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Self-Care 101
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The Ultimate Self-Care Guide for Everyone

Whether you are dipping your toe into the waters of self-care for the first time ever, or are an ultimate guru of all things relating to personal development, serenity, and inner peace, GR8NESS is the place for you. We are a community of individuals who are all on the same journey; the journey of self-improvement.

The art of mastering self-care is understanding that it’s a continuous journey of accepting yourself. The high points, the low points, and being just where you are. There is not a particular definition or a step-by-step goal that can help you achieve self-care nirvana. Rather, it is the process of exploring things that are new and different, challenging yourself day after day, embracing self-love, building self-esteem, and creating your own unique self-care plan.

There is no right or wrong way to embark on the journey of self-care. Start where you feel comfortable, take time for yourself, go at your own pace, and enjoy the ride. Understand that there may be parts of self-care that are uncomfortable. It is not all relaxation and retail therapy. In fact, the most essential part of self-care is pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.

Join us on this never-ending journey as we share useful information, self-care ideas, and dive deeper into the importance of self-care and all that it entails. Be prepared to learn new things about yourself, about the world around you, and recognize the true importance of self-care.

intro to self-care

An Introduction to Self-Care

One of the most common questions we hear at GR8NESS is “What is self-care?” There is no single answer, as self-care takes a different form for every individual. One thing is definite, though, self-care is based on self-improvement. There are many different aspects of the process, each of which we explore in-depth.

What Is Self-Care?

Your self-care plan will not look like any other person’s. If someone asks you what self-care looks like to you, your answer will not be the same as any other’s. Self-care means something different to each person, and that’s the beauty of the process. We look at the root of “self-care,” which is, learning how to look after yourself.

Some people find themselves wondering whether or not self-care is selfish. When embraced in its true form, it is not. However, there are common misconceptions surrounding the self-care definition. Many think that it is all about what makes us feel good, but the reality is that what is better for our future selves may be challenging right now. Sometimes, things feel GR8 right now but can be harmful on the path of self-improvement. We explore these topics and have real, open, and honest conversations regarding the many aspects of what self-care truly is.

The Pillars of Self-Care

To truly take care of yourself, you must address each of the pillars of self-care. Self-care is not a single activity, it is not a single self-care day, and it is not a single part of our being. To develop a successful self-care plan, you must expand on the four pillars of well-being.

Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care encompasses many different things. From getting enough sleep to drinking enough water, working out to taking care of your heart and lungs, there is a lot that goes into it. At GR8NESS, we cover topics relating to fitness, pain relief, women’s and men’s health, sexual health, diet and nutrition, yoga, strength training, weight loss, and so much more.

Just as each person’s self-care plan is different, each person’s physical needs differ as well. You may be looking for the best superfoods to add to your meal routine or you may be looking for the best cardio workouts to take care of yourself physically.

At GR8NESS, we celebrate all shapes, sizes, and ages. We understand that physical needs change as individuals age or as medical conditions arise. No one is left out in our community. No matter who you are, or what your physical goals entail, you will find information to help take care of yourself here.

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care encompasses a wide range of behaviors, activities, and thought processes. Ultimately, you want to live a happy and fulfilling life where you reach your dreams and achieve all your goals. But you need a self-care plan to get there.

What makes us happy today may not be good for us tomorrow, and here at GR8NESS we provide you with tools for building self-esteem, recognizing negative patterns, and protecting your happiness.

Sometimes you do need to take a self-care day. A day to reset, disconnect, and recharge. We encourage that. But there’s a fine line between the need to take time for yourself and the habit of isolation. We’re here to help you figure it all out.

Psychological Self-Care

Psychological self-care takes it one step further than emotional self-care. At this point in our journeys we can begin to expand our minds, challenge our thinking, and change the way we look at the world. We may begin to set and accomplish goals professionally, academically, or otherwise. This is the part of the self-care plan where we begin to understand the way our brains work.

At GR8NESS, we provide you with brain training activities and explain the inner workings of the human mind to help you recognize your fears, your dreams, causes of anxiety, and how to address it all. You may be surprised at what you find along this journey.

Learning to take care of yourself psychologically is an on-going process, just as all other aspects of self-care. You may struggle with mental health now, but learn coping skills to overcome obstacles in the future. Or, you may feel fine psychologically, yet learn to recognize warning signs and become more self-aware.

Additionally, you will learn how to rest your mind, how to capitalize on your strengths, and how to protect your brain health for years to come.

Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care is a journey that is full of wonder. It focuses on deep reflection, becoming in-tune with the mind, body, and soul, and finding a deeper purpose within yourself and the universe around you. It is when you connect with every other being that you can truly connect with yourself.

This is a road that many find challenging, yet also the most rewarding. You have never wandered down this road before. Have you ever sat in stillness and silence and just focused on existence? Perhaps you have, or perhaps you are looking to learn.

Spiritual self-care centers on blocking out external negativity and learning how to move through the world with a sense of peace, calm, and serenity. You will learn that all you need to be truly happy is yourself, and that there are many ways you can reach this happiness.

Spirituality is not the same for any person, nor do we focus on religion. Instead, the concept of spirituality focuses intently on the soul. Not just the human soul, but the soul of all that surrounds you. We encourage you to pause. To stop and breathe. To acknowledge what is going on around you, to accept it for what it is, the good and the bad, and to support yourself as you move forward.

Undoubtedly, spiritual self-care is a routine that can be challenging to master. However, with practice, dedication, a willingness to learn and an open mind, it is something that each and every person is fully capable of developing.

Who Needs Self-Care?

The question of who needs self-care is both simple and complex, as with everything else on this unique journey. You need self-care. As does every person you have ever met or are yet to meet. However, not everyone needs the same self-care, and the form it takes for each individual will be greatly different.

Each person you pass on the street, every face you see on the train, and every co-worker, friend, parent, and acquaintance requires their own self-care plan. Without self-care, we could not exist. The happiest people in the world need self-care, as do those who are very sad.

The person who has just achieved their GR8EST victory needs self-care, as does the person who has just lost the thing that meant the very most to them. There is never a circumstance, a situation, or a state of being that excludes a person from needing to take care of his or herself.

How Do People Practice Self-Care?

If you are on our website, you are already in the process of practicing self-care. However, you will notice that not everyone who practices self-care visits our site (but definitely let them know about us). Self-care comes in many shapes and forms and we encourage you to find the best self-care plan for yourself as an individual.

Some individuals find that a set routine is the best way to make sure they get their self-care in. They set aside a specific time each day to meditate, to use time management tools to plan the next day or week ahead, or have a set gym schedule. Routines are a GR8 way to practice self-care, but they are not the only way.

Others practice self-care more spontaneously, yet consistently. Sometimes, a moment arises and you know that it is time for a break. Whether you are at your desk and realize it is time to get up and get a cup of water, tidy up your house on the weekend, or create arts and crafts on a whim, these are all actions of self-care.

You probably complete many actions of self-care throughout the day without realizing. It is when you bring your attention to these things and consciously choose to both increase and improve how you do them that you are in the true mindset of self-care. These are the things that improve your mood and help your health. Make them a priority, what ever they may be.

What Are the Benefits of Self-Care?

The benefits of self-care are endless. Not just for yourself, but for the world around you as well. When you set out on the journey of self-care and take time for yourself to envision, take action, and accomplish your goals, you will begin to feel better. Even if you already felt GR8.

You will begin to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our minds and bodies are dependent on each other. Just as physical issues, such as poor diet or lack of exercise, can negatively impact us psychologically, mental stressors can begin to affect our physical health if we do not address them.

When you begin to take care our yourself comprehensively, looking at all aspects of self-care as a whole, you will begin to notice that the world around you seems to be a happier place. Your outlook on life will begin to change, as well as your feelings toward yourself.

With proper self-care, you will build better self-esteem and set yourself on a path for true success. Whether your goals are big or small, you will feel a sense of GR8 accomplishment as you make progress toward reaching them.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Many people find themselves wondering why self-care is important. In reality, there are many dangers to neglecting self-care. When self-care is neglected, it can lead to struggles with mental health, difficulty in relationships, the tendency to gravitate towards things that offer instant gratification instead of lasting benefits, a feeling of constant fatigue and burn-out, and so much more.

When you develop a healthy self-care plan you will begin to see your relationships with others improve. Platonic relationships, romantic relationships, and family relationships alike will all have more significant meaning. You will learn how to cut toxic people out of your life, appreciate those around you, and most of all, value yourself.

You will also notice that when you focus on self-care more intently, you begin to treat others differently. You are provided a new lens through which you see the world.

getting started with self-care

Getting Started with Self-Care

If you are new to the world of self-care you may be feeling overwhelmed. Setting out on a new journey is always a little bit scary, even if it is a GR8 journey such as this. We’ve been there and we understand. The excellent thing is that you can take baby steps. There are small actions that are extremely impactful, easy to implement, and will ease you into the journey.

Getting started on your journey to self-care is all about developing positive habits, finding your groove, and figuring our what works for you as an individual.

Self-Care Tips for Beginners

The most essential tip for those who are just setting out on the self-care journey is to be easy on yourself. Monumental change does not happen overnight, and you may not even realize the significant progress you are making at first. The key is to stick with it, set tiny goals, and celebrate all these small victories along the way.

Also, it’s important to recognize that not every day will be your best day ever. You may not reach your goals every day. You might miss a day at the gym, forget to journal at the end of the evening, or forget to use your new breathing techniques when anxiety hits you. These things happen to every one. The key is to not get hung up on these “downfalls.” They are not downfalls at all, but rather part of the process. Just keep pushing forward and remind yourself why you are on this journey.

You may find it helpful to write out your self-care plan. Many people find that it helps them develop habits, and that it can help them get back on track when they find themselves having trouble. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life.

Finding ten minutes to set aside for meditation can seem like an impossible feat some days, or if you’re developing new eating habits sometimes you just can’t turn down that chocolate bar. It’s completely normal. It’s also why having a written plan that you can glance back at can help you stay on track. We recommend writing down not just your plan, but also your intentions. Why are you on this journey? What do you hope to find or achieve? When you remember these things it makes taking these small steps that much easier.

Steps to Better Self-Care

Whether you’re a self-care beginner or a self-care guru, there are still steps that you can take to further your journey and deepen the value of your experience.

Here are steps you can take each day to ensure you’re getting the most out of your self-care plan:

  • Learn when to say “no” and not feel guilty
  • Know when it’s time to take a self-care day
  • Check in with yourself daily – ask yourself how you’re feeling
  • Set one small goal each day
  • Listen to your body
  • Listen to your gut and intuition
  • Learn to recognize the things that make you feel happy
  • Learn to recognize the things that make you feel sad
  • Recognize people that bring you down
  • Recognize the things you need vs. the things you want
  • Congratulate yourself for all your small victories
  • Forgive yourself
  • Create a schedule
  • Set a weekly budget
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Set a plan for self-improvement
  • Learn something new

There are many more steps to taking care of yourself, but these are a GR8 starting point. It’s likely that not all of them apply to you. If you’re already doing a good portion of the list, that’s GR8. However, since our routines and mindsets change, it’s essential to check in with yourself on a regular basis to ensure that each of your self-care needs are still being met.

Developing a Self-Care Plan

Developing a self-care plan may seem daunting, but we’re here to break it down and make it as simple as possible. While self-care does take work, it’s also fun. You can check out our helpful guide that provides tips for how to create a self-care plan and build off our suggestions. You may come up with ideas of your own as you go through the process, and if they are meaningful to you, be sure to include them. After all, the journey of self-care is deeply personal.

When developing a self-care plan, consider these things:

  • What is your self-care definition?
  • What does the phrase mean to you?
  • What are your goals?
    • Professional
    • Academic
    • Relational
    • Spiritual
    • Physical
    • Emotional and Psychological
  • What makes you happy? Excited? Energized?
  • What makes you sad? Angry? Discouraged?
  • What obstacles have you encountered in the past if you have tried to reach these goals? And how can you overcome them?
  • Who is your support network? Who can hold you accountable?
  • Are there any people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself?
  • What actionable steps can help you reach your goals?
  • How will you know when you reach a milestone?

This is a long list, and you don’t have to write it all down, but consider each of these things before you start your journey to self-improvement. You may have excellent relationships, but want to get in touch with your spirituality. Or, you may have excellent physical health but want to explore improving your emotional health. All of these things matter when determining the best self-care plan for you.

Next, follow these steps to create an actionable plan:

  • Find activities that support your goal, like meditation, taking online courses, or implementing an exercise routine.
  • Create a schedule to follow, both short and long-term, that includes these activities.
  • Measure your progress at the end of each day, week, and month.

Self-Care Activities for Beginners

If you’re creating a new self-care plan, starting with steps for beginners is key. You wouldn’t enter the Olympics if you’ve never played a sport before, right? Take the same approach here. You may have taken a physical self-care journey before, but never an emotional or spiritual one. Approach this as starting completely fresh.

If you’re beginning your journey, the types of activities you should include will depend on your focus. GR8 examples include:

  • Setting aside one self-care day a week
  • Practicing mini-meditation sessions
  • Incorporating one new, healthy food into your diet a day
  • Using positive affirmations to build self-esteem
  • Finding a new exercise that you enjoy
  • Finding one new hobby that you enjoy
  • Reading a book centered on the self-care topic most important to you
  • Doing one thing a day that makes you happy
  • Trying simple breathing techniques to ease stress and anxiety

You may come up with other easy-to-implement ideas to begin your self-care plan, and we say go for it. The changes don’t have to be drastic, but rather things to incorporate into your daily routine that help you with self-improvement and your sense of fulfillment.

Self-Care Resources for Beginners

We know that taking on a new challenge can be overwhelming at first, and you may not know where to start. We’ve been there too. The GR8 thing is that on our site you will find plenty of resources for beginners that can make your new goals a little less daunting. We encourage you to check them out before you dive in.

Take from them what you need, and leave the rest. They are by no means a mandatory outline that one must follow to gain an inner sense of peace and happiness.

going deeper with self-care

Going Deeper into Your Self-Care Experience

You will know once you master the beginning stages of self-care. The most significant indicator is that your body and mind will crave for more. Perhaps an exercise routine you once found difficult becomes much easier, or you master the art of mini meditations. Now, it’s time to continue evolving and deepen your experience.

You will learn how to take things to the next level, but don’t worry, we are here for you with guidance, support, information, and suggestions each step of the way. There are several ways that you can dive into your self-care plan a little further.

Level-Up in Your Favorite Self-Care Activity

Remember we talked about those beginner workouts no longer feeling challenging enough? It’s time to kick it up a notch. Or, if you’ve been dipping your toes in meditation, try a new kind or a longer practice to see if it works for you.

Perhaps you have been introducing vegetarian meals into your diet. Now may be the time to go full vegetarian, if that’s what is working for you. Or, if you are working on improving your gut health by taking probiotics, it might be time to try a 7- or 21-day gut health detox challenge.

Whatever it is that you’re looking to advance, we know that you can do it. It’s another goal to set on your self-care journey and once you reach it, you are bound to feel amazing.

Begin Sharing Your Self-Care Journey

You might be surprised at the amount of positive feedback you receive when you begin sharing your self-care journey with others. There are many people out there who are curious about the process, but like you were at the beginning, are unsure of where to start. You can serve as a source of inspiration to others, and share the tips and tricks that you found worked best for yourself.

There are many ways to share your journey. The most important things to remember are why you started your journey, what your goals are, and the progress you’re making. You do not have to become a guru by any means.

Perhaps starting a blog about your journey is the way to go. If you are really getting into healthy eating, sharing your favorite recipes and cooking hacks can be a GR8 help to others. Or, sharing your favorite hair masks, clean beauty products, or new skincare routine can be excellent content for a blog as well. If you’re on a fitness journey, share your favorite exercises and your progress along the way.

Another GR8 way to share your self-care journey is by posting on social media. Engage your friends to discuss topics of self-care that they care about, or ask your social networking friends for tips that they might have for you. It’s an excellent way to form a sense of community centered on self-care.

You can also create your own videos, right on your smart phone if you’d like to share on these platforms. These days, you don’t have to be a professional to make a short movie. Take photos, too! Everyone loves a good food photo, or a photo of the sunset you see on your nightly walk. If you’re feeling really daring, go ahead and make a how-to video of your favorite self-care activity.

Create a Self-Care Social Circle

Once you start sharing about your self-care journey, you’ll notice that others share similar interests. Think of how many more people are out there that have GR8 things to say about self-care!

There are endless social media groups that you can join, based on your favorite self-care activities. Are you super into sustainable gardening and growing your own fresh food? There’s a social media group for that. What about parenting? There are social media groups surrounding that topic as well.

Build a community. You can start local meet-ups, or join existing ones, and make new friends that share your self-care interests. Look for local yoga classes, meditation classes, pottery classes, and more. No matter what self-care topic interests you, there’s a meet-up where you can bring things to life.

Self-Care Activities for Self-Care Enthusiasts

Now that you’ve moved past the beginner stage and are what we call a “self-care enthusiast,” you’ll need different activities in which to participate. This might be the time where you schedule a weekend retreat, or start training for a fitness competition.

You may also begin to make your own products. For example, if you’re excited about clean beauty products, start to make your own at home. If you’re looking to give back to the community, join a local clean-up.

This is all about diving further into your self-care experience. These are activities that you can feel good about. They may be a little out of your comfort zone, but hey, weren’t the beginner activities a little scary at first too? We know that you can do it.

Resources for Self-Care Enthusiasts

There’s plenty more to learn as you continue on your self-care journey and practice more ways to improve yourself. We know that you’re looking to deepen your experience and wish to share with you the helpful information that we have found.

Check out information such as:

And if you’re looking for some new self-care challenges:

become a self-care master

Becoming a Master of Self-Care

By now you’ve come to recognize the importance of self-care and have made GR8 progress on your journey. It takes time to master the art, and self-care is most certainly an art. As you become a master, you begin to prioritize self-care and recognize quickly when things are detrimental to your well-being.

Mastering self-care is no small feat, though it is possible for any person to accomplish with work and dedication. What do you do once you are a master at self-care?

Since self-care is a never ending journey, the short answer is that you continue setting new goals and find new ways to grow. But there is more that you can do.

Expand into New Areas

Perhaps you began your journey of self-care with the plan to deepen your spirituality and you feel more in touch with your inner-self than ever. That’s GR8! That’s what self-care is all about. Now, try shifting your focus to another area you think you could work on. Sure, you’ve been maintaining your physical and emotional health along the way as well, but have you kicked those areas up a notch?

It’s hard to tackle more than one thing at once, we know. Many self-care masters find that they are a master in one area, and a beginner or enthusiast in another. Find the next pillar of self-care you wish to improve and dive right into it!

Make Self-Care More Than a Hobby

Self-care is more than a hobby. It becomes a way of life once you master the art. But you can take it even further than that. Once you’re a master at one thing, the thing you are truly passionate about, that excites you and always brings a smile to your face, consider advancing once again.

Many people find that they wish to go on to pursue certifications in their favorite area of self-care. These can include yoga instructors, personal trainers, and so on. Or, you may experience a yearning to learn even more about the human brain and wish to obtain a degree in psychology. We say go for it.

Other times, once individuals master the art of self-care and come to fully recognize their dreams and passions, it drives them toward a whole new career. Are you a banker but find that your heart truly lies with helping those who struggle with mental illness? It’s never too late change direction and make a career move.

Help Others Grow Their Self-Care Habits

Now that you’re a self-care master, it’s time to pay it forward! Help others grow their self-care habits. Share your knowledge with them. When you interact with others on your blog, social media platforms, or in your real-life meet ups, let others know about your journey.

Don’t hold back, tell them what the beginning was like. How you may not have known where to start, or any feelings of apprehension you may have had. It helps people to know that others once felt as they feel now, and to see that self-care mastery is attainable.

Become a mentor to another person, teach them new habits and skills, and if you have the time and passion, create your own teaching series. We know that the term “teaching series” seems daunting, but use the platforms you already have.

Every week, post a new how-to video, or do a live video with user feedback and questions. Spread the knowledge! Some self-care gurus go on to become motivational speakers, teach seminars, and more. It’s possible if it’s what you want to do.

Self-Care Activities for Self-Care Gurus

Now, never forget to stick to the basics even once you reach guru status. All of the activities you began in the beginning and enthusiastic stages of self-care are important to continue. They keep you grounded, remind you why you’re on this journey, and provide a solid foundation to participate in more advanced practices.

Keep doing your everyday self-care activities. But, if you’re looking for a real challenge as a guru, pick an intense, immersive experience to try at least once.

GR8 self-care activities for gurus include:

  • Set out on a challenging multi-day hike through a famous trail (think Appalachian).
  • Go to a multi-day silent retreat.
  • Go on an eco-vacation, to do good traveling abroad.
  • Completely un-plug. No TV, no cellphone, no computer, no radio for an entire weekend.
  • Begin creating your own kitchen recipes to share with others.
  • Compete in a fitness competition.
  • Create a meditation or yoga space in your home where you can practice undisturbed.

Follow the path you set out on as a self-care enthusiast, and take it even deeper. Building on your favorite self-care activities, what ever they may be, will create even more inner joy.

Resources for Self-Care Gurus

Being a self-care guru doesn’t mean you’re on your own on this rewarding path. GR8NESS is here for you the whole time, no matter where you are on your journey. We know that you’re still looking for information, new ideas, tips, and tricks. We’re here to support you.

If you’re looking for some interesting reads and activities, we suggest checking out the things below to see if they’re of interest to you. Of course, you can always click into your favorite category on the site and see what’s new this week too.

self-care activities

Self-Care Activities, Tips, and Ideas

No matter how many self-care activities you participate in, it’s always fun to get new ideas. Hey, you might just find your next favorite. As we evolve throughout the self-care process, GR8 tips and ideas can help further the journey and make the experience more enjoyable. At GR8NESS, we’re here to help you get the most out of your self-care plan so you can take care of yourself in the best way possible.

That’s why we continuously post new self-care activities, tips, and ideas. We share with you 7- and 21-day challenges so you have an outline to accomplish your goals. Whether it’s strength training, brain training, or resetting your gut, we have a challenge for you.

Additionally, we share life hacks so that self-care feels less like a chore, and your everyday life becomes just a little bit easier. Our goal is to do so much more than simply provide information. Our goal is to make you a true part of our community. We value your feedback and love to see what our readers have to say on our polls and quizzes.

To get started, follow the links below for new self-care ideas and tips:

Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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