What Is Self-Care? | Stephen Coleclough
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What is Self-Care?

What is Self-Care?

Self-care has become something of a buzz word in the past few years.

There are millions of Instagram and Twitter photos showing social media users drinking a glass of wine or eating a block of chocolate with the tag #selfcare.

However, while those activities can be quite enjoyable, they aren’t necessarily examples of actual self-care.

So, what is self care?

Self-care refers to any deliberate activities you perform to take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Practicing self-care improves the quality of virtually every aspect of your life, from your relationships with others to how you perform at work.

It is a way of honouring your mind, body and spirit that helps you reach your best self.

The concept of self-care can also be applied to other areas of your life.

It is common for people to use self-care when it comes to improvements in their professional life, finances, spiritual life, and so on.

Making positive improvements in these areas can also lead to better physical, emotional, and mental health.

What are types of self-care are available?

Let’s go through the main categories of self-care and some of the self-care activities that work well. 

Physical self-care

As you might have expected, physical self-care activities are about looking after the physical body.

This includes behaviours like:

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet

An important cornerstone of self-care is to eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, anti-oxidants and healthy fats.

Sleeping at least 7 hours each night

Obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep is essential for good health.

Avoiding unhealthy habits

Physical self-care also includes avoiding items which may be unhealthy for your physical body, like cigarettes, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and foods that contain unhealthy ingredients.

Enjoying relaxing physical acts

Physical self-care includes activities that is relaxing or rejuvenating for your body.

This includes massages, epsom salt baths, walks on the beach, yoga, and acupuncture.

Enjoying a healthy sex life

There are many benefits to the physical body obtained by enjoying a healthy sex life.

Emotional self-care

This form of self-care is directed at improving how emotionally balanced you are, how much empathy you have for yourself and for others, how well you navigate complex emotions and so on.

Some of the most useful emotional self-care activities include:

Keep a journal

Using a journal can help you recognise and process the emotions you experience each day.

Practicing self-compassion

Making time for reflecting on your own emotions and how well you are treating yourself is an important part of emotional self-care.\

Eliminating negative self talk

Emotional self-care includes using techniques to eliminate repetitive negative thoughts that affect your emotions.

Psychological self-care

Psychological self-care involves practising mindfulness, increasing motivation levels, learning new skills and tapping into your creativity.

Some of the best psychological self-care activities include:

Practising mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation can help you become more in control of your mind.

It also provides some excellent health benefits including stress and anxiety reduction.

Reading a book

Books are a wonderful source of inspiration and knowledge.

Reading is a form of psychological self-care that helps you learn more about yourself and the world around you.

Learning a new skill

Taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill is considered a valuable form of psychological self-care.

Professional self-care

This kind of self-care relates to activities you can perform at work to make both your work and private life more satisfying.

Some of the best professional self-care activities include:

  • Developing advanced time management skills
  • Maintaining professional boundaries in the workplace
  • Understand and fulfilling your role and responsibilities in the workplace
  • Undertaking professional training to improve your skills
  • Looking after your physical and mental health while in the workplace

Financial self-care

Financial pressures are a common source of stress and anxiety.

Financial self-care techniques are designed to help you maintain control over your finances and to prevent money problems from affecting your physical, mental, or emotional health.

Some financial self-care techniques include:

  • Developing a budget
  • Taking active steps to reduce credit card debt
  • Employing the services or a financial advisor and accountant
  • Paying taxes on time
  • Saving money
  • Paying bills on time

Spiritual self-care

If you are a spiritual person, you can also take steps to improve your spiritual side, including:

  • Making time to read spiritual texts each day
  • Meditating
  • Spending time discussing your beliefs with others
  • Volunteering to help a local religious charity
  • Reflecting on your spiritualism in a journal
  • Spending time at a religious retreat each year

Environmental self-care

Many people find that practicing self-care activities relating to their home and work environment can positively contribute to their emotional and psychological state.

Some simple environmental self-care activities include:

  • Limiting your time on electronic devices
  • Keeping your home clean and tidy
  • Adding more indoor plants to your home environment
  • Ensuring pollution levels are low in your home

Thanks for reading What is Self-Care?

Do you have any fantastic self-care techniques that you want to share with others?

Leave a comment below.


Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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