Self-care is a term that we have started to hear more about in the past few years. It is used both in the professional context but also in one’s personal life. Taking care of oneself will look differently for each individual but at the basis of it all is doing things that help the person feel good and improve their wellbeing. Self-care is not about rewarding oneself for doing something good every once in a while but it is a continuous process where the person invests in their physical and mental health. The following points explain the 5 different dimensions of self-care.
This refers to a person taking care of themselves by engaging in healthy physical routines. It involves regular exercise which could take many different forms; for those who more energetic perhaps a run or going to the gym and those wanting to do something less intense might prefer to engage in activities such as walking or yoga. Healthy sleeping routines are also an important factor of physical self-care. It is usually recommended to sleep eight hours and to have roughly the same sleeping schedule including the weekends.
This involves people being aware of their own feelings and nourishing them. This could be done by talking to a trusted friend or family member, by attending therapy or writing in a journal. It involves the development of skills to cope with situations that can cause stress. Emotional self-care also involves showing love towards oneself and others by showing emotions such as empathy and compassion.
This is one of the most common forms of self-care especially for those people who are more extroverted and social beings. People who practice social self-care tend to be surrounded by people in their network who are supportive. In their circle they would have people whom they can talk to, share their feelings, do pleasant activities with and feel like they have someone who can love them unconditionally. It also creates feelings of having a sense of belonging.
This involves the investment one puts in their personal growth and learning experiences. People with this type of self-care may enjoy attending new courses and reading to gain more knowledge about different topics in the world. They might show interest to try new things and see what the world has to offer by having an open mind and being curious to know more.
This type of self-care is not related to which religion one practices but with beliefs and values that make a person feel good about themselves and connected to others. Nonetheless, some people may find connecting to their religious beliefs as healing and providing guidance as to how to live their life. People who practice spiritual self-care tend to express gratitude and show care towards their environment and others.
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Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.