International Self-Care Day passed recently and since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about self care and what that really means. My previous conceptions centered around cleansing beauty regimens, stretching, eating well, and the “treat yourself” culture that has emerged over the last couple of years.
What I’ve come to learn is that self care is SO much more than that and it’s so important that we carve out time in our lives for it because the benefits are both prolific and long-lasting.
I recently read an article explaining how there are 5 primary types of self care: sensory, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social. Sensory self care focuses on calming the mind through the senses. It could be as simple as curling up under a soft blanket with a warm, aromatized cup of tea.
Emotional self care is about accepting emotions and experiencing them as what they are rather than ignoring or suppressing them. And spiritual self care doesn’t solely apply to religious individuals; this type of self care is a way of getting in touch with your values and what is important in your life.
Physical self care is perhaps the most talked about. Rarely does a day pass where I don’t see an article emphasizing the importance of exercise or scroll past the latest study boasting about newfound benefits of physical activity. Needless to say, physical self care is important and the advantages extend far beyond physicality.
Last and certainly not least is the idea of social self care. I had never before considered this to be an explicit component of self care, but it now makes perfect sense that it is. Connecting with people plays a huge part in happiness. As an extrovert myself, I am always searching for new ways to fit in time with friends and family. When I haven’t had sufficient amounts of time with other people, I feel off balance. I now know to incorporate social self care into consideration when reflecting on self care in its entirety.
I’m grateful to now see the bigger picture and hope to dispel the misconception that self care can simply be addressed with a facial and a rom-com . . . Although in my book, that’s certainly not a bad way to take care of some aspects of self care : )