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The Big List of Self-Care Activities

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    Here at Zenith Humans, we see self-care as everything people can implement on a daily basis as well as on an as needed basis that allows and supports their healthy happy life. 

    What is Self-Care?

    Self-care is the intentional act of taking care of your mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. It’s anything that is related to improving or maintaining health and preventing disease or health decline.

    • Mental self-care refers to activities that stimulate your mind or intellect such as reading a book or playing chess.
    • Physical self-care refers to activities that support physical functioning and health such as exercising and getting adequate sleep.
    • Emotional self-care refers to activities that support mental health such as meditation and seeing a psychologist.
    • Social self-care refers to activities that nurtures and strengthens bonds or relationships with people in your life such as playing team sports or talking to friends.
    • Spiritual self-care refers to activities that promote a higher or self-actualised self or are religious orientated such as attending a place of worship or practising mindfulness.

    You will find that many activities related to one area of self-care overlaps with another self-care area. Two birds, one stone.

    There is also practical self-care (aka adulting). Practical self-care refers to activities that are necessary to fulfill obligations or core aspects of life such as cleaning the house or paying bills. Having general life aspects in order helps to prevent future stressors.

    Self-care is the everyday version of putting your own oxygen mask on before you help others. Taking time for yourself means you are able to support your friends and family as well as be a productive employee or entrepreneur.

    Importance and Benefits of Self-Care

    Given the rise of depression, anxiety, loneliness, stress, and lifestyle diseases self-care is becoming more important than ever. Self-care is part of the answer to how to cope, flourish, survive, and succeed in todays world. Practising self-care maintains or increases mental and physical health and wellbeing and allows better reactions (responses) to things that happen in life. Regular practice is associated with living longer, resilience, coping with stress, improved immune system, increases happiness, productivity, higher self-esteem, and reduced stress.

    What Self-Care Isn't

    While self-care is a growing mainstream trend and is prone to be abused by the sick care and FOMO industries, it really isn’t about being self-indulgent or selfish, nor is it reason to forsake others feelings and boundaries. Also, people may choose self-care that costs a lot of money (daily massages anyone?) but it does not have to be this way. If you have the money go for it, but if you are not crazy rich and indulgent experiences will mean you cannot take care of basic needs than these experiences are not self-care. Self-care also isn’t about following the latest trends (#treatyo’self anyone?) or changing your behaviours to fit with societies version of self-care. 

    Individual Self-Care and the Health Care Industry

    Studies show self-care frameworks that encompassed both the individual self-care activities and engagement with health care providers, highlighting that health care industry professionals play a role in individuals self-care. For some people however, suggestions or directions from health care professionals or organisations that are incongruent with what the individual finds helpful or values can undermine physical or mental health. It is important to acknowledge that self-care differs between individuals, health care professionals, businesses, and organisations and when self-care calls for engagement with health care providers, a collaborative approach is necessary.

    List of Self-Care Activities

    As self-care can be implemented as a routine or in response to an occurrence it’s also important to highlight that self-care practice can differ from day to day, month to month. What works in one situation or on one day, may not be helpful for another situation. This is where checking in with yourself (see our social media for our monthly check in’s) and developing a self-care toolkit can help. Below is a big list, in no particular order, of both temporary and enduring self-care practices. These activities can be implemented as stand alone or in combination with each other.

    1. Choosing nourishing foods
    2. Positive and realistic self-talk
    3. Bubble baths
    4. Attending religious services
    5. Saying No to things that cause unnecessary stress
    6. Running
    7. Saying Yes to things that get you out of your comfort zone and excites you
    8. Gratitude reflection
    9. Coffee date with friends
    10. Acts of kindness
    11. Sleep hygiene
    12. Journaling
    13. Massages
    14. Making your bed each morning
    15. Meditation
    16. Weights training
    17. Spending time in nature
    18. Deep breathing
    19. Drawing
    20. Watching a movie
    21. Pampering
    22. Showering
    23. Enjoy a hot cocoa
    24. Set and maintain boundaries
    25. Educating self about your health condition
    26. Declutter your desk or Tupperware cupboard
    27. Painting
    28. Swimming
    29. Puzzles and games
    30. Unfollow people on social media that have a negative effect on your wellbeing
    31. Learn cognitive strategies for dealing with negative self-talk
    32. Meal prep
    33. Bush walking
    34. Developing a purpose for life
    35. Drink water
    36. Organise your handbag
    37. Advocating for your health needs
    38. Listen to music
    39. Financial budgeting
    40. Deconstruct social conditioning
    41. Sing
    42. Knitting
    43. Read a book
    44. Seeking professional support
    45. Brush your teeth
    46. Learn your worth
    47. Housecleaning
    48. Pat a dog
    49. Detach from toxic people and environments
    50. Resting
    51. Dance
    52. Gardening
    53. Time management
    54. Volunteering
    55. Trying something new
    56. Traveling
    57. Listen to a podcast
    58. Holding ice
    59. Baking
    60. Bouldering
    61. Praying
    62. Getting a second opinion
    63. Up-cycling furniture
    64. Cardiovascular exercises
    65. Using the right skin care products
    66. Practice safe sex
    67. Letting go
    68. Cosy up by a fire
    69. Bask in the sunshine
    70. Self-reflection
    71. Play
    72. Stop work on time
    73. Hold yourself accountable
    74. Burn a candle
    75. Getting a manicure
    76. Sit in a sauna or steam room
    77. Origami
    78. Play sudoku

    Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive but implementing some of these strategies may support your self-care. It’s also important to remember that self-care isn’t a one size fits all strategy. It is best that self-care plans are tailored to your individual needs and what is currently going on in your life.

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