Although approaches to self-care vary, it is generally achieved when we intentionally look after our health and wellbeing. Self-care is a proactive approach that results in reduced stress, anxiety and depression. Other positive impacts include increased energy, strengthened immune system and better sleep.

“Health is not simply the absence of sickness.” – Hannah Green


Domains of Self-Care

A holistic approach to self-care considers five domains including psychological, physical, relational, emotional, and spiritual:

  1. Psychological: Fulfilling intellectual needs by participating in activities that challenge the mind. Examples include puzzles, sudoku, reading or learning a new skill.
  2. Physical: Meeting our body’s needs by getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising. It can also be achieved by slowing down and relaxing while binging your favourite TV series.
  3. Relational: Nurturing relationships by spending time or connecting virtually with family and friends.
  4. Emotional: Increasing positive emotions by doing things that bring joy. Examples include meditation and mindfulness, journaling or doing yoga.
  5. Spiritual: Fostering a connection with something larger than ourselves can be faith-based through prayer or achieved through nature, meditation and self-reflection.

Creating a Self-Care Plan

Below are self-reflective questions you can ask yourself to get started:

  1. What is going well, and what you would like to do differently moving forward? This could include doing more or less of something.
  2. What am I grateful for and proud of? TIP: Consider journaling as a regular activity in your plan.
  3. What have you always wanted to do try but didn’t have time to do? How can you make time?
  4. What new activity or hobby are of interest to you?
  5. Who in your life do you wish you spent more time with? How can you connect with them either in person or virtually?
  6. What physical activity do I enjoy most and how often could I add this activity to my schedule?
  7. What barriers might I encounter to self-care? What can I do to eliminate these barriers?
  8. What days of the week and times of day can I practically schedule self-care activities?

TIP: Try posting reminders somewhere you will see, like a mirror or fridge.


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Butler, L., Mercer, K., McClain-Meeder, K., Horne, D., & Dudley, M. (2019). Six domains of self-care: Attending to the whole person. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Self-Care and Vicarious Trauma, 29(1), 107–124.

Canadian Mental Health Association. (2021). Waterloo Wellington. Retrieved from

Glowiak, M. (2020). What is self-care and why is it important for you? Retrieved from