It’s finally the weekend and for most of us that means the end of a grueling five-day work week. If your week has been anything like mine, a self-care day is very much needed.
I like to think that each day has a rhythm and a flow and it doesn’t necessarily have to be constantly on the “go”. Rest is important too – and I mean more than just the physical kind. Rest is vital to other facets of our lives that can be nurtured through self-care such as our physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-beings.
So, what exactly is self-care?
Well, it can mean different things to different people but essentially self-care is what people can do to make themselves more comfortable to relieve stress and relax. This can be done through a variety of means such as activities, daily habits, meditative practices, physical/mental exercises, etc. Self-care habits can be both conscious and unconscious. They are essential in allowing us to positively balance those five fundamental areas of human well-being.
Understanding each area and incorporating self-care practices to nourish them is a very important habit that everyone should regularly exercise.
Below are some tips for understanding each area and some examples of good self-care practices to for you to try out.
Our physical well-being encompasses aspects of our lives such as our health, fitness, eating habits, safety, and physical needs. Feeling good physically improves our overall health and can help increase our confidence and mood.
Try these physical self-care practices:
- Eat a whole, balanced meal.
- Try a new exercise.
- Pamper yourself.
- Catch up on sleep.
Understanding our emotional needs is just as important as understanding our physical ones (especially with the rise in mental health awareness over the last few years). When our emotional needs are being met we are more receptive towards sentiments like appreciation, kindness, and compassion.
Try these emotional self-care practices:
- Talk to someone you love.
- Appreciate the space you live in.
- Write a letter to your future self.
- Don’t be afraid to “say no”.
Each person has the right to his or her own beliefs. Cultivating our understanding of purpose and a sense of meaning helps us to sustain a healthy balance of body and mind throughout our lives and contributes to our sense of achievement.
Try these spiritual self-care practices:
- Find a healthy work/life balance.
- Embrace quality “quiet” time.
- Go for a walk.
- Try a new mindful practice, like speaking positive affirmations every morning.
Caring for our intellectual well-being increases creativity, productivity, and the ability to think critically. Stimulating our minds and expanding our knowledge base is a huge contributor to personal growth therefore it is important that we nurture our intellectual needs.
Try these intellectual self-care practices:
- Have a meaningful conversation with someone.
- Read something! I am a huge advocate for reading anything and everything.
- Listen to music.
- Learn a new skill.
Even though self-care can be a solitary practice we can all appreciate the pleasure of maintaining fulfilling relationships. These relationships help us create strong social connections and contribute to our sense of community and belonging.
Try these social self-care practices:
- Reach out to a friend.
- Make plans with someone.
- Make conversation with a stranger.
- Laugh out loud with someone you care about.
Like I said before, self-care habits can be both conscious and unconscious. Your body and mind will tell you what you need! Nourish your body and mind with positivity and don’t feel bad for taking a day to rest and recharge. Everyone needs it, everyone does it, and everyone can benefit from it.
What things would you include on a self-care day? Let me know in the comments section below!
(Featured image: Kathryn Ho, www.instagram.com/khitters)