Physical Self-Care

Physical Self-care

Self-Care Series Part 1: Physical Self-Care and What Our Bodies Need

Self-care is vitally important for our mental health and well-being. It’s a way of taking care of ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically, so that we can function better in our everyday lives.  It can include anything from getting enough sleep and exercise to spending time with friends and family or mindful meditation.  One way of both improving our mental health and physical health is by incorporating physical forms of self-care into our daily lives. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 10 different forms of physical self-care that can help improve our mental health.

Different Forms of Self-Care

Before we review different forms of physical self-care, it is important to note that after reviewing each of these options, consider how you might form a commitment with yourself to incorporate one or more of these into your daily or weekly routines and schedules.  Not only is awareness of what we can do important, it is also essential that we hold ourselves accountable and commit to prioritizing a physical form of self-care into our lives.  It is also important to recognize that these practices are essential not only to improve mental and physical health, but also help us to maintain our well-being over time.

10 ways to Incorporate Physical Self-Care

Let’s take a look at 10 different ways that we can incorporate physical forms of self-care into our lives to improve our mental and physical health:

  1. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to improve our mental health. It releases endorphins, which make us feel happy and relaxed, and it also helps to clear our minds and focus on the present moment.  When we exercise, we are also able to work out any frustrations in a healthy way.

  1. Intentional Movement, Yoga and Deep Breathing Exercises

Yoga is a form of exercise that combines physical poses with deep breathing exercises and meditation. It’s a great way to relax the mind and body, and it can also help to relieve stress and anxiety.  Meditation is a way of focusing on the breath and slowing down our thoughts and emotions.  When we utilize meditation and deep breathing mindfulness exercises, we are positively impacting our mood by regulating our internal physiological response systems.  Stretching is a great way to improve our mental health and also improve our physical health. It can help us to relax our muscles and it can improve our quality of sleep.

  1. Massage

Massages are a wonderful way to relax the mind and body.   Massage has been shown to improve circulation, relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. It is a good way to boost your mood.


  1. Sleep

Getting enough sleep is a significant way to improve our mental health.  When we receive the appropriate amount of sleep as well as quality of sleep, our mood is more easily regulated and therefore our thoughts and intensity of emotions are also more easily regulated.  Getting the appropriate amount of sleep can also help to boost our energy and improve our physical health.

  1. Medication

Medication as prescribed by a physician can be considered part of self-care. As much as one may not like to take medicine, there are times when it is warranted, and perhaps, essential. Medication, if abused, or not taken as prescribed can cause other problems with our physical and mental health.

  1. Nutrition

Nutrition is a significant part of any long-term approach to improving our health.  Improving our physical health and our mental health is only possible when we make sure that we are making decisions about what we eat that are based on nutritional value.  It is also important to make sure that we consume the appropriate amount of calories and that we eat a balanced diet.  It is also important to make sure that we eat a variety of foods and that we include fruits and vegetables in our diet.

  1. Medical Appointments: Doctors, Specialists, Dentists

It is important that when taking care of our physical health that we make sure we are scheduling and attending regular doctor’s visits and check-ups.  Everyone has their own idea of wellness and it is important that you connect with a provider that reflects your values and considers what you are wanting to improve, change or maintain about your physical health.  Consider preventative strategies to help you maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Hygiene

When talking about physical self-care, it is important to consider how we maintain our physical bodies.  It is important that we bathe daily with the intent to cleanse the surface of our bodies as a way to prevent the spread of infection and diseases.  Brushing our teeth is also a way that we take care of the physical form of our bodies along with brushing our hair, shaving and trimming our fingernails and toenails.

  1. Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is classified as a stimulant drug and can directly impact our central nervous system, causing us to experience dizziness, jittery movements, anxiety, restlessness, a faster heart rate, headaches, and dehydration.  It is especially important to avoid caffeine when feeling anxious, as it can intensify these emotions and sense of panic.

  1. Substance Use/Alcohol

When engaging in consistent and habitual substance use, it is important to recognize the physical changes that occur when the substance enters and remains in our body as well as the physical changes and consequences that remain even as the substances leave our bodies.  Consider ways in which withdrawal symptoms and consistent substance use might impact our mood and ability to focus on our physical needs.

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