To live a joyful, healthy life, it’s crucial to take care of yourself holistically. All human beings have five main areas of life where they can thrive — and it’s important to address them all. While it might seem like a challenge to do so, these areas of living relate to each other and with a few adjustments, you can optimize your overall feeling of connection and well-being. Self-care involves a rewarding process of self-discovery. It’s a lifelong journey. Here are the main areas to focus on as you improve your self-care.

1. Physical

To have a body that functions well, it’s essential that you take care of it. Don’t forget that there’s an integral connection between your body and your mind. When you care for your physical health consistently, you’ll think more clearly and feel more stable. Effective physical self-care includes how much and what type of physical activity you’re doing, how you’re feeding your body, the quality and amount of sleep you’re getting, and how tuned-in you are to your physical needs. It’s important to build a trusting relationship with a health practitioner. Also, remember to take good care of your skin, too — do a search for plant based skin care to find formulations that are pure and soothing.

2. Mental

You influence your psychological well-being by the way you think and what you fill your mind with. Consider ways to enhance your mental self-care — it might be learning a new language, or diving deeply into a topic that fascinates you. Consider the quality of material that you consume and the way it affects you and your family. Inspiring, quality books and films are like nutrition for the mind. Online scrolling and social media can have consequences that are life-giving or depleting. Be discerning. Doing things that keep you mentally healthy is another way to approach mental self-care. Practicing acceptance and compassion (for yourself and others) enhances mental health, as does addressing areas of conflict or trauma. Seek out professional assistance if you need it.

3. Emotional 

Mental and emotional health are closely related. It’s necessary to develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with distressing emotions, like sadness, anger, and anxiety. Acknowledging and constructively expressing your feelings is a major aspect of emotional self-care. In addition to sharing with a professional, it’s also helpful to talk with supportive loved ones and friends about your emotional life. As you do so, consider the context of your relationship, and establish healthy boundaries. Using your exercise and leisure time to work through emotions can be productive — and fun! Emotional self-care is sometimes overlooked, but it’s not an option — your emotional state has a profound impact on your physiology and relationships.

4. Social

Being well-connected with friends, family, and community increases longevity and is a key part of living a meaningful life and discovering more about yourself. Often, it’s a challenge to make time to socialize, and it’s easy to neglect relationships when life gets busy. Don’t let that happen! Think small steps. Reach out to friends and acquaintances to briefly make contact and share joy, even if it’s just for a work break. Plan face-to-face meetings, even if they’re casual. Drop a card or a supportive text. The mutual support adds up and will contribute to your overall sense of well-being.

5. Spiritual

Cultivating your spirituality or taking part in some sort of religious community is associated with good physical and mental health. Activities that help you develop a deeper sense of understanding, meaning, or connection with your inner self (and something beyond yourself) provide a foundation for peace and greater resilience when hard times come. You might have a tradition that you were born into and that feels right for you. If so, be thankful and cultivate it. Otherwise, seek out spiritual support that is authentic and sustainable.

Cultivating good self-care requires awareness and intentionality. Try these tips to feel healthier and more vital!