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  • Writer's pictureDelyn Fraley

What is Self-Care?

Updated: Apr 3

What is self-care? This first thing that comes to many people’s minds is the equivalent of “me time” or some serene, calming experience. Often this could include doing your hair or nails, engaging in some form of physical activity, or a social outing with friends. While those are all versions of self-care, those are not the only forms of self-care. So really, what is self-care?

Self-care is an intentional thing we do to improve our mental, emotional or physical well-being. Self-care can be viewed on a continuum, from things we do once in a while to recharge, to something we do daily as part of our routine and can range in duration.

Whenever I start working with someone in therapy, I always begin with evaluating their self-care. Regardless of what brought them in, having adequate self-care is essential for maintaining progress made and improving overall well-being.

Examples of Self-Care

Physical Self-Care

  • Exercise, yoga or engage in sports

  • Eat healthy foods

  • Eating regularly

  • Getting enough sleep, including a bedtime routine

  • Attend medical appointments

  • Do things that physically make you feel good – do your nails, hair or have a skincare routine

  • Rest when sick or not feeling well – Listen to your body!

Social Self-Care

  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Be sure to nurture that part of your personality.

  • Social outings with people you care about

  • Have engaging conversations

  • Alone time with your partner

  • Call or write to those who may be far away

Spiritual Self-Care

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Spend time in nature, maybe relaxing at a park or the beach or going for a walk or a hike

  • Stay true to your morals and values

  • Attend religious services in the setting of your choice

  • Recognize things that help give meaning and purpose to your life

Emotional Self-Care

  • Participate in hobbies, both existing and new, such as art, writing, gardening, photography, jigsaw puzzles, etc.

  • Take time off work or school

  • Unplug from electronics

  • Reach out for help and support from others

  • Do something relaxing such as reading, watching tv or watching a movie

Professional Self-Care

  • Know your limits and delegate or say “no” to excessive tasks

  • Learn new things related to my career

  • Take breaks away from your workspace

  • Maintain a work-life balance

  • Make your workspace comfortable

Why is Self-Care so important?

Self-care allows us to care for ourselves, which in turn will help to reduce negative feelings such as burnout, depression, anxiety and increase positive feelings such as joy, pleasure, and motivation.

Many of us spend so much time and energy taking care of others, and often feel guilty for taking care of ourselves. In the same breath, we would tell those we care about to take the day off or go take some “me-time”. It’s time to create your own self-care plan and follow your own advice. What self-care method can you start with today?


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