The 8 Types of Self Care And Why They’re All Important

The 8 different types of self care

Did you know there are multiple types of self care?  

When I first started my own self-love journey, I knew the first thing I needed to focus on was self-care. I had not been taking care of myself for years, and my physical and mental health had drastically suffered because of it. 

Back then I still thought of self-care as the stereotypical self-care activities–taking some baths, lighting some candles, and doing my skincare routine. I didn’t realize that self-care is so much more complex than that—complex enough that it can be broken up into 8 main areas.  

It is important to cover all eight areas of self-care to ensure you are taking the best care of yourself. 

While I was learning how to love myself, I did an intensive deep dive into all things self-care. I’ve tried numerous self-care routines, products, and activities over the years. Below I am going to share more information about the 8 areas of self-care, and examples of activities that fit into each pillar so you can start implementing more self-care in your life. 

What Is Self-Care? 

Self-care is participating in activities that increase your wellness and overall health. Engaging in a self-care activity is like recharging your internal battery and should leave you feeling better, or with positive progress made after the activity has ended.  

Self-care is something personal and will be different for everyone based on their interests, lifestyles, and needs.  

Why Is Self-Care Important? 

Self-care is important because without taking proper care of yourself you will likely have a difficult time dealing with stress, may encounter health problems, and could even reach burnout. Self-care and self-love go hand in hand, and treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated also helps you to love yourself and become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself. 

Self-care has been clinically proven to: 

  • Increase happiness 
  • Improve physical health 
  • Increase energy 
  • Decrease stress 
  • Improve relationships 
  • Improve mental health 
  • Improve concentration 

What Are The 8 Types of Self Care?

Self-care can be broken up into 8 main areas, which can also be called the pillars of self-care. Some self-care activities can also fall under more than one area of self-care at a time.  

The 8 types of self-care are: 

1. Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care is all about taking care of your physical health. It is often considered one of the most important areas of self-care because our physical health impacts other areas of our health like our emotional and mental health as well.  

Examples of Physical Self-care:

[For a more extensive look into Physical Self-care check out: What Is Physical-Self Care (Plus 15 examples)]

Participating in physical self-care activities

2. Mental Self-Care 

Mental self-care is about taking part in activities that improve our mental health. By ensuring our mental health is taken care of, we can reduce the amount of stress that we feel on a daily basis and be in the right mindset to make the best decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. 

Examples of Mental Self-Care:

[Related post: What Are The Benefits Of Mental Self-Care? Plus 14 Examples ]

The 8 types of self-care

3. Emotional Self-Care

Many people know the importance of taking care of their physical and mental health, but they often overlook how important taking care of their emotional health is. 

Your emotions impact all parts of your life, and if you don’t know how to handle your emotions, and express them in a healthy way, you can create multiple problems for yourself. 

For example, many people have experienced something traumatic and still live with unresolved trauma. According to The National Council for Mental Wellbeing, 70% of adults in the U.S have experienced trauma at least once in their lives. 

Not dealing with trauma, and the emotions that come from that can lead to control issues, low self-esteem, anger problems, high blood pressure, and mental illness. 

Examples of Emotional Self-Care:

[Releated post: What Are The Six Areas Of Emotional Self-Care?

The 8 Areas of Self-care

4. Social Self-Care 

Human beings are social creatures. You need connections with other people in order to be happy and healthy. Those connections may look different depending on your specific needs and personality. For example, extroverts may feel they have greater social needs than introverts. People with social anxiety may feel anxious around large crowds but may thrive one-on-one with a close friend.  

The relationships we build with other people help us to feel loved and connected to the world around us. A lack of social self-care can lead to isolation and loneliness.  

Examples of Social Self-Care:  

  • Getting coffee with an old friend 
  • Spending quality time with family and friends 
  • Going to an event with a large crowd 
  • Messaging a friend on social media 
  • Visiting with neighbors 

social self care The 8 Types of Self Care And Why They're All Important

[Related post: 8 Social Self-Care Ideas For Introverts ]

5. Environmental Self-Care 

The environment that you surround yourself with has a massive impact on your wellbeing. When you create an environment that is right for you, and one that brings you positive feelings like joy, peace, and comfort, you will, of course, be happier and set yourself up for success.  

However, if you are surrounded by an environment that you do not enjoy, one that is unhealthy, or an environment that doesn’t align with who you are as a person, it makes it difficult to be happy and healthy. 

For example, this study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that your environment, and clutter in particular is a significant predictor of wellbeing. 

Examples of Environmental Self-Care:

  • Getting rid of clutter 
  • Making your bed 
  • Playing music you enjoy 
  • Using mood lighting 
  • Organizing your work desk 
  • Adjusting the temperature 

The 8 types of self-care

6. Financial Self-care 

Financial pressure is one of the most common factors that people stress about. In fact, according to a study by Thrive Global, 90% of Americans say money impacts their stress levels.   

By working on your financial health, you can eliminate that anxiety and stress from your life. These types of activities can feel more stressful at first, but putting effort into your financial self-care will help over time.  

How you bring in income also impacts your financial health. The job you are working plays a factor in not only your financial health but your physical and emotional health as well. 

Examples of Financial Self-care: 

  • Working on a budget  
  • Setting financial goals for the future 
  • Improving your professional skills 
  • Meeting with a financial advisor 
  • Investing money 
  • Improving your relationships with your coworkers 
  • Tracking your expenses 

financial self care The 8 Types of Self Care And Why They're All Important

7. Spiritual Self-care 

You don’t have to be a spiritual person to participate in spiritual self-care. This part of self-care encompasses the self-care activities that nourish your soul.  

With so much stress, conflict, and negativity in the world, it is extremely important to find ways to protect your peace. Spiritual self-care helps with that. 

Examples of Spiritual Self-Care: 

  • Spending time in your place of worship  
  • Yoga 
  • Participating in self-reflection 
  • Spending quality time in nature 
  • Manifestation 
  • Participating in causes that mean a lot to you

The different areas of self-care

8. Intellectual Self-Care 

Intellectual self-care includes self-care activities that expand our knowledge. As humans, we have a need to always be growing and learning to remain healthy.  

Examples of Intellectual Self-care: 

  • Reading books 
  • Listening to podcasts 
  • Learning a new language  
  • Trying a new recipe 
  • Taking a new class or course

[Related post: What Is Intellectual Self-Care All About?]

The 8 types of self-care

Tips To Remember About The Types Of Self-Care 

  • It might seem like you don’t have time to participate in self-care, but self-care activities increase your productivity. 
  • Self-care looks different for everyone. What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa. 
  • Self-care is basically the art of self-love in action. Self-care improves your relationship with yourself and shows you that you deserve to be treated the right way.  
  • Hustle culture has taught people that rest isn’t important. Self-care teaches us that the opposite is true. The more rest you take, the more energy you have for the things that really matter to you. 

The 8 types of self care graphic 1 The 8 Types of Self Care And Why They're All Important

Final Thoughts On The 8 Types Of Self-care 

Self-care isn’t about indulging in luxurious spa packages and vacations. Taking the best care of yourself means having a holistic approach to self-care and ensuring all eight areas of self-care are covered. By participating in self-care we teach ourselves that we deserve to be taken care of and we shouldn’t feel guilty about making ourselves a priority.  

Many self-care activities might seem small, but those small actions add up to help keep us healthy, happy and energized.

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