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A Therapist's Guide to Self Care

Self-care is the practice of taking action to improve your health. We can do this regularly or just from time to time, but it’s important to turn this abstract concept into a concrete goal.

Self-care communicates to your mind, body, and soul that you are valued. And if you just spent Valentine’s day lavishing your love on others, this week is a good one to concentrate on giving back some love to yourself!

There are six domains of self-care including physical, professional, relational, emotional, psychological, and spiritual that you can decide to nurture.

Below is a brief description of each domain to inspire your self-care journey.

  1. Physical self-care is taking care of our physical body. This domain is about getting back to basics, almost like body 101!

Top tips for physical self-care: Eat regularly and in a way that nourishes your body; exercise regularly; boost your sleep

2. Psychological self-care takes care of your mind. This might include seeing mental health professionals or simply engaging in activities that recharge your psychological resilience.

    Top tips for psychological self-care: Turn off phone notifications; take a walk outdoors; keep scheduled therapy appointments; take time for reflection

    3. Emotional self-care encompasses your relationship with yourself. Check-in with your feelings and see how you’re doing.

      Top tips for emotional self-care: Keep a journal; take time off; vent your frustrations; engage in opportunities to create happiness

      4. Spiritual self-care not only refers to religion, but also how you feel grounded and connected to your world around you.

        Top tips for spiritual self-care: get out into nature; meditate; sing; engage in spiritual practice

        5. Relational self-care is connecting with others and engaging in communities. Even when self-isolating, we can still manage to connect. In fact, humans need to connect to thrive.

          Top tips for relational self-care: Make regular facetime appointments with friends/family; take a socially distant walk in the park; accept help from others; take a virtual cooking class

          6. Professional or academic self-care is managing work balance. If your work/life balance has shifted since COVID-19, you’re not alone. You may want to revisit what your workplace/academic self-care looks like.

            Top tips for professional or academic self-care: Set boundaries (turning off email notifications after a certain time); take lunch breaks; set timely project goals

            If you need help navigating a starting point, this self-care inventory can assist in highlighting which domains you pay most attention to and which need more love!

            The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.