ICYDK, September is Self Care Awareness Month. It’s a special observance that reminds us about the importance of taking care of ourselves and prioritizing our holistic well-being. In a world that tends to take more than it gives, carving out time and space for yourself can feel a little selfish if not impossible. But self care is an act of self love that deserves to have a place in your life. Self care is about staying grounded, balanced, healthy and happy. There are a lot of things, big and small, that you can do to that end.
Types of Self Care
There are many different kinds of self care, but they generally fall into one of three categories: physical, mental and spiritual. You can think of this as the ‘holy trinity’ of self care. Committing to these kinds of self care activities comes with all kinds of benefits. So if you’re feeling tired, overworked, underappreciated or uninspired, making time for self care can help you in several ways. So let’s take a deeper look at the different kinds of self care.
Physical self care is exactly what you think it is. It’s all about taking care of your body and your physical health and wellness. Eating a well-balanced, nutritional diet; exercising regularly; getting adequate sleep and attending medical appointments are all aspects of physical self care. Even though it seems simple enough, it can be hard to make time for physical self care activities when you’re busy with work, school, family and everything else. Start small. If you can set aside five minutes for fitness, that’s an act of physical self care. If you can replace one soft drink with water, that’s an act of physical self care. If you can put the phone down and get to sleep one hour earlier, that’s an act of physical self care. With a little effort, you can do so much for your physical health and wellness.
Mental self care has to do with your psychological well-being. It involves doing things to keep your mind sharp and your mindset positive. A curious mind is a healthy one. Learning new things, completing puzzles and reading books are good ways to stimulate the mind. Beyond your smarts, your inner monologue is worth examining too. Do you engage in negative self talk? If so, try to show yourself some more compassion. You’re doing your best, after all. Being kinder and more accepting towards yourself goes a long way to foster positive mental health.
Spiritual self care comes down to a sense of purpose and meaning in life as well as your connection to others and to the universe as a whole. It can involve religion, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. Having some level of faith, whatever that may look like for you, generally contributes to a healthier, happier life. You can nurture your spiritual well-being by praying, meditating, spending time in nature and connecting with loved ones.
As you engage in self care, you’ll find that the different types influence each other. A healthier body contributes to a healthier mind. And spiritual welfare contributes to mental health, which, in turn, inspires physical health. They all work together for your good. So take the month of September as a special opportunity to find time for self care. You’ll be better for it.