What are the Six Types of Self-Care?
You’ve probably heard the term self-care so many times that you’re starting to get sick of it.
From taking a bubble bath to treating yourself to fancy chocolates, you may have realized that commercialized self-care tips might make you feel better in the moment – but don’t necessarily help in the long run.
But where did the term “self-care” start, and why is it much more important than we think?
Here at KMA, we’re passionate about educating you on how to better care for yourself. For over 14 years, we’ve been helping our community learn, heal, and thrive. We’re here to teach you everything you need to know about self-care.
After reading this article, you’ll understand the origins of self-care, why it’s so important, and the six types of self-care.
Where did the term “self-care” originate?
The term self-care originated in the 1950s as a way for people experiencing mental illness to grow their sense of self-worth by caring for themselves.
It grew to new popularity in the 60s, taking on a political meaning as members of the Black Panther Party used it to describe ways activists could care for themselves while advocating for social change.
Angela Davis and Ericka Huggins, leaders in the Black Panther Party, positioned meditation, mindful movement, and proper nutrition as ways people could care for their mental health while fighting for change.
Why is self-care so important?
In today’s world, we have a lot of news right at our fingertips. A lot of us are fighting to create positive change in the world around us, and are advocating for important issues in our daily lives.
This may leave you feeling extra vulnerable to burnout and more overwhelmed than ever.
Self-care can help you:
- Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
- Minimize feelings of anger and frustration
- Improve your concentration
- Boost your happiness
Now that you know why self-care is important, you may be wondering how you can cultivate more of it in your daily life.
What are the Six Types of Self-Care?
There are six types of self-care that we can cultivate to achieve more wellness in our daily lives.
The Six Types of Self-Care are:
1. Social Self-Care
Social self-care involves how we feel in relation to other people.
Practising social self-care helps us deepen our relationships with friends and family, form new connections, and feel a sense of community.
You can practice social self-care by spending quality time with the people you care about, planning time to hang out with friends, and working on strengthening your communication skills.
2. Mental Self-Care
Mental self-care involves how we keep our minds stimulated and engaged.
Practising mental self-care helps us feel interested and excited about our lives, and explore new topics that we’re passionate about.
You can practice mental self-care by reading a good book, taking a course in something you’re interested in, and completing puzzles and brain teasers.
3. Physical Self-Care
Physical self-care involves how we care for our physical bodies.
Practising physical self-care can help you feel energized, healthy, and well.
You can practice physical self-care by doing exercises you enjoy, fuelling your body with nourishing foods, and maintaining routine doctor’s appointments.
4. Spiritual Self-Care
Spiritual self-care involves how we connect to something larger than ourselves and can help us find a sense of meaning in life.
Practising spiritual self-care can help you feel a sense of purpose, provide you with comfort, and present opportunities for growth and self-development.
You can practice spiritual self-care through meditation, spending time in nature, or doing anything else that makes you feel deeply connected to the world around you.
Some people find spiritual self-care through religion, but it doesn’t have to be religious.
5. Practical Self-Care
Practical self-care involves completing the daily tasks that make our lives easier.
Practising practical self-care can help you feel less stressed out and find a feeling of organization.
You can practice practical self-care by doing those dishes that have been piling up in the sink, folding your laundry, or finally picking up those groceries you’re been meaning to buy.
Practical self-care tasks can sometimes feel overwhelming, so try listening to music or a good podcast while doing them!
6. Emotional Self-Care
Emotional self-care involves exploring, connecting with, and understanding your emotions.
Practising emotional self-care can help you develop greater self-awareness and feel better in your daily life.
You can practice emotional self-care by journalling, playing or listening to music, or speaking with a trusted friend about your feelings.
Another form of emotional self-care is attending therapy. Therapy can help you get to the root cause of your emotions, understand them more clearly, and connect with how you want to feel.
Next Steps for Practising Self-Care
After reading this article, you now understand where self-care originated, its importance, and the six different forms of self-care.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know that sometimes you want a care partner to help you get the most out of your life and relationships.
For over 14 years, we’ve been helping our clients feel their best and live the lives they deserve.
If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to learn more:
- To learn more about treating yourself kindly, read: What is Self-Compassion? (& 5 Ways to Build it)
- To understand new ways of boosting your confidence, read: 5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem Today
- To explore more ways to connect with your emotions, read: What is Mindfulness - and Can it Improve Your Wellbeing?