In honor of International Self-care Day, we're here to remind you to please, please take time for Y-O-U.
If the thought of a candle-lit bubble bath makes you cringe, that is A-OK. Like many things in life, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Everyone is different, right? So, it makes sense that different types of self-care would suit different people.
Each of us has a unique self-care style that resonates with our individual needs and preferences. Looking for self-care ideas beyond the bath bomb? You’re in luck, because we’ve got lots – read on.
What are the benefits of self-care?
Self-care has become quite the buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. Taking care of ourselves is vital for maintaining overall well-being and leading a balanced life. Benefits of self-care include things like:
- Reduced stress: Taking time for self-care helps to alleviate stress and promote relaxation, allowing us to recharge and rejuvenate.
- Improved mental health: Engaging in self-care practices nurtures our mental well-being, enhances self-esteem and boosts our overall mood.
- Enhanced physical health: Self-care encompasses activities that promote physical well-being, such as exercise, healthy eating and adequate sleep, leading to improved overall health.
- Increased productivity: When we prioritize self-care, we are better equipped to handle life's challenges, focus on tasks and maintain productivity in all aspects of our lives.
Types of self-care
Like we said before, self-care looks a little different for everyone. And it may not look the same to you every time you practice it, either! We know, this doesn’t exactly help you nail down a definition of what self-care really means – so we’ll break it down into four basic categories. Self-care can be:
Now that you know the different types of self-care, you can start figuring out what style suits you best. Is there an area of your life where you’re feeling a little extra weight right now? If you’re fatigued, some physical TLC may be in order. If you’re stressed, some practical self-care might help you to game plan for the rest of your week.
Ideas for self-care that that match your style
The final piece to the puzzle? Making it YOU! Self-care shouldn’t just fit your needs, it should fit your preferences, too. Here’s some inspiration for self-care to match your style and bring you joy.
This type of self-care focuses on nurturing our emotional well-being. It includes activities like journaling, practicing mindfulness, seeking therapy or counseling, expressing emotions through art, or spending time with loved ones who provide emotional support. In need of some emotional support? Here are some ideas:
- Start your day with morning pages: Each morning, take time to fill up three pages worth of writing whatever’s on your mind. It can be plans for the day, dreams you had last night, things you’re grateful for or anxious about, or even creative writing.
- Put on your comfort movie and cry it out: Everyone needs a good cry sometimes. Wear a cozy outfit, set out some snacks, put on a movie that tugs at your heartstrings and, if the mood strikes, let yourself cry it out – it’s cathartic!
- Try online therapy: Therapy can be a great opportunity to explore your thoughts, feelings and concerns, strengthen relations, develop coping strategies and so much more. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy has become widely accessible and is a great resource for therapy newbies who want to dip their toes in, those with hectic life schedules, people with disabilities who have trouble traveling to appointments and others.
Physical self-care involves taking care of our bodies through activities that promote physical health. This can include regular exercise, nutritious eating, getting enough sleep, practicing good hygiene and engaging in activities that make you feel good in your body, such as dancing, yoga, or taking long walks in nature. Looking to give your body a little extra TLC?
- Book a massage: Whether you’ve got aches and pains that need some attention or are simply seeking relaxation, a massage is a great way to pamper your body … and your mind, too!
- Visit the farmer’s market: Taking a trip to the farmer’s market is a great way to get some seasonal, local produce into your diet. Eating seasonally simply tastes better, and supporting local farmers is a huge plus.
- Revamp your bedtime routine: Have you heard of sleep hygiene? It’s basically a set of practices that ensure you get your best sleep possible. Whether that means less screen time before bed, cutting afternoon caffeine out of your diet or simply treating yourself to some comfy, new pajamas depends on you!
Spiritual self-care centers around nurturing our spiritual well-being and finding meaning and purpose in life. It can involve practices like meditation, prayer, spending time in nature, practicing gratitude, reading inspirational books or connecting with a community that shares your spiritual beliefs.
- Go for a walk in nature: Beyond the physical benefits of daily walking, taking some time to be with Mother Nature and breathe in the fresh air can be very grounding. (Not to mention it may help you sleep, too!)
- Volunteer: A powerful way to reflect on meaning in your own life is by touching the lives of others. We all have something to give, be it our time, our worldly possessions or simply our voices – get involved!
- Practice five minutes of mindfulness: Start and end your day with five minutes of mindfulness – whatever that means to you! Practicing yoga or meditation, reading spiritual texts, or simply thinking about what you’re grateful for are all great ways to connect with your spiritual self.
Practical self-care focuses on taking care of our practical needs to reduce stress and enhance our overall well-being. This can include organizing your living or workspace, managing finances effectively, creating a routine that prioritizes your needs, or delegating tasks when necessary.
- Do a Sunday reset: Have you heard of the Sunday reset? Basically, it means dedicating your Sunday morning to completing household chores like laundry, cleaning and meal prepping to prepare for the week ahead. By taking some extra time on the weekend (when you have time), you can help minimize stress throughout the week.
- Buy a cute planner: It’s hard to find motivation to stay organized – we get it! Investing in a nice planner or calendar is one way to help make planning ahead feel exciting. If it’s more fun, you’re more likely to stick with it.
- Practice year-round spring cleaning: Spring cleaning isn’t just for springtime! Try to dedicate some time at least once per season to assess what you need and declutter your home. Be sure to repurpose, recycle or donate anything you don’t need anymore. Mother Earth will thank you!
Self-care starts with a good night’s sleep
Taking care of your mind and body starts with getting a good night’s sleep … every night. At Happsy, our motto is Sleep Healthy, Wake Happy™, which speaks to the very purpose of self-care: achieving a healthier, happier you.
You deserve your best night’s sleep – treat yourself!