, expecting, or forcing yourself to be happy and cheerful all the time! Emotional self-care means you express, connect with, process, and reflect on a full range of emotions!
Practicing emotional self-care means that you get to feel a full, healthy, normal range of emotions. You get to experience them, in all of their glory! It isn’t always *easy* to feel some emotions. There are challenging, difficult, and heavy ones too- and feeling those emotions is completely normal, valid, and OK!
Journaling, talking to a therapist, and listening to your favorite music would all be considered emotional self-care.
Spiritual Self Care
Spiritual self care is any activity that makes your spirit happy and connects you to something bigger than yourself. For some people, this means religion. For others it means spending time in nature, meditation, or discovering where they fit into the world.
When I say self care is mind, body, and spirit, I mean it! Take care of your spirit too.
Social Self Care
Social self care is challenging in a pandemic, but that just means we have to get creative! This form of self care is about celebrating and deepening the relationships with people in your life.
Spending time with a parent, facetiming a friend, sending a text, writing a letter to a relative, are all things that would be considered social self care.
Mental Self Care
Our brains are amazing, we’ve got to make time to stimulate your mind and intellect. It’s so easy to go into autopilot, which means we’re not stretching or challenging our brains.
You can do so by reading a book, virtually visiting a museum, doing a puzzle, or playing a game that requires critical thinking (apps count!).
Your brain is a muscle, so flex it!
Practical Self Care
This is kind of a fancy way of saying “chores and prep” or “adulting.” Practical self care is anything that makes life a little easier for your future self, preventing future stress.
Organize your closet, clean your desk, make a schedule.
These tasks aren’t necessarily fun (well, I think they are), but they will prevent you from freaking out when you can find your lucky scrunchie as you’re about to take a test.
Physical Self Care
Yes! This is the bubble bath one! Physical self care is an activity that improves your physical health.
That could mean anything from a spa day, to positive self-talk to your body, to an intense workout, to dancing in your room to Beyonce. Movement is great for your body AND your mind.
And so is sleep. Take that nap, turn off your phone for an hour. I give you permission; it’s self care.
The more you practice self-care, the more natural it becomes to do it. And after the year we’ve all had, we could use some extra TLC.
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