One of the challenges many women encounter when they begin the journey of pursuing their calling is finding time to add in the activities around the new endeavors. Additionally, there is a lot of excitement and energy when someone determines the path they will pursue in partnership with God, so it can be easy to compromise time or boundaries. Eventually, stress will catch up with us if we don’t establish healthy routines that allow us to rest. One way we can avoid burnout is by practicing self-care.
Most of the time when we think about self-care people suggest taking a bath or a long walk. But most experts agree there are eight areas of our life that require intentional self-care and depending on our current stage of life, we may need to focus on some areas more than others.
The 8 Types of Self Care Are:
- Physical self-care
- Psychological self-care
- Emotional self-care
- Social self-care
- Professional self-care
- Environmental self-care
- Spiritual self-care
Here are some different ways you can implement self-care in each of the 8 areas of wellness.
1) Physical Self-Care
Physical self care is defined as the movement of the body, health, nutrition, sleep and resting needs.
A few examples of physical self-care include:
- Take a bath
- Work in the garden
- Get enough sleep (7-9 hours per night)
- Eat nutrient-dense foods
2) Psychological Self-Care
Psychological self care incorporates learning new things, practicing mindfulness and creativity.
A few examples of psychological self-care include:
- Practice mindfulness
- Reading a book
- Learning a new skill
- Work on a craft
- Do a digital detox
3) Emotional Self-Care
Emotional self-care includes enhancing emotional literacy, navigating emotions, increasing empathy, and managing stress effectively.
A few examples of emotional self-care:
- Establishing healthy boundaries
- Saying no without guilt
- Making time for reflecting on feelings
- Practicing self-compassion
- Being aware of your emotional boundaries
4) Social Self-Care
When someone practices social self care they have a supportive group and network of relationships around them that they can trust and rely on.
A few examples of social self-care:
- Honoring commitments to other people
- Asking for help when you need it
- Delegating rather than doing everything even if you can do something
- Meeting new people
- Spending time with family and friends
5) Professional Self-Care
People who practice professional self-care share their strengths and gifts, have clear professional boundaries and live their purpose.
A few examples of professional self-care:
- Eat a nourishing lunch each day at work
- Negotiate your work needs
- Have clear professional boundaries
- Attend professional developing opportunities
6) Environmental Self-Care
Having an organized, well maintained and clutter-free work, business and home environment, having clean clothes and a clean and well maintained mode of transport.
A few examples of environmental self-care:
- Decluttering your home or work environment
- Monitoring technology time
- Cleaning up after a meal
- Maintaining a clean and safe living environment
7) Spiritual Self-Care:
Spiritual self-care incorporates having beliefs and values that are important to you and guide your life.
A few examples of spiritual self-care:
- Reading a daily devotional (I loved going though The Bible Recap last year!)
- Reflecting in a journal
- Going on a retreat (check out this post on How to Plan a Personal Retreat)
- Walking in nature
8) Financial Self-Care
Financial self care means being responsible with your finances and having a conscious relationship with money.
A few examples of financial self-care are:
- Knowing where your income is coming in
- Knowing where your expenses are due and paying them on time
- Completing your tax responsibilities on time
- Spending and saving money wisely
- Learn more about my practice here
Tips for Practicing the 8 Types of Self Care Well
This list of areas of self-care is lengthy and it may feel overwhelming even as you read over the different sections. For others, you may see one or two sections that stand out. If you identify an area that is lacking that is where you should focus your attention. While it’s easiest to pamper ourselves in the areas we are excelling in, the stress will continue to mount where we are burdened.
Prepare ahead for how you are going to practice self-care. I love this podcast from The Lazy Genius on how to plan a personal retreat. In my opinion, her tips are applicable across the board for all areas of self-care.
Set a timelimit for your practice. Give yourself permission to set aside an hour or a day or one hour a day a week to implement your self care practice. Depending on what area of focus you are concentrating on you may need to adjust how you incorporate self care. Do what makes sense without adding stress.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are times when it’s necessary to ask for help in order to fully engage in healthy self care. Whether you need to hire a babysitter or find the necessary resources to create a new habit, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to practice self care in a silo for it to be successful.
When you take time to incorporate self care into your life you will find that you have the calendar space, emotional capacity, and mental and physical energy pursue your calling thrive in your sweet spot.