In life, everything begins with a plan, self-care included. While most people want to be there to help loved ones, it’s also important to take care of yourself.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “preparation is key”? This saying is definitely true when it comes to trying to add self-care into our lives.
When creating a self-care plan that works best for you, it is important to consider all the different aspects of self-care: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social & sensory.
1.Physical Self Care
A physical self-care plan should consist of things that promote healthy living on a daily basis. For starters, you want to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. When you get a good night’s sleep, you are better able to conquer the day by being more productive and handling stress better. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep.
You also want to aim to eat a healthy diet and get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Healthy eating and exercise are vital to reducing your risk of diseases and adding years to your life.
Making it a point to take care of your physical health will only help to add more quality days to your life.
The key to self-care is, it should be something that you enjoy. Once it starts to feel like an obligation, then it may start being stressful, as opposed to reducing them.
- Eating more veggies and fruits
- Drinking more water
- Going for a walk during your lunch hour
- Going for a run
- Going for a bike ride
2. Mental/Emotional Self Care
While your physical health is certainly important and a vital part of your self-care plan, you shouldn’t forget about your mental health.
Mental or emotional self-care is about being in tune with your emotions. It’s okay to cry, to laugh, to feel angry – it’s okay to feel exactly the way you are feeling. Emotional self-care helps you learn to have more compassion for yourself and your emotions.
- Journaling – writing down our feelings can help us better understand them
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation – learning to be more present or in the moment
- Setting more boundaries – it’s okay to say no
- Being creative – express your emotions through painting, writing, cooking, etc.
- Starting a gratitude journal – focusing on what you’re grateful for can sometimes help put things into better perspective
- Working on changing your negative self-talk – practice replacing the negative with positive self-talk
3. Spiritual Self-Care
Spiritual Care gives you a greater understanding of life beyond yourself. It nourishes your soul and helps you find inner peace.
This doesn’t necessarily mean anything religious, although it can be for some.
This connection to something bigger than yourself can help you find purpose and meaning in life. It can give you the courage to push through when times get difficult and inspire hope time and time again.
- Practicing meditation
- Spending time in nature
- Writing in a gratitude journal
Donating to a charity or cause you believe in
This type of self-care includes doing something that you enjoy doing that nourishes and challenges your mind. Something that expands your knowledge.
Intellectual self-care can involve figuring out what your current talents are and strengthening them. It may also include learning a new skill or help you find a career path, something you are passionate about.
- Reading a book
- Completing a puzzle
- Learning a new language
- Taking a course on something that interests you
- Watching a documentary on a topic you’re interested in
5. Social Self-Care
As human beings, we are social by nature We like to feel connected with others. This type of self-care may look different for introverts and extroverts – because our levels of comfort in social situations differ. But a connection is essential to us all. Having a support system of individuals, we can trust, and nourishing these relationships can definitely be a form of self-care.
- Spending time with loved ones
- Going to lunch with a friend J
- Joining a yoga class, or any class that interests you and that you can meet new people
- Reconnecting with an old friend
6. Sensory Self-Care
Sensory self-care helps you nourish your senses – sight, smell, touch, and sound. It is an effective way of bringing your mind to the present moment and helping you lower your stress levels. Living in the present helps you better cope with any past and future worry you may be feeling or any anxious thoughts. These simple, yet powerful self-care activities can be effective ways of becoming more mindful and soothing an anxious, overwhelmed mind.
- Burning your favourite scented candle
- Taking a warm bath with your favourite scented bath bomb
- Spending time in nature
- Listening to soothing music
- Walking barefoot on the grass
Don’t fight with your emotions, instead listen to them to make peace. Forgive others not because they deserve it, but YOU deserve your peace of mind.