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33 Rock Hill Road, Suite 100
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

2133 Arch Street, Suite 303
Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-837-6749  |  INFO@THERAPYFORWOMENCENTER.COM

What ‘self-care’ really means…
 

Self care is a buzz worthy topic these days. It’s all over instagram.

But the truth is. it’s personal. It’s ever changing. It’s vital to managing stress and preventing burnout. AND -it’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes self care can be really difficult. The overall goal is figuring out what you need to implement into your daily life that will create a happier, healthier you. Below, I will explain the different types of self care and what that might look like for you.

Emotional: 

This involves exploring your emotions and learning how to navigate them. Learning how to set boundaries, practicing self compassion, and feeling emotions (rather than avoiding them) are all forms of emotional self care. 

  • Saying “no”
  • Notice how emotions feel in your body
  • Use positive self talk
  • Be your own cheerleader
  • Sit with uncomfortable feelings

Physical:

Taking care of ourselves physically is essential to overall well being. I can 100% tell a difference in my mood when I’m not taking care of myself properly.  Physical self care is paying attention to what your body needs and what feels good.

  • Dancing
  • Eating a fulfilling meal
  • Drinking water throughout the day
  • Walking outside
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Stretching 

Psychological:

Tuning into our thoughts, learning new things and practicing creativity aren’t often mentioned under the topic of self care. Think about how good it used to feel when you’d color or build something as a child. You were creating and learning and doing and it was FUN! These practices build self esteem which overall makes us feel better about ourselves!

  • Read a self explorative book
  • Journal
  • Go on a mindful walk
  • Learn a new skill
  • Host a craft night

Social:

One question I always ask clients is: “tell me a little bit about your support system.” I ask this because having social support(s) and a sense of belonging is so important to overall mental health. I joined a kickball team a few years ago and it’s been such a fun, positive experience for me despite it being out of my comfort zone. 

  • Schedule a phone call with a long distance friend
  • Join an intramural sports team 
  • Go for a walk with a family member
  • Ask a coworker out for coffee
  • Join an online group that caters to your particular interests 

Professional:

This aspect of self care is essential because most people spend a lot of time at their jobs. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of meeting deadlines, working interpersonally, hitting quotas, etc. That’s why so many working professionals experience burnout. And as we know, consistently taking care of ourselves aids in preventing that. This type of self care also applies what we bring to the table professionally. It means highlighting our strengths and sharing our knowledge within the workplace. 

  • Schedule stretching breaks
  • Set boundaries with coworkers 
  • Eat a nourishing lunch
  • Attend professional development trainings
  • Be punctual (or early if you can)
  • Ask for help or clarification 
  • Share your ideas with your team 

Financial:

This is SO IMPORTANT! Financial stress is one of the worst types of stress in my opinion. The good news is, practicing financial self care can help manage that stress. It’s all about looking at your responsibilities and creating a plan to manage them. 

  • Pay bills on time
  • Create (and stick to!) a budget
  • Eat meals at home
  • Cancel automatic subscriptions 
  • Use public transit vs a ride share app
  • Unsubscribe from emails that promote shopping and entice with coupons 

Spiritual:

Spiritual self care is a focus on what beliefs and values are most important to you and implementing that into your life on a regular basis.

  • Attend a religious gathering
  • Join a community group
  • Meditate
  • Take a nature walk
  • Volunteer
  • Practice tarot 

Environmental:

LAST BUT NOT LEAST! I personally am NOT someone who can thrive in chaos. I will clean my entire room before I take a nap because it helps me relax. I need to de clutter regularly or I’ll lose it. And that’s just one aspect of environmental self care. It can also look like limiting technology or minimizing waste. Basically, it’s keeping your environment peaceful and calming for you. 

  • Keep common spaces clutter free
  • Recycle
  • Limit time on social media
  • Tidy up regularly 
  • Shop a thrift stores
  • Create a weekly cleaning schedule 

See, I told you self care was deeper than what we see on Instagram. It can be tough to set a boundary with a friend. It’s not glamorous to create a budget. And it can be difficult to admit fault or ask for help. But, these things, along with social outings, creativity, and exercise all contribute to a healthier, more satisfied self. After all, self care is literally caring for yourself – present and future. 

With Love,

Stephanie