AD | Self care is a hugely broad topic which has gained traction and attention in it’s millions over the last few years. I’d never heard of the phrase ‘self care’ once before I started blogging. I knew I had to take care of myself but I didn’t quite realise the importance of REALLY taking care of yourself, if you get what I mean? I was just worried about going out with friends, getting drunk and having fun with no real concern for what my mind, body and soul really needed. Self care comes in all shapes and sizes and massively varies depending on our own personal needs and abilities.

Physical Self Care

Taking care of our bodies is incredibly important – obviously – but it’s not always about sweating it out in the gym. It’s the little things which matter just as much. Asking ourselves, “what does my body feel like it needs right now?” is a good place to start with optimizing your physical self care. This post from Mobility Plus about 10 surprising health benefits of a cold water shower identifies things we might not even be aware we need nor how to achieve from such a simple task, such as taking a shower.

  • Consider introducing a meat-free day to your week
  • Take part in more physical activity that you actually enjoy – not just what you feel like you have to do
  • If you need a nap, take a nap. No regrets.
  • Stay hydrated and if you don’t like plain water – find something that works (like flavored water!)
  • Don’t neglect the basis: Take a shower, brush your teeth, eat breakfast

Emotional Self Care

And checking in with our emotions really is just as important as checking in with our bodies. Emotions can manifest themselves in the body so these two really do go hand in hand and you have to take care of both equally. This can be a tough cookie and we all know that nothing good comes from bottling up your emotions. Check in with yourself regularly; multiple times a day if you can! If you’ve noticed some damaging thought patterns, be aware of them and if something is constantly making you feel a negative emotion, try and work out how to work through that.

  • Find a creative outlet that works for you which allows you to express your emotions in a safe and healthy manner
  • Try journaling or keeping a diary and writing down how you feel every morning / night
  • Try meditating when everything gets too much. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just taking yourself to a quiet room and focusing on your breathing for 10 minutes can work wonders
  • Listen to music and dance it out. Music is hugely emotional and certain songs and lyrics can definitely help us with our emotions
  • Cry if you need to cry

Intellectual Self Care

Keeping our brains stimulated is also a really effective form of self care. Our brains need nourishment, in the form of food and vitamins and also knowledge and entertainment. We don’t have to start studying math or physics in order to provide ourselves with intellectual self care and this one also varies quite widely on our individual intellectual levels and interests. I think we’ve all been there when we’ve let our intellectual mind get a bit stagnant and it really is an awful feeling!

  • Try learning a new language. Duolingo is a great, accessible and free app which allows you to do that
  • Take a free, online course in something that you’re interested in (try Coursera for some fab courses!)
  • See what your local library has going on and attend some talks in things you’re interested in
  • Try reading more and stepping outside your comfort zone
  • Watch more documentaries on things you find interesting and also on things you know nothing about

Spiritual Self Care

And finally, spiritual self care. You don’t have to be deeply spiritual nor religious to relate to this one although if you are, that’s great too and you probably have your own personal spiritual practices in the form of prayer, church or crystals. But for everyone one, spiritual self care simply means something that provides you with inner peace and makes your soul happy (and again, if you don’t believe in a soul, that’s fine!) We all want to find meaning within our lives and spiritual self care is the thing you want to practice for that.

  • Follow your passions – I know this is easier said than done but one small step every day
  • Look to your spiritual beliefs for guidance when you’re feeling stuck or low
  • Volunteer for a charity / donate money to charity / do a selfless kind act
  • Meditate and practice expressing gratitude every day
  • Consider hiring a Life Coach to aid you on your spiritual self care journey – they’ll be able to cover many more areas too!
  • Learn something new, like Ayurveda

Which areas of self care do you need to focus on more? What do you feel like you could improve on?

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93 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading about the 4 different areas of self care, I hadn’t really split them up before so it’s handy to know. I always like to have a shower and get myself all ready when I’m feeling a bit meh, and also naps are great, I totally agree that if we need a nap we should do what our mind and body are asking for. I actually really enjoy watching a documentary that I don’t know much about, I like the fact that you learn something new and I really enjoy talking about it afterwards to others!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  2. Self care is so difficult when you are a parent, and also daughter to elders parents, grandmother to grandchildren, you get pushed and pulled from all angles, but you must try x

  3. I think I need to focus on pyshical, spiritual and intellectual self care because, to be honest, I rarely practice self care in these areas. I’m hoping to sign up – no scratch that – I’m going to sign up for a baking / cake decorating class for next semester. 🙂 It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. Not only will it be great for intellectual self care, it will also, hopefully, help with my exposure therapy. Thanks for inspiration Jenny. x

  4. I have recently started prioritising self-care myself but acknowledging my own feelings instead of bottling them up. Intellectually speaking I have tried to broaden my horizon, I have started watching documentaries about topics and people that interest me and I have found that reading is a great way for me to de-stress.

    Great post, really insightful and worth the read.

  5. I’m quite bad for bottling my emotions up, be it sadness, anger, it doesn’t matter because I hate showing any kind of emotion. I get that from my mum. Growing up I was never shown affection or love, I don’t ever remember my mum telling me she loved me. It has made me come across quite cold. Also a typical Aquarian trait too. Sometimes I listen to my ‘cry’ playlist lol I believe crying is very cathartic and I have a playlist of songs that make me cry. It might sound silly but the majority of my playlists are organised by mood. It works if I am sad, frustrated or angry because all three make me want to cry. I have gotten a lot better at showing my emotions but I still hold back a lot. It just is incredibly hard for me. 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post

  6. I just read this at such the perfect moment, having had a bit of a physical self-care session this morning trying to stop my skin feeling so dry and urgh. I love this: I’ve recently been trying to make myself more motivated in the evenings and it’s amazing what accomplishing just a couple of things – even if it is reading a little more – each day has done for my mind set overall – not to mention I’m actually starting to get organised again. I think it’s easy to focus on one aspect (such as physical) and forget the rest – I love the combination in this post!

  7. Loved reading this! I feel so connected with this post and self care has been something I’ve been exploring for years. Thank you for sharing this!

    xoxox
    Amanda – Activated Living

  8. I definitely slacking on intellectual care I use to read books a lot towards the end of last year so I need to get back into reading as it helped me start my blog again. Great post thanks for this

  9. I’ve recently taken up reading at least 1 book each month in a bid for intellectual self-care. It’s honestly done wonders for not only my head but also for my writing skills.
    I also find watching documentaries etc on what you are interested in also helps.

    I’ve gotten much better at self care than I was before the beginning of this year, in fact I didn’t even think it was necessary.

    Wonderful post as always <3

  10. This is such a great post! It’s honestly so easy to ignore some of these areas, if not all of them; and one should not be more important then the others. I honestly have a tendency to focus the most on physical self-care, but sometimes even that falls to the wayside when I get super involved in something else. It’s easy to make the excuse that I’m being more productive by staying up later, blowing off a workout, and not taking breaks from something I’m working on to focus on any form of self-care… but I often find that I quickly become stressed and can’t be productive anyway when that starts to happen.

    Katherine Isabella – The Kat Life | https://katherineisabella.blogspot.com/

  11. Perfectly written, all hands down to this list! But I guess what I really need to focus on this is the emotional self care, thanks for some suggestions on what will help babe, it means a lot! Though I feel like to cry when I need to cry helps a lot too! Have a wonderful day ahead!

    Xoxo,
    Jhem | http://jhemsays.com

  12. All such important areas! I’ve been telling myself I was going to learn another language for years now but just never do. I know it would make me feel so good if I did though!

    I’m also ALL over the place with spirituality, so that has always been a tough area for me.

  13. I’ve definitely gotten much better at self-care in recent months but I think an area I still need to work on is taking a break or having days off when I need them. I need to work on the guilt I feel when I’m not doing something productive! I used to think that having a nap was unproductive and wasting time I could be doing things but I’ve realised now that if I’m exhausted then I have an evening of either procrastinating or churning out rubbish content but if I have an hour or two nap then I’m super productive all evening afterwards!
    Alice Xx

    1. I definitely relate to the feeling guilty thing. That’s something I’m really working on too! I’ve started to take Saturdays as my day off to do NO work recently and it’s so hard but I feel like I need it for my own sanity 😂

  14. I love all of these areas!! You really are my major inspiration for posts recently especially with my mental health ones! Haha! I do struggle with the physical and emotional parts of self-care (I do try!) but the spiritual one I can actually do! I do my best to help out others which makes me feel happy.

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

  15. Really like this subject, I think is necessary to realize that self care is more than just a relaxing bath or smell incense jaja (is not bad at all, but is more deep thant that) Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    xo

  16. I loved this post so much, especially the way you had the different areas of self care – I feel like sometimes it’s hard to balance them all but they make such a difference. I definitely need to work more on the physical self care – I translate this as eating things which nourish my body etc, I mean don’t get me wrong I love a mcdonalds as much as the next person but I’m trying to start the gym and eat healthier which I think will be a useful act of physical self care and help me feel better about myself in general. Thanks for sharing Jenny! x

    1. It’s definitely hard to find a balance. And I agree although I do believe as well it’s eating something if you fancy it and not depriving yourself either. Like if you fancy a McDonald’s I’d say have one! 😌

  17. This is so true! Sometimes people (including me) tend to focus on one area and neglect the others. One that I think a lot of people fail at is in the intellectual area, often people will be so busy with work/school/ life that they will not do anything to stimulate their brain. I can feel at times like my brain is stagnant with no new things or anything that is mentally/intellectually (not mental health) challenging and so I try to take care in that area.
    This is very useful and, thank you for sharing
    Loren | plaidandsugar.blogspot.com

  18. Self care is SO important. I loved that you touched on intellectual self care because I feel that’s something that often times gets looked over compared to other kinds of self care. Great read!

  19. These are all so true Jenny! I’m really working on my spiritual self care by getting a new and more challenging job and also building my relationship with be Lord. This is the area of self care I haven’t paid much attention to but now I see the importance of it. I loved how in this post you gave different resources people could use to help them find a place to start!
    Alex x
    http://allthingsalexx.wordpress.com

  20. Such an important topic. the selfceare is everything, from the skin to our mind. We need to learn to take breaks to ourselves only. We need just some times, every day, to get used to it. Like meditate for 5 min. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    xx Dasynka
    http://dasynka.com

  21. I struggle the most with physical self care. I eat healthy but I don’t exercise often and my body tends to hold most of my stress.