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? Nor did I realise how many areas of self care there were to think about.
Of course there are many more areas of self care that we can work on but for the sake of this post not being four million words long, let’s stick to 4 of the most common and most important; physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. We’re going to be splitting these up, looking at what they are and specific things we can do to tend to those areas of our self care! Ready to jump in?
Let’s start with physical:
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 basics: Take a shower, brush your teeth, eat breakfast
What about 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.
- How To Cope When Things Feel Heavy
- 30 Journal Prompts For Mental Health
- How Creativity Can Improve Mental Health
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
Taking care of our intellect
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! I had an incredible experience with life coaching
- Learn something new, like Ayurveda
[…] and my daily routines. I’ve learned over the last few years of really delving into self care, the different types of self care and what self care means to me that it comes in all different shapes, sizes and forms. A lot of […]
[…] cry on your own or, in the case of today’s post, when you want a truly relaxing, spa-like, self care day. The bathroom is the place to be, I […]
[…] And it certainly isn’t selfish either. Which seems to be this weird misconception that taking CARE of yourself is a selfish thing to do? Odd. Self care comes in so many different forms, the main ones probably being physical and mental self care. […]
Some great tips here Jenny, thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing! I am a Creative Life Coach with a poetry blog and here is my poem today in case you have time to look?
Sunny greetings from Switzerland!
[…] 4 Areas of Self Care You Should Be Focusing On This Year — Jenny in Neverland […]
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!
Thank you! I’m all for napping when we need it instead of just pushing through and not benefiting at all!
Water is my self care strategy for now. I’m not drinking enough and I can really feel it.
Oh me too, water is a huge thing for me as well.
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
I can’t imagine how difficult that is x
It can get overwhleming at times ,
This is such an important topic. I think I could definitely do with better self care
Thank you x
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
A cake decorating class sounds so much fun! I wish there was something like that in my area. I hope it helps you x
Thanks Jenny. x
I always say about how important self care is but rarely practise it myself xx
Awh no, you should!
Emotional self care is something I’ve really struggled with over the last few weeks! I’ve actually got a similar post coming son, it’s so therapeutic to write about it!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
Hope you can manage to prioritise it soon, it can be so tough x
Self care is so so important isn’t it? It’s a main focus of mine this year x
It so is, it’s so easy to get bogged down with everything else that we neglect ourselves x
I think I struggle the most with physical self care! I’ve been eating a lot less meat over the last few months but I really want to get back to regular exercise too and try some new meals, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and end up bored! xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
It really is! I’ve been there and I’m kinda there at the moment too!
Your post is just so helpful. Thank goodness I found your blog. <3
Ana C, http://www.adreamersland.com
So glad you found it helpful 😌
Some really great tips! I need to have more me time xx
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.
I’m so glad you’re making it a priority! 😌
Self care is so important and it’s something I need to do more x
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
As long as you have those strategies like the playlists when you do feel those emotions I think that’s a great thing 😌
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!
Thank you! I’m so glad to hear the small changes are improving your every day 😌
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!
Amanda – Activated Living
Thank you! I’m so glad 😌 it’s an ongoing journey!
I always feel I do a pretty good job at self-care, but then I see other areas suggested… haha THanks for the tips!
Haha you’re welcome! 😌
Another great post! I definitely need to work on my physical and emotional self care!
Love Lozza xo
Thank you 😌
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
I definitely need to get back into reading more. I can only manage like 1 book a month now!
I did not necessarily know about self care until I started reading books and blogs. I am glad I found out about it so I can help myself!
I didn’t either before I started blogging! I’m glad my eyes were opened to it 😌
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
Documentaries are great for the intellectual side of it! I haven’t watched a really good documentary in SO long!
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/
I definitely agree! Like yeah you might get more work done but if it’s to the detriment of your mental or physical self care it’s not really worth it!
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!
Jhem | http://jhemsays.com
Crying when you need to cry is wonderful. I’d definitely recommend a good cry!
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.
Learning a language is SO hard but I bet it’d be so worth it!
This is such an important topic and probably something we’re guilty of not doing enough.
I love how this covers more than just one type of self care because all are important!
Thank you 😌
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!
I totally agree with all you have said! The meditation, the staying hydrated (I put fruit teas in my water). I always feel worse whenever I slack on these tasks.
Me too! I’ve started drinking fruit flavoured water recently and I’m drinking so much more!
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 😂
Great suggestions! I’ve been practicing all of these for awhile now. It takes a lot of work and effort, but it’s so important to my overall well-being. 🙌
It sure does and it’s a constantly evolving journey, which is wonderful 😌
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
Awh Daisy 💖💖💖 I’m glad you’ve got the spiritual area down! Don’t forget to focus on yourself too, you deserve it just as much as the people you’re helping xxx
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.
I agree I love a bath but that’s not going to cure all my problems!
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
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! 😌
This is such a great post! Self care is so important and something we all should work more on. I totally agree that we should focus on all of these areas. x
Antonia || Sweet Passions
Thank you 😌
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
I feel like that too sometimes and it’s really difficult!
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!
Thank you and I agree 😌
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!
Awh thank you! I’m glad to hear you’re taking more time to focus on your spiritual self care!
I love this post! While I’m always up for a face mask & a Netflix binge I definitely think that some are making out that it’s the be all and end all of self-care. I’ve been heading to the gym recently and have been feeling much better in myself so I love that you’ve included so many categories!
Soph – https://sophhearts.com/ x
Yeah I totally agree. A face mask and Netflix binge is great but sometimes we really need more!
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 🙂
Thank you and I agree 😌
Geeky comment: but intellectual self care is so important in adulthood. It’s so easy to get caught up in day to day life and forget to look for new things that get you thinking. I love reading non-fiction to keep my brain working! x
Yep I agree! I love watching documentaries but could definitely do with reading more non fiction books!
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.
I’m the opposite – I love exercise (well yoga!) but I don’t eat healthy enough!
These are great suggestions. I struggle the most with physical self-care in terms of healthy eating and exercise. I’ve always been too lazy to take care of my body which is SO bad of me and that needs to change.
I struggle most with eating healthy too. I just love food too much and sadly it’s always junk food haha!
this is so bloody important.
It is not until you realise you havent looked after no.1 that you realise…
I totally agree. It can really hit you in the face.
So I knew that cold showers were good for hair care but did not know that it also helped with weight loss. Although suffering through regular cold showers for just 9lb of fat a year doesn’t quite seem worth it to me.
I definitely need to focus more on my physical self care. I used to do Meat Free Mondays which I’d love to get back into. I’m also about to start swimming again once a week, which again I used to do and really enjoyed. Great post!
I’d love to start going swimming. I’m not a very good swimmer but it’s nice to be in the water! I love a cold shower – especially in summer so it definitely wouldn’t be suffering for me!
I think I’ve failed in the area of physical self care. There’s nothing I neglect as much as I neglect my body. And I don’t do this intentionally… I just do it; I don’t give my body the love, care, and attention that it deserves; although this is something that I’m surely working on.
Another area I’m lagging behind is the area of spirituality. And like the first one, I’m also doing everything in my power to grow spiritually. With time, effort, and commitment, I should achieve these goals.
I loved reading this post. It’s very insightful!
I’m sorry to hear that but at least you’ve noticed it and you know it’s something you can work on slowly and steadily 😌 Baby steps!