A Simple Framework for Self Care

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If you look around your home and realize you have no clean dishes, the dog is in need of a good grooming, and the garbage is smelling ripe, you may be thinking, “Who has the time for self care?”

But when you are taking care of yourself and feeling good, it becomes so much easier to do the things you need to do. All those chores won’t feel so overwhelming when you’ve taken the time you need to care for yourself.

Self care is one of those things that people aspire to do, but never quite get around to actually doing. So let me tell you (in the words of the great Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford)


A Framework for Self Care

Funny memes aside, self care really is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life. Here is a framework that I like to use to figure out what kind of self care would be most helpful to me.

There are five main types of self care:

  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Social

Mental Self Care

If you’re feeling bored and intellectually unstimulated, then you probably would want to focus on doing some mental self care. This could be something like practicing crossword puzzles, reading political articles from a national newspaper, or listening to a science podcast.

Emotional Self Care

If you’re feeling weepier or angrier than normal, you may want to work on some emotional self care.

The most helpful activity I’ve found for emotional self care is journaling. I prefer to write down whatever pops into my head, but you may decide that you get your writing juices flowing with a prompt or two.

If you’re interested in journaling, but want a resource to help guide you, I highly recommend that you check out Katie Dalebout’s book, “Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling.” I found it to be both an inspiring and practical guide on journal writing.

Physical Self Care

With physical self care, you could delve more deeply into a fitness routine, change up your skin care lineup, get a new hair cut, or even just go for a walk. Physical self care encompasses anything that helps you to care for your physical body, including fitness, nutrition, and personal hygiene.

Spiritual Self Care

You may or may not be religious, but many people find solace from believing in a higher power or deeper meaning. Your higher power could be God, or it could be nature, ethics, or something else entirely. If you’re feeling lost and worrying that you may be on the verge of an existential crisis, you may benefit from exploring your spiritual side.

You could learn about Buddhism, read the works of great philosophers, try out Kundalini Yoga, or even just take the time to ponder over the big questions: Why are we here? What is the purpose of human life? Asking these kinds of questions can make you feel a real sense of gratitude for the world that we live in.

Social Self Care

Another key aspect of self care is to make connections with others. Social self care is very helpful when you are feeling lonely. You may want to make plans with a friend to grab coffee, go to an event at the local public library, or call up your parents.

I hope you found this framework helpful. I’m interested to hear about all the ways that you practice self care. 

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