The Elements of Self Care - Why It's Not Just About Relaxation
Did you know there are elements of self care, that it is not just centered around relaxation in the form of bubble baths or spa days? If you didn’t, what comes to mind when you think of those two little words, self care? At a basic level, self care is about taking actions to improve or preserve your health, happiness and well being. Sure, relaxation is a part of that, but it is just a part of the bigger picture when it comes to taking care of yourself. The elements of self care involve taking care of you as a whole person and they are all very important. It is why I want to walk you through the elements of self care.
If you’ve been following along with me, we’ve been talking a lot about self care lately, including why it is so important. If you haven’t, I encourage you to check out the benefits of self care here: Benefits of Self Care – Serendipity Bath & Body (serendipitybb.com).
The Elements of Self Care
Picture in your mind a pie. On average, a pie gets cut up into 8 slices. Those 8 slices apart from each other do not equate to anything, but together they make up a whole pie. That is how I like to think of the elements of self care; each by themself are great, but incorporating them together helps to serve you as a whole person.
1) Physical Self Care
Taking care of your physical body tops the list of the elements of self care. I think we can all agree that when we don’t feel good physically or we feel out of whack, it’s like the whole ship is going down. If you don’t feel good in your physical body, it will be hard to see the benefits from the practice of the other elements of self care.
Physical self care looks like:
- A well balanced diet
- Staying hydrated with water
- Getting good, quality sleep
- Sunlight - Vitamin D exposure
- Getting out in
2) Mental Self Care
Taking care of your mental health is also super important. It involves what I like to think of as keeping your brain young by working on your cognitive thinking; like exercises for the mind
Mental self care looks like:
- Learning a new skill, like a new language or maybe knitting
- Goal setting
- Reading self development books. Here is one I love: Daring Greatly - Brene Brown (brenebrown.com)
- Crossword puzzles or word searches
- A social media detox
3) Emotional Self Care
You may think taking care of your mental health would naturally involve emotional self care and to a point. While the two are similar, practicing emotional self care is geared towards your feelings and emotions.
Emotional self care looks like:
- Setting boundaries with others
- Seeking support from others
- Therapy / Counseling
- Positive Affirmations. A good resource are affirmation card decks, here is one I love: Talking To The Trees-Inspirational Card Deck (abigailgazda.com)
4) Environmental Self Care
Your environment should motivate you and not distract you. It should allow you to recharge and focus. This looks different for everyone because not everyone thrives in the same environments. Some people like to be around others working in a coffee shop or at a co-working space while others like to be alone in a quiet, home office.
Environmental self care looks like:
- Making your bed every day
- Decluttering spaces and organizing
- Changing up your scenery
- Listening to
5) Financial Self Care
Money can be a pain point for many, causing anxiety and stress. Having a healthy relationship with money can help eliminate stress and worry. It may seem odd to incorporate financial self care into the elements of self care, but when you are trying to restore to a more purposeful state of well being, being more at ease with money aligns to helping you feel at your best.
Financial self care looks like:
- Meeting with a financial counselor
- Setting up a budget and savings plan
- Setting financial goals
- Reading books on having a good relationship with money
6) Social Self Care
While self care is sometimes about getting away to be by yourself, it should not always be just about that. It should also be about engaging socially. As human beings, we are social creatures and crave connection.
Social self care looks like:
- Staying connected to those important to you.
- Scheduling friend dates.
- Limiting time with negative people.
- Removing toxic individuals from your life.
- Writing letters or sending a text to someone telling them you care.
7) Recreational Self Care
As I said earlier, self care is not just about relaxation, it’s also about having FUN. Find your inner child and do what brings you joy, what makes you laugh and what lights you up.
Recreational self care looks like:
- Reading a book or watching a movie.
- Getting creative by painting, sewing, and all things crafty.
- Playing a board game.
- Travel & adventure. Find those hidden gems close to home.
8) Spiritual Self Care
Last, but certainly not least is the element of spiritual self care. Tending to this is about you finding your spirituality. It is about helping you tap into your soul, looking to find what gives you peace and purpose.
Spiritual self care looks like:
- Meditation or breathwork
- Going to a place of worship
- Getting out in nature
Taking Care of the Whole Pie
When it’s all said and done, self care isn’t just about relaxation. It’s about taking care of you as a whole unit, like a pie. When you remove a slice and don’t nurture one of the other elements of self care, you may overcompensate in another area. Yes, you absolutely should rest and recharge, but I would argue you also need to tend to the other elements as I’ve listed above. In a way, they are all interwoven. Self care is truly taking actions to improve or preserve your health, happiness and well being. How can you make sure you are nurturing each of the elements of self care? Where are you going to start? Let me know! I would love to be a part of your self care journey.