Self Care routines are NOT easy to make, and even harder to keep up with if they are not working for you and your needs.
But they are NOT impossible either. With the understanding of the different types of self care, you can find, try, and adopt different routines that work best for you and you may ultimately find that they work into your routine smoothly. Because you WANT to do them.
Type #1- Emotional Self Care
Emotional Self Care is not only extremely important, but it’s the easiest to slack on.
Putting in the work on self-improvement or being able to identify when to take care of your emotional well-being versus someone else’s can be an intense internal struggle.
Things that you can do to for your emotional self care can include
1) Learning to say no, comfortably.
2) Knowing what are your problems and what isn’t your problem. This is so crucial, especially for empathic folxs who want to eleviate the burden from their loved ones and make it their own.
3) Seeing a therapist to have a non-biased and clinical perspective to hear from. Therapists are trained to take what you tell them and set you on a path for emotional and mental success. Having a therapist to see regularly can do leaps and bounds for your development of a routine for your emotional self care.
4) Modes of expressing emotions. This could be artsy such as dancing, painting, writing, or making music. Having an outlet for your emotions. But this could also be watching movies that tell a story from a perspective you are also experiencing, which will help satisfy the feeling of being understood.
Sometimes you gotta buckle down and get the things that need to be done, done.
These are usually predictable or straightforward- like bills, taxes, budgeting, or even grocery shopping. But sometimes they’re bigger chores that feel ominous and daunting. But by completing them, you get a sense of relief & accomplishment that can be empowering.
A few tips for adulting that may come easier to some than others are:
1) Create a calendar. Usually having one on your phone is best if you use your phone a lot. Having the calendar synced to your work, school, and personal life can help make sure you don’t miss plans, bills, tasks, or over burden yourself on any particular week. Most calendars can allow you to have a repeating task as well so you don’t have to start from scratch every month.
2) Use a budgeting app. There is many different kinds, Truebill works really well in my own experience. You can connect your accounts, set a budget, and even get your credit score. Most apps will allow you to see your billing schedule according to your statements and tell you when bills are coming out and when you’re getting paid. This makes adulting much easier and at a touch of a button.
3)Many people are capable to clean as they go, but some it’s difficult to when there is so many other things to do. Having one big chore a week or month to accomplish such as organizing the closet, cleaning out the car, or going to the storage unit to sift through your stuff can help pace and take some stress off instead of worrying about doing it all at once and ending up pushing it all off anyway.
Physical Self Care does not necessarily mean to work out- it is an umbrella term for any sort of act of self care for the body. Your body carries your soul through the earth, and it needs to be taken care of too.
Examples of physical self care can be:
- Staying hydrated. If water is difficult to drink lots of try drinking seltzer water, nettle tea, or coconut water.
- Stretching in the morning and evening can help with pain adding to your stress levels and overall short & long-term condition of your body. There are TONS of tutorials online for free for specific areas and kinds of stretching based on what you do every day. (EX. Stretches of those with desk jobs, stretches for those who work on their feet all day)
- Receiving therapeutic services such as massages, seeing a chiropractor or even just getting your toes done can be great for the physical body as well as your overall mood.
- Taking short walks through a park or neighborhood can give you the fresh air, sunshine, or peace you need after being bombarded with constant urgent stimuli all day!
Mental Self-Care and Emotional Self-Care seem similar at face value but they’re really just two different teams in the same department.
Think of it as like shipping center. You have the team that receives the packages, and the team that sends out the packages.
Mental Self Care is the receiving team. Let me elaborate a bit with some examples.
Mental self-care is more of what you’re taking in/consuming with your brain. Such as TV, movies, books, music. Whereas Emotional Self Care is oriented towards releasing things from your brain or ‘heart’.
Tips for Mental Self Care include:
- Watching your favorite TV/Movie or reading a book. This could even be getting lost in TikTok or Reels to give your brain a chance to let go of the 100 other thoughts and just enjoy a singular stimulus. Bonus points if it is positive and empowering.
- Brain teasers such as puzzles, video games, or any sort of player versus player or player versus everyone type games with strategy to help use parts of your brain you don’t normally get to use.
- Enjoy art. Being inspired and appreciating what has been made. This could be at a museum, farmers market, interactive exhibits, or a live show!
There are three kinds of social people in this world-
Extroverts, who love socializing and recharge by interacting with others.
Introverts, who recharge by having alone time.
and Ambiverts, who are commonly referred to as ‘Introverts with extroverted tendencies’. And live in the middle ground between the two.
This is a strong point where social self-care may differ depending on the person. But the advice can still be acknowledged and you know for yourself or a friend!
- If you love being with friends, have a group chat and make plans! Even if its one person, two, or ten- you can go do an energizing activity together!
- Can’t meet in person? there are many software that can assist with that. Most video games have in-game chats and meeting software such as Zoom, Discord, Facetime, and more! If there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Make solid boundaries with your plans. If you don’t want to be out super late, or you can join for one plan but not the other. Having clear boundaries of what you’ll be present and not present for in advance can take a load of anxiety off your shoulders.
- Being clear about your comfort level is okay! Communicating if you’re cool with doing one activity but not another, or if the group splits that’s totally fine too! As long as everyone has fun it doesn’t need to be the same activity.
- Having open plans and not a rigid itinerary can be much better for all parties involved. We can all meet up at so-and-so’s house and go from there is totally fine!
- Activities for social self care can dual self care with other types of self care such as Mental Self Care- where you all go to a concert. or Physical self-care where you and your partner both get a massage. Self-care is flexible and isn’t in one strict category.
Spiritual self-care could also be thought of as laying the fertile soil and seeds for future growth. It could be a religious activity, it could be meditation, time with nature, or even alone time.
Few activities you could try for spiritual self care are:
- Meditate to some lofi music.
- Go to church/religious place of worship and be with others.
- Deep cleaning your house literally and spiritually (sage, bay leaves, rosemary, essential oils, or singing bowls)
- Thinking of how to improve yourself, creating goals.
- Cooking a healthy meal from scratch.