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What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Important For Your Mental Health


What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Important For Your Mental Health

What is self-care? It doesn’t matter how many stress-relieving activities you participate in; as long as you are not taking care of yourself, they won’t help. Meditation won’t relax your mind if you aren’t having enough sleep. Actually, you might even find yourself dozing during your meditation due to a lack of adequate sleep. Additionally, spending a lot of time in the gym won’t help you shed some weight or stay fit if you indulge in high-processed junk food. In short, you need to take care of yourself, i.e., your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, if you want your stress relief mechanisms to work.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care can be described as everything one does intentionally to enhance their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. However, as simple as it sounds, most people do not pay enough attention to it. This is why “intentionally” is the most important word in this definition. You need to take care of your general well-being intentionally and not due to circumstances.

Self-care starts with simple acts like not checking on notifications on your phone since they can affect the quality of your sleep to taking important decisions like going for a vacation. Self-care is important for building resilience towards life stressors that can’t be eliminated. When you’ve taken good care of your whole being, you’ll be in a better position to live your life to the fullest.

It’s important to check whether you are taking good care of yourself in different domains to ensure that there is no part of you that you are neglecting.

Physical Self-Care

For your body to keep on running efficiently, you need to take care of your physical well-being. Remember that there is a connection between your body and mind. When your body is in better condition, you will be in a good mood. Physical self-care includes how much sleep you are getting, how active you are, and how well you cater to your physical needs.

Attending your appointments without failing, taking medication on time, and ensuring that you are in good health are all part of good physical self-care. To know whether you are taking good care of your physical needs, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Is your body getting enough fuel from your diet?
  • Are you taking care of your health?
  • Are you active enough?


Socialization is an important part of self-care. But sometimes, it’s hard to spare some time for friends and family, and it’s so easy to neglect your relationships, especially with the busy lives we live. Maintaining close connections is paramount when it comes to your well-being. The best way to maintain close relationships is by setting some time for your loved ones. No amount of time should be devoted to family and friends since everyone has different social needs. What’s important is that you intentionally set some time aside for socialization. To assess your social self-care, consider:

  • Do you have enough one-on-one time with your loved ones?
  • Are you putting enough energy into nurturing your relationships?

Mental Self-Care

Your psychological well-being depends on the way you think and the things you are feeding your mind with. Mental self-care includes taking part in things that sharpen your mind, such as puzzles or doing things that make you happy. If reading or swimming keeps you in the right state of mind, go ahead and do it.

Mental self-care also involves doing stuff that enhances your mental health. Self-acceptance and compassion may also help you maintain a healthier inner sense of wellbeing. When you think about your mental self-care, consider these questions:

  • Are you active in things that stimulate you mentally?
  • Are you proactive to help you stay mentally healthy?

Emotional Self-Care

Did you know that it’s vital to have a healthy coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety?

Emotional self-care includes doing things that help you healthily express your emotions. Whether it’s talking to a person close to you about your feelings or going for a walk to ease your emotions, it’s important to develop ways to deal with your emotions. During the assessment of your emotional self-care, consider these questions:

  • Do you process your emotions in a healthy manner?
  • Do you participate in things that can help you feel at ease?

Spiritual Self-Care

A lifestyle that includes religion or spirituality is a healthy life. Taking care of your spiritual needs doesn’t necessarily mean getting involved with religion. It may be as simple as developing a deeper sense of understanding or connecting with the universe.

Whether by meditating, attending a religious service, or praying, taking care of your spiritual needs is essential. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you are practicing spiritual self-care as it’s supposed to:

  • What can you say about your spiritual life?
  • Do you have a deeper connection with the universe?

Final Thought 

Self-care plans differ from one person to another. Your self-care plan should be customized depending on what’s going on in your life. For example, self-care for a person who is mentally stimulated all day and has a healthy social life requires more emphasized physical self-care.

On the other hand, a retired person needs to emphasize more on their social self-care to ensure that their social needs are taken care of. To be in the right state of mind, you need to take care of your whole being. Your mental health depends on how healthy your whole body is and vice versa. A well-taken care of the body leads to a healthy state of mind, and well-taken care of mind leads to a healthy body. Ensure that you do not neglect any aspect of your life to be in good general health and a healthy mental state.

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Kaitlen Knowles, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW (she, her), Rochester, NY
Pagano Wellness Clinic – Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy in Richmond Virginia
Building You Counselling, Virtual Counselling & Therapeutic Services

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