Two Types of Self-Care and Why You Should Practice Both
When people think of “self-care”, they often imagine a luxurious day at the spa, or an evening spent binge-watching Netflix. Only you can define what self-care means to you, but I’m here to share two different types that might make your self-care routines more intentional.
The first type of self-care is what I call “nourishing.” Nourishing self-care is the type our culture commonly imagines. This approach is more relaxing and fun, and offers a great way to decompress from the week’s stress. It tends to be pleasant in nature, such as getting a massage, practicing a skincare routine, or going out to your favorite coffee shop without your laptop. Spending time away from our thinking brain allows us to subconsciously process our mental load without constantly piling on more to-do lists, projects, or e-mails. Personally, I love to diffuse lavender oil and curl up with an easy book after a long day. Immersing myself into another character’s world gives me a chance to disconnect so I can return to my own reality refreshed.
The second type is “healing” self-care. This form of self-care addresses the issues that hold us back from living our best, most authentic lives. Healing self-care is more difficult, and therefore much less popular. Getting your nails done is great and well-deserved, but the effects do not travel as far as healing self-care. Personally, journaling about the issues I am facing is my favorite form of healing. For those who don’t enjoy writing as much, talking to a therapist or a trusted loved one works as well. Going for a solo walk in nature is perfect for privately sorting out your thoughts.
The goal with healing is to bring forth the ideas or memories that hold us back or convince us that we cannot be or have what we want. It helps destroy the negative processes that lead to self-sabotage, and increases our understanding of ourselves. If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself the tough questions that pinpoint where growth is needed. What are the things your “best self” would do that you’re not doing now? What do you love about your current self? Healing self-care is entirely personal. Take the time to really listen to your soul, and the right questions and answers will present themselves to you.
Like Yin and Yang
Ideally, one’s self-care routine should prioritize both nourishing and healing self-care. Think of them as yin and yang, unable to exist without the other. We all need those calm, nourishing moments where we can decompress and enjoy the present. This way, we can approach our healing with a clearer mind and resist the tendency to avoid the less-than-favorable parts of ourselves. Put simply, we must recharge in order to resolve.