The 3 Types of Self-Care and How to Practice Them
September is Self-Care Awareness Month, and we’re celebrating big here at Rael by diving deep into all things self-care because it’s about so much more than just manicures and bubble baths (although those things can be part of it). First, we’re covering the three types of self-care: mental, emotional, and physical. Keep reading to learn why each of these types of self-care is important, and ideas on how to practice each.
The way we think makes a significant impact on the way we feel. Mental self-care is about making sure we’re doing things that help reduce stress, cultivate joy, and support a positive, healthy mindset. Here are some mental self-care ideas to get you started:
Practice stillness: Being still and quiet through a mindfulness practice such as meditation or breathwork helps reduce the mental chatter in our minds and allows us to focus on the things that truly matter.
Step up your gratitude: Counting our blessings keeps our mind focused on the positive and what’s already amazing in our lives instead of fixating on what’s not going right or what we don’t yet have.
Take up a new hobby: Mental self-care is also about feeling mentally stimulated. Starting a new hobby can help do that, learn how to play an instrument, practice a new language, or read a book. Find an activity that gets your mind buzzing with excitement.
Have self-compassion: A healthy mindset includes practicing self-compassion. Whether you’ve made a mistake or feel like you have too much to do, cut yourself some slack. Remember that you’re doing a great job.
Work with an expert: Just like you would visit your doctor for a physical ailment, if you’re struggling with your mental health, seek professional support from a therapist or psychologist. It’s the ultimate form of mental self-care.
Our emotions are a big part of our overall well being. Part of your self-care practice should include rituals that ensure you honor and process your feelings and meet your emotional needs. Don’t know how to get started with emotional self-care? Here are some ideas:
Set boundaries: Whether at work or in your relationships, setting boundaries and saying no when something doesn’t feel aligned is essential. That may include ending unhealthy relationships, not agreeing to do favors, or even setting boundaries around the content you consume. The more you say no, the more you say yes to yourself.
Honor your emotions: You need to feel your feelings to heal them. When you try to suppress or ignore them, they do more harm than good. Give yourself permission to feel them and process them, and do so without judgment or guilt.
Do some journaling: Journaling is a great way to process what you’re feeling. Use your journal to reflect on what emotions are coming up and assess why they’re coming up. Get clear on what triggered it. Emotional triggers reveal that something needs to be healed.
Listen to your intuition: So often, we get caught up doing the things that we think we “should” do based on what other people think. That can leave you feeling stressed and unfulfilled. Practice emotional self-care by tuning into what your intuition is guiding you to do and then follow through.
Physical self-care is all about doing things that help keep our bodies in tip-top shape and feeling good, which allows us to do the things we want in our lives. Here are the main areas to focus on for physical self-care:
Move your body: Our bodies are meant to be in motion. Having some ritual that encourages movement is essential, whether that means doing high-intensity workouts a few times a week or going for power walks around the neighborhood.
Visit your doctor: Even if you feel perfectly healthy, getting regular doctor check ups is vital for your health. If it’s been more than a year since your last physical, it’s time to book an appointment with your primary doctor.
Eat healthily + drink water: Food is fuel. It’s what keeps you going. Ensure that you’re nourishing your body with nutritious, wholesome foods and chugging H20 like there’s no tomorrow.
Get plenty of rest: All work and no rest is a recipe for burnout. Getting quality sleep every night is part of maintaining a healthy body. Treat your sleep like a sacred self-care ritual. If you have trouble falling asleep, our friends over at Plant People have great nighttime CBD drops that relax your mind and body and support your immune system.
Create a self-care plan
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of self-care, it’s time to create a custom self-care plan. Self-care is subjective, and what feels good for one person may not for someone else. Experiment with different types of rituals and see what works best for you. Just make sure that you’re mixing in practices that nourish each of the three areas of self-care: mental, emotional, and physical. Listen to your mind, body, and emotions and tweak and adjust your self-care plan as needed.
Pro tip: Start by implementing one self-care practice at a time. Self-care should never feel like yet another thing that you have to check off your to-do list—starting simple with just one practice and building from there is a form of self-care.