• Adrienne P Thompson


In part one, we discussed what self-care is, its importance, how it can differ for people and situations, and the four categories (physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, and social). Now, it’s time to explore those categories, and what we can actually do to practice self-care.

(Missed part one? Read it here!)


According to Utah State University, physical self-care “involves activities that improve your physical health”. This includes diet, sleep habits and body movement. Paying attention to what you eat and choosing the right food can change your mood, give you a boost in energy and keep your body healthy. With that, getting enough sleep sometimes can seem impossible, (especially for students), but shouldn’t be consistently sacrificed. Chronic sleep deprivation can have significant negative effects on your physical health and mental health, including a weakened immune system and weight gain. Being physically active can also be a fun way of practicing self-care. Yoga, Zumba, hiking, dancing, biking and stretching all qualifies as physical activity.  


This type of self-care “involves practices that maintain your mental strength and emotional health.” This can be seen as one of the most important and hardest types of self care. It can create balance and equilibrium but deciding on what to do is tricky. Process your feelings and identifying triggers to help with how you respond to those feelings. Some examples are “learning to be more accepting, kind, and forgiving of yourself,” according to Utah State University. Self-care for mental health takes time as there is no instant solution. Therapeutic activities such as meditation, relaxation and mindfulness are some examples you can practice on your own.


Spiritual self-care “involves practices that exercise your mind and soul,” also according to Utah State University. Taking care of your spirit isn’t always about the “notions of God” but “whatever you consider meaningful and holy,” according to Mental Health America. Because of this it can overlap with mental self-care, as mindfulness, meditation, and truly connecting with yourself may help. Other examples can be “[joining] a religious institution, [praying] on your notion of God, volunteering, and [reading] religious texts.


Social self-care is care for your relationships and life. According to the National Wellness Institute, having positive relationships (platonic and romantic) as well as interactions “emphasizes the interdependence with others and nature.” This, “involves developing and building close friendships and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, caring for others and for the common good, and allowing others to care for you.” Some examples of practicing social self-care or social wellness could be, joining an organization/club, going for a walk with your friends, balancing your needs with the needs of others or surrounding yourself with positivity.

Even hugging someone can help improve your health. 

Practicing self-care may be tricky and you may not get it right the first time, but do not fret! Learning about what your body needs changes daily, so your approach to how you practice self-care may change as well. The key is to find out what you enjoy doing as well as what makes you happy. Forcing yourself to do certain self-care practices may actually hurt you more than help. Remember, self-care helps you maintain an optimal level of health.

For our #SelfCareSeries we are having a giveaway with the book, Crystal Bliss by Devi Brown, which can be another way of practicing self-care. Here’s how you enter:

1.   Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @DARLAmedia.

2.   Tag @DARLAmedia in a post about your self-care routine and use #SelfCareSeries.

3.   Retweet or tweet your favorite DARLA articles.

4.   Must be completed by Friday, November 17, 2017 at 11:59pm.

Your tweets or posts may be featured in part three of our series. The winner will be notified via social media.

Sources: http://www.soul-warriors.com/6-types-of-self-care/, https://counseling.usu.edu/referring/self, http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/take-care-your-spirit, , http://definitionofwellness.com/dimensions-of-wellness/social-wellness/

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Adrienne P. Thompson