20 Best Types of self-care in 2023

Man sitting on clif looking out at the ocean, as one of the many types of self-care

Self-care is an essential part of mental health and overall well-being. In 2023, it’s more important than ever to make time for ourselves and practice self-care activities that will help us stay healthy both mentally and physically.

But with so many types of self-care out there, what types are best suited for this new year? We’ve compiled a list of 20 types of self-care to help you get the most out of your mental health journey.

From mindfulness to physical activity, these types of self-care will help you relax, refocus, and take care of yourself in 2023. Let’s jump right in!

What are types of self-care?

1.) Physical self-care

types of self-care

Physical self-care is an incredibly important type of self-care that should not be overlooked. This can include anything from physical exercise routines, nutritional dieting, and adequate sleeping schedules to physical therapies like massage and yoga.

Physical self-care can have a direct effect on our moods, physical and mental health, and overall well-being. Feeling good inside your body and in yourself can carry over into other areas of life—from relationships to productivity.

Taking time each day, no matter how small, to practice physical self-care can make a tremendous difference in your overall physical and mental health.

2.) Emotional self-care 

Emotional self-care is an important part of self-care, which can be defined as activities and practices we can engage in regularly to improve our mental health and overall well-being.

Emotional self-care involves self-expression, learning more about ourselves, developing self-compassion, grieving losses, celebrating joys, tackling self-destructive habits, understanding our sense of self-worth, creating quality relationships, and building self-trust.

The goal of emotional self-care is not to take away from the emotions you’re experiencing but rather to help you manage them better so that what you’re feeling does not become overwhelming.

Identifying the good moments in life is also essential for good mental health; acknowledging the highs as well as knowing your limits set us up for a healthy approach to taking care of ourselves better than ever before.

3.) Spiritual self-care 

Spiritual self-care is an often overlooked activity necessary for good mental health and overall well-being.

It involves activities that involve any belief system or religion, such as praying, reading spiritual books, meditating, or attending religious services.

They help express one’s core values and beliefs while deepening a connection with a higher power, making the individual feel calmer and rejoiced from the inside.

As spiritual self-care can increase mindfulness in soulful activities such as yoga or journaling, it can bring inner peace that is pivotal for restoring our bodies, minds, and spirit.

Whether you find your spiritual self-care routine in yourself or through connecting to a source of faith, this type of self-care is essential for a healthier lifestyle overall.

4.) Social self-care

Social self-care is an important element of overall mental health and well-being and often gets overlooked.

This type of self-care involves cultivating healthy social relationships with others and can include activities such as socializing, spending quality time with friends and family, or going out and connecting with others in social settings.

It also involves creating boundaries, being honest about your feelings when interacting with others, and being mindful of how you speak to yourself when socializing.

Taking the time to develop social self-care can be incredibly rewarding, as it allows for meaningful connection with other people which in turn encourages a sense of belonging, support, security, and happiness.

5.) Intellectual self-care

One of the lesser-discussed self-care practices is intellectual self-care, a form of self-help that can significantly improve one’s psychological well-being.

This practice involves actively pushing oneself to learn new things and challenge mental boundaries, providing the self-discipline needed to dive deep into meaningful pursuits such as writing, reading novels, exploring philosophy, or studying for exams.

Taking regular time for intellectual self-care helps to fuel self-discovery and self-improvement, allowing one to get in touch with their inner self and enable creative growth in areas that require thought stimulation.

Incorporating this practice into one’s self-care routine can do wonders for mental health and overall well-being.

6.) Sensory self-care

Sensory self-care is one of the best ways to take a break from life’s troubles and improve mental health.

It involves engaging the five senses and can sometimes involve bubble baths, spending time by the ocean or hiking through nature, or listening to music.

All are great ways to reduce stress levels and achieve better well-being in both body and mind.

Taking time out from the day to focus on your senses can be incredibly powerful when it comes to improving mental health.

So, whatever form of sensory self-care you choose – make sure you stick with it as part of your daily routine!

7.) Creative self-care

Creative self-care uses creating art and other activities to add variety to your usual mental and physical self-care activities.

By creating something unique with your own hands, you can enhance your well-being on both an emotional and psychological level.

From creating something as simple as using clay to creating a photo collage, expressing yourself through artistic means out of the ordinary is a great way to explore feelings and worries that may have been kept hidden inside or buried deep down in your subconscious.

Creative self-care creates a special kind of time for yourself; a time in which you feel secure enough to express yourself without feeling judged.

It’s ultimately about connecting with oneself on a deeper level than the mundane day-to-day activities can allow, enabling us to gain an understanding of our inner workings.

8.) Financial self-care

We often forget how great our financial well-being can influence our mental health, lifestyle choices, and even greater life goals.

When it comes to self-care, however, looking after your finances is something that should be included as part of a holistic plan.

Financial self-care helps boost confidence and ultimately gives us more control over our day-to-day lives.

It allows us to manage debt and bills, save for retirement, and sustain ourselves through both good times and bad.

Financial self-care thus helps form the foundation from which we can build the future of our dreams by equipping us with the basics required to move forward.

This fundamental literacy can greatly enhance other aspects of our well-being; ensuring that we’re better placed to take care of physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

9.) Professional self-care

Creating an effective self-care plan requires dedicating time and energy to all aspects of your life, including your financial health.

Professional self-care means setting financial goals, creating a budget, or seeking a financial consultant to support overall financial health.

If you’re looking to craft a dynamic personal development plan for success in 2023, consider including financial planning as part of your professional self-care.

Understanding your financial assets, liabilities, and net worth can help alleviate financial stressors and create long-term financial security that has a positive effect on your mental health and well-being.

10.) Environmental self-care

types of self-care

Environmental self-care is an important part of a holistic approach to taking care of one’s mind, body, and spirit.

According to the World Health Organization, it can greatly influence mental health and overall well-being.

It involves making small changes that have a big impact on our world, like composting food waste and walking instead of driving.

It’s beneficial in so many ways – it helps reduce your carbon footprint while also improving your mood and physical health.

Making sustainable choices doesn’t have to require big changes; simple acts like using reusable grocery bags or recycling paper can enhance well-being.

Taking of our environment in turn leads us to take better care of ourselves; it’s a win-win situation!

11.) Restorative self-care

When it comes to looking after yourself, there are many options available; one of these is known as ‘restorative self-care.

Restorative self-care incorporates activities that bring restoration, rejuvenation, and refreshment to your emotional well-being.

It involves taking yourself away from the hustle and bustle of daily life so that you can enjoy a bubble bath with essential oils, fill in an adult coloring book or savor a cup of tea while watching a movie.

Taking some time out to do something that is solely for your benefit helps to recharge your energy levels, boost your mood, and aids in managing stress.

Identifying restorative self-care as part of a self-care routine could be just what you need to feel recharged and renewed!

12.) Hygiene self-care

While healthy eating and exercise are two healthy ways of taking good care of ourselves, it turns out that hygiene self-care is just as important to our well-being.

Hygiene self-care, or the practice of practicing healthy hygiene habits daily, can help improve both mental health and overall well-being.

From brushing your teeth to washing your hands – healthy hygiene habits play an essential role in our physical health and also are important for supporting social self-care.

So throw out those old socks, take a shower every day, and don’t forget that small details count towards making big changes for your mental health.

13.) Self-compassion

Identifying and practicing self-compassion is one of the most beneficial tools for emotional well-being.

Practicing self-reflection and mindfulness can help you to become aware of how your emotions, thoughts, and feelings impacted your behavior, allowing you to develop a greater understanding of all aspects of yourself.

Self-compassion should be used to overcome any emotional obstacles. Its effects will result in improved mental health, making it essential for overall well-being.

14.) Boundaries 

Establishing good boundaries is a powerful way to take care of your emotional health. It’s one of the 20 components of self-care that can significantly improve mental well-being.

Boundaries help us to identify and protect our own emotional space, so setting clear boundaries with others is essential for maintaining positive relationships. Identifying where one ends and another begins allows us to express ourselves clearly and live up to our needs respectfully.

Self-awareness is key in setting healthy boundaries as it helps to make sure our choices in setting limits are well-informed, reasonable, and efficient.

Practicing this type of self-care not only establishes a sense of safety and understanding between people but also allows one to remain open to different perspectives while building strong relationships that honor personal values and beliefs.

15.) Mental self-care 

Mental self-care is an important form of self-care that involves setting boundaries, improving communication skills, and understanding how to cope in stressful situations.

This can be done through a variety of mental self-care activities, such as journaling, setting an agenda for yourself and setting realistic goals, creating a safe space to improve reflective thinking, engaging in positive self-talk and affirmations, using visualization techniques to prepare for challenges and fears, practicing mindful activities like yoga or meditation, supporting others who need it.

All these mental self-care practices can be used to improve your mental health by focusing on gratitude and celebrating your successes.

Taking part in stimulating conversations that are balanced with thoughtfulness will also add value to one’s well-being while reducing stress.

Engaging in mental self-care regularly can help you maintain balance and make sure you connect with your inner spirit.

16.) Cultural self-care

types of self-care

Cultural self-care involves purposeful engagement with activities, practices, and traditions that are important to our cultural identity.

Incorporating healthy coping mechanisms tied to our cultural beliefs can be incredibly healing and beneficial for both mental health and overall well-being.

While some cultures encourage communing in large events or spiritual rituals, participation doesn’t always have to happen on a grand scale.

Even something as simple as cooking a favorite traditional dish or listening to music that holds special meaning can go a long way in cultivating a connection with your cultural background and helping bolster your resilience.

17.) Playful self-care 

Playful self-care might be just what you need to boost your self-love, improve your everyday life and build healthy relationships.

It’s easy to integrate playful self-care activities into even the craziest of schedules, and the amount of positivity that you’ll gain from it makes it well worth the effort!

From dedicating an hour each week to do things like coloring or playing with a pet to making fun activities with friends or family – little blessings can come from being open to living a life of playfulness.

So have some self-compassion; go ahead and choose self-care that not only serves you best as an individual but is also a great source of joy for yourself and those around you.

18.) Sensual self-care

Sensual self-care is one of the most important yet overlooked types of self-care. Taking the time to indulge in our senses and appreciate the beauty around us can be incredibly beneficial for stress management and overall well-being.

Whether it’s carving out some “me time” to engage in activities that boost your mood, such as listening to your favorite music or taking a long, hot bath, there are endless possibilities when it comes to practicing sensual self-care and enjoying life by immersing ourselves in our senses.

This type of self-care requires mindfulness and conscious awareness; partaking in activities such as savoring beautiful scents found in essential oils or eating a delicious meal can help to shift stress levels and bring joy into our lives.

Additionally, turning off electronic devices and dedicating some intentional “unplugged” moments allows us to reconnect with ourselves while doing something enjoyable like strolling through nature or sketching a sunset.

Whichever sensual self-care practice you choose, be sure to allow yourself time to enjoy it fully and reap its stress-reducing benefits!

19.) Educational self-care 

Educational self-care is an often underrated form of self-care, but it can be a powerful tool for improving your mental health and well-being.

This type of self-care involves developing skills and knowledge that challenge you to think in new ways, gain confidence and continuously grow.

Whether you take an academic course, join an online learning platform, or start educating yourself through reading books, this will offer personally enriching opportunities that are essential for developing a healthy sense of self-worth.

Not only will these educational experiences enhance your current life, but they also ensure your long-term growth as well.

Taking time to invest in developing educational skills is essential to developing a strong foundation for lifelong success in any endeavor.

20.) Physical touch self-care

To hands holding each other, Physical touch is one of the many types of self-care

Physical touch is a type of self-care we often overlook as a form of nurturing ourselves and improving mental health.

Although physical touch may not be the first thing you think of when considering ways to take care of yourself, it can have multiple benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, and social isolation.

It’s important to realize that there are multiple ways for us to show ourselves love through the sense of touch.

From giving ourselves a big hug to regular massage therapy sessions, physical touch can renew our energy and provide relaxation, which can help improve our overall well-being.


Self-care is incredibly important for mental and physical well-being. There are so many different types of self-care that can be tailored to your own needs, interests, and lifestyle.

Whether it’s mental health self-care activities like journaling, mindfulness practices, or educational self-care activities such as taking courses or reading books – self-care is an essential part of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Regularly engaging in self-care activities can help to reduce stress, improve mental health, and provide us with a sense of renewed energy and joy.

So go ahead and make some time for yourself today – your mental health will thank you!

Frequently asked questions

The 7 Pillars of Self-Care are a framework that highlights different areas of our lives that require attention and nurturing to maintain our overall health and well-being. The 7 Pillars of Self-Care are:

  1. Physical self-care – taking care of our bodies through exercise, nutrition, and rest.
  2. Emotional self-care – taking care of our emotional health through stress-management techniques, therapy, and self-reflection.
  3. Intellectual self-care – stimulating our minds through learning new skills, reading, and engaging in creative pursuits.
  4. Spiritual self-care – nurturing our spiritual side through meditation, prayer, or connecting with nature.
  5. Social self-care – maintaining healthy relationships and engaging in social activities that bring us joy.
  6. Professional self-care – setting boundaries and taking care of our work-related stress and challenges.
  7. Environmental self-care – taking care of our physical surroundings and creating a positive, peaceful living and working environment.

These 7 Pillars of Self-Care are interconnected and require attention and effort to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Practicing self-care has numerous benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving mental and physical health, increasing productivity and creativity, and boosting overall well-being and happiness.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s self-care needs are different. To determine which types of self-care are best for you, start by reflecting on your current lifestyle and the areas where you feel you could use more support. Consider trying different self-care practices and seeing which ones resonate with you the most.

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. While some self-care practices, like going to a spa or taking a vacation, may require a larger financial investment, many other self-care practices are free or low-cost. Examples of low-cost or free self-care practices include taking a walk in nature, practicing mindfulness, and journaling.

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