Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Thalia
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post solely dedicated to self-care.
So in honour of my 1 year of blog posts, I’m taking things back to basics.
Today I’m talking about the 8 pillars of self-care so you can find the right rituals for your needs and build a routine around them.
Whether you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning or just recently joined me, I want to say thank you for being here.
It’s so comforting knowing I have a lovely community that I can write to each week and share a bit about me, a bit of kindness and a bit of guidance.
I first started this blog by posting mindful productivity tips and refreshing self-care ideas.
But Notes by Thalia has now grown into something more.
So if you want to hear more of:
“Listen to your body and don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do.”
“Make sure you are doing something every day that makes you smile.”
Then slow the scroll and stay here for a while.
Table of Contents
- Self-care, a love story
- Self-care, a non-negotiable
- The 8 pillars of self-care and how to practice them with these simple self-care rituals
- Final thoughts
Self-care, a love story
After a year of weekly blog posts, it only felt right that I go back to the beginning *cue Hilary Duff* and dedicate today’s blog post to the topic that started this whole thing off.
Before I do a deep dive into the 8 pillars of self-care, let’s first recap what self-care is, and why you need to dedicate time to it.
Self-care is any activity you do to help take better care of your well-being.
It can be anything from journaling, practising gratitude or meditating, to pampering, socialising or watching Netflix.
It’s a simple concept but one that often gets ignored.
And in all honesty, one that I ignored for ages too.
my self-care journey
In fact, I don’t think I even used the word pre-2020.
When I worked a 9 to 5, I always ended my day with a workout and a movie but I never considered this an act of self-care.
It was just something that I did.
I then went travelling to escape the crazy London version of me and learn about who I truly was.
Looking back, travelling was probably the start of my self-care journey.
But like before, self-care hadn’t crossed my mind yet and so I just assumed I was travelling to “find myself.”
Fast forward to when I started working from home, around the same time lockdown 1.0 came into place, and I still wasn’t inviting self-care into my life.
I was working long days and at the weekends.
A lot of the content I was consuming at this time was also very “hustle” oriented and so I just thought it was the norm to be constantly busy.
I didn’t want to make time for myself because;
a) I didn’t realise how important rest was
b) I considered meaningless activities to be quite lazy
After a few months of burnout and days where all I did was cry, my perception of self-care changed.
I did the research, tested out a few things and changed up the content I was choosing to follow.
I then soon realised how essential self-care and rest were to my own personal development and mental health and it’s become a non-negotiable for me ever since.
Self-care, a non-negotiable
Self-care is essential.
Not only for your well-being but for your productivity as well.
The more you rest and take care of yourself, the more nourished you feel, so you can keep showing up as the healthiest version of yourself.
Self-care also allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so you can properly take care of your mental health and well-being.
It’s also important to remember that self-care looks different to everyone. It’s about what works for you and what makes you feel good.
For me, self-care is indulging in physical activities that make me happy. Like having a slow morning, travelling, scrapbooking, reading a fiction book or doing a puzzle.
These activities allow me to switch off and feel completely at ease.
Self-care doesn’t have to feel like a chore or be overly expensive either. Choose activities you are comfortable with and switch them up every so often.
Have fun with your routine by trying out fresh and exciting self-care ideas throughout the year.
Also, familiarise yourself with the 8 different pillars of self-care so you can get more intentional with your self-care routine.
Being able to pinpoint what you and your body need in terms of nourishment allows you to go straight to the right pillar and choose a self-care activity that fits your needs rather than indulging in a random activity that you won’t benefit from.
The 8 pillars of self-care and how to practice them with these simple self-care rituals
1 | Physical self-care
Let’s start off with one of my favourite pillars of self-care, physical.
Physical self-care refers to the things you do to help you take care of your body and boost energy levels.
Wellness habits like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting a good amount of sleep every night all contribute to the overall quality of your life.
Physical self-care activities include:
- Eating a healthy and nourishing meal
- Moving your body daily, either by walking, running or working out, etc
- Taking probiotics or multivitamins daily
- Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up
- Getting between 7-9 hours of good sleep
- Sitting in the sun and soaking up vitamin D
- Spending time in nature
- Having a soothing hot bath or shower
Save these physical self-care ideas to Pinterest!
2 | Mental self-care
Not only do mental self-care practices help to stimulate the mind and improve brain functionality but they also help you to develop a growth mindset.
Having a growth mindset is essential to help boost overall happiness and fulfilment as you are not scared to learn or try new things.
Instead, your curiosity makes you feel excited and more fulfilled, as you know there is a world of opportunity out there and new skills to learn.
Mental self-care activities include:
- Learning a new skill or language
- Setting big intentional goals or mini personal ones
- Reading self-help or personal growth books
- Practising gratitude
- Doing a social media detox
- Engaging in a game of chess
- Practising positive thinking
Save these mental self-care ideas to Pinterest!
3 | Emotional self-care
Learning to understand yourself and your emotions better through emotional self-care allows you to truly love and accept yourself.
Emotional self-care can help you to cope and manage your feelings better when faced with challenges, as well as improve self-awareness and self-acceptance.
Emotional self-care activities include:
- Setting healthy and clear boundaries to protect your energy
- Spending time by yourself with no distractions
- Journaling your feelings
- Having a good cry
- Practising self-love
- Writing down positive affirmations
- Speaking to a therapist
- Asking for help
Save these emotional self-care ideas to Pinterest!
4 | Environmental self-care
I find that in order to truly thrive I need to be in the right environment. Whether that is in a bustling coffee shop or in a tidy home office.
So make sure you create the right type of environment to work for you.
Remember, your environment should always motivate you rather than distract you.
If you are working from home separate your workspace from your home space. Put up plants or pictures to make it visually appealing.
Look after and maintain your environment just as much as you take care of yourself. Keep your personal spaces organised and clutter-free as a clear space equals a clear mind.
Environmental self-care activities include:
- Making your bed every morning
- Travelling for a change of scenery
- Tidying and organising your workspace
- Decluttering your wardrobe regularly
- Heading to a coffee shop to work
- Exploring somewhere new
- Listening to music
- Setting a calm mood in the evenings
“Environment design allows you to take back control and become the architect of your life. Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.”james clear | atomic habits
Save these environmental self-care ideas to Pinterest!
5 | Financial self-care
If you’re like me the words “personal finance” will just send shivers down your spine (sorry to my bestie Michelle who loves finance).
But cultivating a healthy relationship with money is essential for our mental health as it helps eliminate stress and anxiety from our lives.
Financial self-care can also improve our positive mindset around money so we feel more open to talking about it and feel less negative towards people who have lots of it!
Financial self-care activities include:
- Listening to financial or money-related podcasts
- Investing in your future
- Reading You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
- Setting financial goals for the year
- Using a money app to help you keep track of finances
- Saving money each month
- Dealing with debt head-on
- Writing down positive money affirmations
Save these financial self-care ideas to Pinterest!
6 | Social self-care
Self-care doesn’t always have to be about spending time by yourself. It can sometimes look like reconnecting with friends or simply building and maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones.
Social connections help us to feel loved and less alone but are also essential in developing and improving our communication skills.
Social self-care activities include:
- Hanging out with a friend with zero distractions (yes, put the phone away)
- Messaging a friend to tell them why you are grateful for them
- Limiting time with negative people
- Ending relationships with toxic people
- Setting boundaries and learning to say no
- Speaking to a loved one
- Building an engaged community online
- Writing letters to a friend
Save these social self-care ideas to Pinterest!
7 | Recreational self-care
Alas, I have finally made it to my favourite type of self-care. Recreational.
Also known as making time for fun!
Recreational self-care encourages you to tap into your inner child by taking part in hobbies that don’t require too much brainpower.
It is all about stepping away from your to-do list and filling up your day, month or year with moments that bring you joy.
Recreational self-care activities include:
- Going travelling by yourself or with others
- Having a pamper day
- Watching Netflix or classic 90s chick flicks
- Getting creative by painting, colouring-in or doing a puzzle
- Spending time in nature
- Reading fiction, magazines or comic books
- Playing board games or doing a puzzle
- Joining an in-person exercise class
Save these recreational self-care ideas to Pinterest!
8 | Spiritual self-care
Whereas the other pillars of self-care are focused on nurturing your mind and body, spiritual self-care aims to nourish the soul.
Spiritual self-care practices help you tap into your inner being so you can find a deeper purpose and more meaning in your life.
This area of self-care can also allow you to silence the outside noise so you can find internal calm and peace.
Spiritual self-care activities include:
- Meditating or breathwork
- Spending time in nature
- Going to a place of worship
- Mapping out your core values
- Dedicating time to self-reflection
- Learning more about astrology
Save these spiritual self-care ideas to Pinterest!
I can’t stress enough how important dedicating time to self-care is for your mental health and well-being.
Self-care may seem like a difficult and inconvenient thing to get into the habit of doing, especially when you’re busy but once you start you’ll never look back.
Keep it simple and focus on your needs first. Don’t try to find the perfect balance between each pillar of self-care but focus on the area needed most.
Start small by finding a gap in your schedule and dedicating 5-15 mins a day until you are ready to increase it.
And remember to choose self-care activities you enjoy.
I think the key is to always do more of what makes you happy.
So spend the time building a self-care routine that works for you.
Put together a self-care builder or tracker to help you find the right rituals. Rate each ritual out of 5 stars and ask yourself, “how did this activity make me feel”, “would I do this again?”
Or get started with this process today with The Daily Wellness & Self-Care Planner.
This 18-page planner provides you with the accountability and structure you need to plan rest & self-care so you can wave goodbye to burnout.
Use it to:
- Build a morning & evening routine that works for you
- Successfully build better habits
- Track sleep
- Map out your meals & exercise for a healthy week
- Reflect on the day and practice gratitude
- Plan out a week of self-care activities
- Journal your thoughts & feelings
- Plus much much more.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx