Self Care

6 Essential Self Care Types You Need to be Happy

Pin about the 6 essential self care types to be happy for Pinterest

Sorry to say, but self care isn’t just slapping on a face mask and calling it a day. Nope, it actually involves deeper work! What if I told you there are 6 types of self care?

The whole goal of self care is to allow you to become a well-rounded, happy person. In this article, every aspect of yourself is covered, so you know exactly what you need to do to remain healthy and balanced.

This post contains:

  1. Why the self care movement can be toxic
  2. The 6 types of self care you need in your life, and how to do it
  3. Practical Self Care
  4. Spiritual Self Care
  5. Emotional Self Care
  6. Physical Self Care
  7. Social Self Care
  8. Mental Self Care

If you stick to the end, I have a FREE Self Care Checklist you can download that will upgrade your self care game!

Why this Movement Can be Toxic

Self care quote

Okay, hear me out: the self care movement can be toxic if you have the improper definition of what self care is.

For self care to actually be helpful, you need to focus on all aspects of yourself and your needs, not just one. This means that having a spa day to relax while avoiding doing your homework that’s due that day is not healthy.

So, it’s toxic if you use the concept of self care incorrectly, because you’re ignoring every aspect of self care.

The self care movement can also be toxic if it becomes a competition. Everyone has different needs, and you might start to feel like you’re not doing enough for yourself if you see that someone else has weekly massages and you don’t.

See what I mean?

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen for you! Knowing the 6 types of self care will help you with that!

The Six Types of Self Care You Need to Know About

Photo by John Tekeridis.

Everyone is different. You might need more self care in one area than the other, so take your time to find out exactly what you need in every area.

Ready? Let’s go!

The Practical Side

Put down the tub of face mask, people. This kind of self care is one you probably don’t even know you’re doing!

Practicing practical self care has the entire goal of helping future you and avoiding other problems caused by not doing this kind of self care.

This is how you practice practical self care:

  • Cleaning and organizing your personal space
  • Taking classes to further your professional life
  • Budgeting and saving money
  • Reading self-help books

Do you see a theme? You’re taking care of your future self by making a plan! It might not be as glamorous as a whole spa day, but you’ll be thanking yourself for doing these things!

Spiritual Self Care

Practicing spiritual self care by going into nature

Let’s do some soul-searching! Anything in this category has to do with your spiritual self-growth and is generally food for the soul.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be religious to practice spiritual self care.

The goal of spiritual self care is to listen to that little voice inside your head and give yourself time to reflect.

This is how you practice spiritual self care:

  • Reserving time to meditate
  • Writing your thoughts in a journal
  • Going to your place of worship if you’re religious
  • Spending time in nature

The goal is reflection, and organizing your thoughts. This kind of self care is especially good when you feel overwhelmed and feel frazzled.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Stop Social Media Induced Anxiety

Emotional Self Care

I’m about to say some really controversial things, especially if you believe in keeping your feelings hidden.

Expressing your emotions is a type of self care.

It allows you to be able to process your emotions, which you have because you’re a human.

This is how you practice emotional self care:

  • Crying (yup!)
  • Listening to music of any genre
  • Talking to a mental health professional
  • Being assertive to people about your boundaries and feelings

You might be reading those examples and scratching your head. These examples are included in the emotional self care list because they let you express your emotions!

If you’re old school and have a tendency to hide your feelings from others, you might be in need of a little more emotional self care.

Practice makes progress!

RELATED: Set Boundaries and Build That Backbone!

Physical Self Care

Photo by Ella Olsson

Your body is a temple. It’s what you use to move around and live your life, so take care of it!

Meeting your basic needs, and making sure your body is able to function are the goals of physical self care.

This is how you practice physical self care:

  • Eating healthy foods to fuel your body
  • Exercising and moving around
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Going to the doctor to maintain your health

Not everyone has the same physical needs as others. It’s up to you to figure out the amount of sleep, exercise, and food you need.

Let’s get physical!

Social Self Care

Spend time with friends as a type of self care
Photo by Elle Hughes.

This article was written in the midst of the 2020 pandemic, so social self care is a little bit harder to achieve.

Regardless, it’s a necessity! Humans are social creatures, and being alone for long periods of time is bad for our mental health.

This is how you practice social self care:

  • Meeting new people
  • Dating
  • Keeping in contact with friends
  • Making plans to hang out with people you care about

Introverts and extroverts have different levels of socialization they need.

It’s totally okay if you don’t make plans with people often, as long as you don’t feel lonely!

RELATED: How to Get Rid of Toxic People and Live Your Best Life

Mental Self Care

Your brain is a vital organ, and needs to be taken care of!

Mental self care is all about making sure that your brain is stimulated and healthy.

Unlike emotional self care, the mental aspect is making sure that you’re learning new things and are not bored.

This is how you practice mental self care:

  • Reading a good book
  • Asking questions when you’re confused or curious
  • Challenging yourself with new hobbies
  • Doing a puzzle

You might notice yourself needing this kind of self care when you’re on a break from school or work. You need to be challenged!

Keep seeking new information and learning.

How You’re Different From Others

hexagon illustrating the six types of self care

You’re going to be different than your friends when it comes to the self care you need.

Think of it as a self-care hexagon: you might need to be closer to the peak of one self care category than other people.

Out of the 6 self care types, which one is the most important for you? Draw dots of where you’d like to be for each category.

Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be happy.

What kind of self care have you been doing? Let me know in the comments.

Peace out!


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