Despite what Instagram might make us think, self-care isn’t just about running a lovely bubble bath or doing a face mask.
While those things definitely have a place, there are lots of different types of self-care – you might need a combination of some to feel your best, and different types might resonate more with you than others.
International Self-Care Day is the perfect opportunity to take stock of all the different methods you can adopt to bring some zen into your life.
While they’re not the only types of self-care and some definitely overlap, these are some of the core pillars to keep in mind…
This is all about looking after your physical self. It’s not the sexiest type of self-care, but is still hugely important. It could include exercising regularly, taking breaks if you’re stuck at a screen all day, drinking plenty of water or eating your five a day.
Next time you can’t really be bothered to go to the gym, why not reframe it in your mind as a type of self-care – rather than a chore?
Of course, that’s not to say you can’t have the odd day where you eat indulgent food and sit on the sofa – it’s about finding a balance, and making sure your overall physical wellbeing is ticking over.
Emotional self-care looks a bit different to everyone, but is all about making sure that side of you is fulfilled. Maybe this could be seeing a counsellor or writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
It could also mean doing something artsy, playing music or reading a book – any activity helping you process and think about your own emotions.
This can be a tricky one to keep up with if you’re working in a demanding job. Intellectual self-care is about stimulating your mind – outside of the work environment.
Again, this is one to play around with to see what works for you. Maybe you enjoy doing a crossword, going to a museum or picking up a new skill – such as learning a language or finally mastering that sourdough bake.
Humans are social animals, and if this past year or so has taught us anything, it’s that we need interaction with others. Of course, some people are extroverts and others are introverts – you don’t have to go to big parties to satisfy this type of self-care.
Maybe it could be lunch with friends or something as simple as phoning your dad for a chat.
Meditating, yoga, writing in a gratitude journal, communing with nature – anything that feeds your soul will suit this type of self-care.