May’s challenge is self-care.
This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot on social media but it’s really important to not only do it but understand that there are different types of self care and not everyone practicing it the same way. Some days my self-care might be a long walk by myself and other times it’s a hot bath and a good book. So I challenge you to practice some form of self-care everyday this month. It doesn’t need to be long or big, but something that says I’ve checked in with myself today, because really that’s what it’s all about.
The six types of self-care
- Physical self-care | This is the most talked about form of self-care, in my opinion, it’s about taking care of your body with intention. For some this can mean finding time to exercise, either going for a run or a yoga class, others might feel that focusing on healthier eating is how they take care of their bodies.The important thing is that it’s not an obligation and it’s something intentional that you’re doing to care for yourself. Running for me would be an obligation, yoga on the other hand is my way of loving my body through physical self-care.
- Emotional self-care | It’s exactly as it sounds, getting in touch with your emotions and being mindful of how you’re feeling. Some ideas on how to get in touch with your emotional side could be journalling or a creative expression of painting or even cooking a big meal.
- Spiritual self-care | This doesn’t have to mean religion, although it may for some people. I think of spiritual self-care as a way to nourish the soul, an inner peace. For some, that might happen through prayer or meditation but for others, simply spending time in nature on a walk through the woods, no phones, can give you an inner peace that’s cleansing for the soul.
- Intellectual self-care | I’m not talking about taking a class at the local community college, but rather something that expends your knowledge on an area you care about. For example, watching a documentary on a topic you’re interested in, reading a new book or learning a new skill like knitting. Find something that stimulates your brain and also gives you joy and happiness – remember these shouldn’t feel like an obligation.
- Social self-care | A tricky one for introverts but human connection is really important to one’s self growth. So whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, find a way to spend time with loved ones or reconnect with an old friend.
- Sensory self-care | Again, this one is exactly as it sounds, it’s something to help nourish your senses. It should also be something that brings your mind to the present and allows you to lower any stress you may be feeling. This type of self-care usually overlaps with one of the other five. For example, burning your favourite candle, listening to smoothing music, even walking barefoot on the grass or the first walk in the springtime sans coat with the sun on your arms. Being able to recognise and appreciate those little things are in fact a type of self-care for your mind and will lift your spirits.
30 ways to practice self-care this month
- Get a good night sleep and awake with no alarm
- Try practicing yoga
- Switch out your coffee for a green tea
- Go for a run, jog, walk – just move your body
- Opt for the salad and not the chips at lunch
- At the end of day, round up 5 things that went well
- Do a brain dump
- Try drawing, crafting or just doodling
- Social media detox
- Look through old photos and memories
- Take a walk with no electronics, listen to the sounds around you, feel the sun and appreciate it
- Try a guided mediation
- Run a hot bath
- Volunteer or donate
- Declutter your home
- Listen to a podcast
- Try a new skill
- Watch a documentary
- Read a book
- Finish a puzzle
- Have coffee with a friend
- Spend time with a loved one
- Call your parents for a catch up
- Plan an afternoon with your pet
- Strike up a conversation with someone new at work
- Listen to your favourite song
- Complete a DIY project
- Burn your favourite candle
- Take a nap to sounds of nature
- Enjoy a glass of wine