Self-care is important in preventing burnout and ensuring that you feel more balanced in life. It leads to a more fulfilling, purposeful, and productive life. There are many elements to self-care. It isn’t just about “me time” or reading a book just because you think you “should”. Self-care can mean a lot of things to different people but here are some general suggestions of the many types of self-care you can incorporate into your life.
Physical self-care is probably what many of us typically think of when we hear the words self-care. It refers to any activity that you deliberately engage in to enhance your physical well-being.
- Eating healthy
- Taking care of your hygiene
- Getting enough sleep
- Going to the doctor when you feel unwell
You can leverage on AIA Vitality in the My AIA app to help with your physical healthcare. It encourages you to stay active by rewarding you with points for exclusive rewards when you exercise and make other healthier lifestyle choices. Not only that, you can use the Digital Health services to get an online consultation from a doctor without leaving the house!
Mental self-care is pretty much any activity that stimulates your mind or your intellect to cultivate a healthy psyche. It helps recharge your brain and can even make you feel excited about learning something new!
- Reading a book
- Listening to a podcast
- Solving a puzzle
- Playing chess
- Watching a documentary
Physical and mental health aside, your feelings are important too. The truth is, we can’t feel good all the time. And while we might experience various types of emotions during hardships, the important thing is how you react to it and manage your emotions.
Emotional self-care is when you’re able to cope with your negative feelings, identify the source and express them to yourself as well as others.
- Seeing a therapist
- Talking to a friend that you trust
- Avoiding toxic or unhealthy relationships
Spirituality is all about having a deeper sense of connection, meaning or understanding of the universe. That sense of deep calm you feel when you are totally immersed in an activity you enjoy can be a spiritual experience, no matter what your beliefs. Spiritual self-care are activities that nurture your spirit and allow you to think bigger than yourself.
- Being in nature
- Engaging in prayer
- Going to a place of worship
Humans are social beings and connecting to other people is important for all of us, even for those who are introverted and enjoy alone time. Spending time with others, whether it be friends or family can help you feel fulfilled, validated, and loved.
- Having brunch or dinner with friends
- Date night with your partner
- Staying in touch with your family
- Making new friends
Not many people will consider practical self-care as a form of self-care because it covers mundane, everyday activities. Practical self-care is admittedly less exciting than others, but don’t underestimate the virtues of practical self-care because it can be huge sanity savers and help create a greater sense of calm and control in our busy lives.
- Tidying your living space
- Meal prepping
- Organising your closet
A survey by the American Psychology Association showed that financial worries can affect us emotionally, causing stress, anxiety, and even depression. Hence it is important to incorporate elements of financial self-care into our lives.
- Speaking to a financial consultant
- Saving money
- Learning to invest in long term gains
Most of the benefits of self-care are interlinked and no matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, self-care is crucial for our overall health. There are some self-care that can help to overcome anxiety or depression; some improve physical health and fitness while others help with relationship building. That being said, self-care is a highly individualised practice and there is no one-size-fits-all option for self-care.
Determine what works for you as the activities listed above are merely suggestions and you may find other activities that are more fulfilling to you. Experiment to find what suits you and don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t satisfy you. Enjoy!