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Types of Self-Care and Ways to Practice Them

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

1. Physical Self-Care

Taking care of, and giving our bodies the attention they deserve is a large component of self-care. When looking at the body through the Panchamaya Kosha System, the Annamaya Kosha (physical body) is the sheath-like container that holds all of the energetic bodies together. We must first take care of the outside, if we are to nourish our insides. The key to self-care is that it should be something that you like to do. Something that you WANT to do! Not something you think you should be doing, or something that everyone else is doing. Self-care is personal, and unique. Honor yourself in this way. Some ideas to nourish the physical body include- Yoga, Eating Healthy, Biking, Walking Your Dogs, Taking a Day Off

2. Emotional Self-Care

Our mind, body and spirit are connected on the most fundamental level. When we nourish or neglect one, we ultimately affect the other. Our emotional body when looked at through the Panchamaya Kosha System is the second-most sheath that encloses all of the innate bodily processes as well as our feelings and desires. Emotional self-care is all about becoming more in tune with our emotions. Its about checking in, noting how you feel, and keeping track of things that make you feel good and bad. While practicing emotional self-care we strive to find inner peace, and work on letting go of baggage that no longer serves us. Some ideas to nourish your emotional body include- Journaling, Mindful Coloring, Activities that Make You Feel Creative

3. Spiritual Self-Care

Commonly, we associate the word "spiritual" with religion, or a connection to a higher power. I am here to tell you that you are the divine being, and you are just having a human experience. You can chose to be the soul in which you dedicate your energy and time to. When you practice spiritual self-care, you are nourishing your soul, and doing so intentionally. You may be seeking purpose and meaning in your life, or be striving for contentment with the life which you have already built for yourself. No matter, there are several ways to implement a little bit more spiritual self-care into your life. Here are a few examples- Meditation, Spend Time Connecting to Nature, Donating Your Time to A Cause You Believe In

4. Intellectual Self-Care

Lack of stimulation in our intellectual body can cause dis-ease throughout the whole body. Our intellectual body is the seat of all our connections to the outside world. Without sufficient nourishment, we may begin to feel bored and tired with our lives. As humans, it is in our nature to move, change and continue learning through life. If you are feeling stuck, or without purpose in your life you may need to try some of these activities to take care of your intellectual body- Learn a New Language, Read A Book, Join a Book Club, Do Word-Searches or Sudoku

5. Social Self-Care

Not only is it our nature as humans to keep moving and learning, its our nature to do so with a companion. Humans by nature, are social beings. Now, this type of self-care may look and feel differently for introverts and extroverts. Even if our levels of social interactions may differ, connection is important to us, nonetheless. A few ways to practice social self-care include- Setting Clear Boundaries, Reconnecting with and Old Friend, Being the First One to Say Sorry, Start a Conversation with Someone New

6. Sensory Self-Care

Sensory self-care means exactly what it says- nourish your senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, sound). Practicing stimulating individual senses is a great way to ground yourself and bring your awareness into the present moment. As this is my favorite form of self-care, I have provided a list of ways to engage each sense-

Sight- Candle Gazing:

1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair in a room that's dimly lit

2. Light your favorite candle (which when lit you can see the flame)

3. With a relaxed body, concentrate on the flame for a few minutes (try to estimate this time without checking your device or setting a timer)

4. Continue to breathe and you keep all of your awareness, energy and attention on the flame

5. Once your estimated time is up, rub the palms of the hands together until warm, then place over the eyes

6. Breath deeply for 5-10 breaths

7. Repeat as necessary until your eyes feel tired


Practice candle gazing in the morning or before bed for best results

Allow the eyes to lose focus and try to keep from blinking

If you like aromatherapy, you may try a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball placed next to your meditation area ( or use a diffuser)!

Smell- Burning Your Favorite Incense (or sage) practice fire-safety of course

Taste- Chocolate Tasting

1. Break off a small piece of your favorite type of chocolate

2. Slowly place the piece onto your tongue

3. Notice any sensations you feel as the chocolate melts across your palette

4. Repeat with your favorite foods! Yay!

Touch- Take A Yin Yoga Class