How I Care For Myself: 6 Types of Self-Care
Last updated: August 2023
This article will be about my self-care plan. I always thought self-care was just taking baths, going for a walk and lighting candles to relax. After some research, I learned that there is a lot more to self-care than taking baths.
There are actually six types of self-care. I have decided to make a self-care plan using these 6 types. I’m going to make sure that I stick to this plan and see if it brings any difference to my life.
Looking after your mental health is very important for everyone. But for us with AxSpa, it’s even more important. For me, having AxSpa has changed my life. It has brought good and bad things to my life. I try to remain positive and look at the good things that it has brought.
One good aspect to having AxSpa for me is that I’ve decided to look after myself better. This is why I decided to make this plan. To make me better. So, here is my plan the reasons why these are in my plan:
1. Physical self-care
As part of my self-care plan, I plan to undergo physical self-care every day. I plan to walk 3km daily, if it is not raining. I plan to this this during my college breaks each day. This will be good for both my mind and body.
Another part of my physical self-care plan is to stretch every day. I plan give myself two options here. Option one is to do five minutes of stretching in the morning. Option two is to do a short simple yoga YouTube video. I plan to do this as stretching will help me to be less stiff. I decided to give myself two options as I don’t think my body would be able to do exercise every day.
As well as movement and stretching helping me physically, I think that it will help me emotionally too. I hope that yoga improves my mood and decreases my stress levels.
2. Social self care
For me, this is the most important part of my self-care plan.
Due to Covid and being immunocompromised I was self-isolating for about a year. I’ve had three vaccines, so now I can see people again. But, because of it being winter and the many flus and stomach bugs going around I need to be very careful and limit my contacts as it is very dangerous for me to get sick. Getting sick is a huge fear of mine.
For my self-care plan I have decided to make more of an effort to meet people outside. I have also decided to ring/facetime my friends more often. I’ve decided to do this as this will help me feel less alone. I’ve decided to meet my friends outside rather than inside as then I won’t feel constantly anxious about getting sick.
3. Intellectual self-care
As part of my intellectual self-care, I have decided to read more or at least listen to books on Audible. As a child I loved to read, but now I don’t make time for this. This will help me become more imaginative and creative. Opening my mind to new writing styles and vocab will also increase my writing skills.
Due to fatigue and brain fog, I find concentrating on reading a book difficult. So, I have downloaded Audible and it’s the best thing I have done! I listen to books in bed, while I'm driving, having baths or getting myself ready for the day. Listening to books is a great way to relax.
4. Vocational self-care
As part of my vocational self-care, I’ve decided to learn a language. I plan to repeat my leaving cert Irish course. The leaving cert is the exam that you take at the end of high school before getting into a college.
I am going to do this so it broadens my options in relation to a career once I have my honors degree, which I will have at the end of this year. I’m not sure what career I want yet but having an honor in honors Irish will give me the option to work in a primary school. It also opens up my options for doing a masters. I plan to do a masters in primary teaching next year.
Although I find college much harder since being sick, I am determined to push through and get myself the education that I’ve always wanted. I do not want my illness impacting my studies or my career plans. I do think that my body needs a break from college. So, I might take a year out before starting my masters. But, this is something that I must think long and hard about.
5. Spiritual self-care
In my opinion, spiritual self-care means doing something that gives you a sense of purpose. It doesn’t have to be just religion.
For me, that is music. Since I was a child, I have been very musical, and I come from a very musical family. I can play the piano, violin, guitar, and the saxophone. In the past few years, I have not made time for music.
So, as part of my spiritual self-care I have decided to go back to playing the saxophone. This will give me a sense of purpose and enjoyment. I plan to practice every second day. I plan to be able to play all 11 songs for Amy Winehouse’s first album "Frank" by January.
I haven't played my saxophone since becoming sick. I can imagine this will take a lot of my spoons so I may have to rethink my plan and practice less than I have already planned.
6. Emotional self-care
As part of my self-care plan, I want to develop my emotions and improve my overall well-being. I plan to take part in mindfulness twice a week. This well help me to deal with unexpected stresses that come into my life. I have tried mindfulness before, but I did not stick to it. I plan to stick with it this time.
I also plan to journal my feelings and AxSpa symptoms every night. I think doing this will result in me being less stressed in general.
I spend a lot of time looking at screens, for example, TV, laptop, or my phone. I want to have less screen time so as part of my plan. I have bought an adult coloring book. I think that will be a very relaxing activity and a form of mindfulness. And, maybe it will improve my sleep by coloring before bed instead of watching TV.
What do you do for self-care?
Did you know there were six types of self-care?
Do you notice worsening flares in colder weather?