If I ask you right now, “do you take care of yourself?” Your answer would probably be yes. But If I ask “how exactly or in what ways are you taking care of yourself?” This is when things will get tricky and confusing about self-care.

Self-Care – What It Means & How It Works!

If I ask you right now, “do you take care of yourself?” Your answer would probably be yes. But If I ask “how exactly or in what ways are you taking care of yourself?” This is when things will get tricky and confusing about self-care.


When we talk about self-care, people often think it’s only about physical care. Like keeping your body fit and the skin glowing. While, yes that is a part of taking care of yourself, but it does not end there. I mean, that’s not even the start.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is a multidimensional and multifaceted process. It promotes consciously engaging in activities that improve healthy functioning and well-being.

In simpler words, it means taking care of your “whole self “that includes your mind, spirit, and your body, and living a balanced life. There are many forms of self-care. From taking a few minutes to walk to get fresh air or traveling for a change and to improve mental health. Everything that you do to make yourself feel better and function healthily is a part of self-care.

Now, you don’t have to do everything that someone else might be doing. Self-care is totally an individual practice. The important part here is realizing where exactly you need work. These five basic parts you should be focusing on.

types of self-care

Five types of Self-Care

Self-care is essential for building resilience towards several stressors. You can’t eliminate the stressors but you sure can prepare your mind and body to deal with them in the best way possible.

1.      Physical Self-Care

Most people seem to think that self-care is only about keeping fit. But it does not end there. Physical health is more about building a strong connection between your mind and body. It focuses on taking care of your body so that you can function effectively.

Physical care includes:

  • How you choose to fuel your body
  • Your sleep routines
  • The amount of physical activity you are doing
  • If you are attending your appointments and taking your medications
  • How you manage your overall health

2.      Mental Self-Care

Your brain is one of the most important organs in your body. Yet, its health is often ignored. There are still taboos in our society about mental health. With the daily stressors and an increase in several mental disorders, it is crucial to stay active with your mental health.

Mental self-care is all about keeping your mind happy and healthy. It includes indulging in activities that keep your mind sharp like puzzles and learning something new and interesting. You can also do activities that might fuel your brain like reading books, watching movies, meditation, exercise, and practicing acceptance and self-compassion.

Your mind is capable of doing things you can’t even imagine. Taking good mental-care will highly influence your well-being and psychological standing.

3.      Emotional Self-Care

I don’t think most people would even consider emotions a part of a self-care regimen. It includes taking care of your feeling and stabilize your personal energy.

Our state of mind can impact our health and well-being to a vast level. And did you know that even your muscles can develop emotional intelligence? That’s why is key to being in touch with your emotions.

Emotional self-care includes:

  • Acknowledging and accepting your feelings
  • Expressing your feelings regularly
  • Developing healthy coping skills
  • Effectively dealing with anger, anxiety, and/or sadness
  • Engaging in activities that makes you feel recharges and revived

4.      Social Self-Care

Humans are social animals. Having and maintaining healthy social circles hold more importance than you think. Social self-care is about building an optimal time in your schedule for your social life.

I know it’s hard to make time for your friends and it gets easily neglected. Especially when you have a million things to do. But, maintaining a healthy social life can help with several health-related issues like anxiety, depression, self-esteem, confidence, insomnia, and heart disease.

It is safe to say that social-care helps in producing a positive feeling that will boost your confidence, nurture your relationships, and improve your self-esteem.

5.      Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care is not only about your connection with your religion or spirituality. Nevertheless, it also includes anything that might help you find a deeper meaning of life, connection to the universe, and understanding of your surroundings.

Research has also shown that people with a healthy spiritual connection have a healthier lifestyle. As the food is the fuel for our body, spiritual care is for our soul.

Spiritual care includes the following:

  • If you are religious, then are you attending religious services
  • Finding a deeper sense of life
  • Thinking bigger than yourself
  • Self-reflection
  • Maintaining a connection with our higher self

Self-Care tips – The Golden Rules

Although self-care has a different meaning to different people. However, there are three golden rules to get you started.

  • Start with what you know best. After some time, you will find your own rhythm and routine. Once you become aware of your self-care needs, you will be able to focus and start with new areas of self-care.
  • Self-care is a conscious effort. You will have to work to achieve it and it will not happen on its own. You will have to actively add self-care activities to your schedule and daily life. Let others know whatever you are planning to do to increase commitment. Start with your self-care plan and stick to it. Plus, look for more opportunities to self-care.
  • Before starting anything ask yourself if it really qualifies as self-care. Being aware of what is self-care for you and what might not put you in a clear headspace. Therefore, be aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it, how it’s making you feel, and what are the outcomes.

Things to keep in mind

Don’t consider self-care as a selfish act. Because it isn’t. Self-care is all about a balanced life and learning about what you need to do to take care of yourself. Subsequently, by taking care of yourself you will be able to take care of your loved ones and be there for them in your best form.

Use the following tips to improve your self-care plan.

  1. Promote a healthy and nutritious diet. Don’t starve yourself!
  2. Build a sleeping routine. Getting enough sleep is essential for your mental and physical health. You should get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Spend quality time with your friends and family. Even if it’s once a week.
  4. Do something that you like or something that interests you
  5. Know yourself. Spend time with yourself to know and learn where you might need some work
  6. Start meditation. It can work wonders for your mind and soul
  7. Exercise regularly. Even if you only do it for 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be in the gym. Do whatever you like but be regular with it.
  8. Create a “Yes and No” list. Write all the things that you wish to leave and things you want to start fresh
  9. Practice affirmations to have a healthy mindset
  10. Treat yourself often. It doesn’t have to be big.
  11. Look for opportunities to laugh

I would suggest you start with a monthly self-care plan. Write down how you feel today and begin your plan. The key is being consistent and committed. After 30 days, compare the improvement.


It is very easy to confuse self-care with self-indulgence. While both would make you feel better. But self-indulgence is about quick fixes. Whereas, self-care is more about a balanced life with healthy functioning.

Self-care will help you in many ways. It can sharpen mental and physical health through better and improved self-esteem, stress management, coping skills, an attuned mind, and overall healthy well-being.

Taking good care of yourselves will improve life in many aspects including your relationship with others.

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