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4 min read

Learning to Nurture Yourself: Self Nurturing Activities

Often used interchangeably with self-care, self-nurturing is in fact very similar in practice, though it goes a bit deeper in intention. Self-nurturing is the idea of determining that we are valuable and deserve care.

Is there a difference between self-nurturing and self-care?

The actions of self-nurturing and self-care look the same, but with self-nurturing you take the further step of truly identifying what you need and determining that you are worthy of taking the time to evaluate and learn how to best offer yourself the practices of self-care. We will use these terms interchangeably in this article, but self-nurturing offers that extra layer of intention.

Why self-nurturing is important?

There are so many benefits when it comes to self-nurturing activities. Spending time with our own needs can increase our self-esteem, help us better manage stress, improve our overall mental health, and even offer physical health benefits.

3 Main Categories for Self-Nurturing

Self-nurturing or self-care practices can be broken down into three main categories. Physical self-nurturing, social self-nurturing, and mental or emotional self-nurturing.

Physical self-care involves self-love aimed at caring for your physical body. It is important because valuing yourself enough to take good care of your body can be a way to increase both health and well-being.

Physical Self-Nurturing Activities

We often think of self-care activities as a one-off like "take a hot bath" or "get a massage", and while these are good, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Taking care of ourselves can mean implementing habits that impact your life in the long term. The following are some effective ways to nurture your body.

Learn to cook healthy foods.

Eating nourishing foods can improve health, both physically and emotionally. This doesn't mean "dieting," but finding recipes that nourish us with essential vitamins and minerals that can help us feel better. Learn a few basic recipes that offer a variety of food groups (perhaps taking care to learn the specialty of a beloved family member). The act of cooking can be restful, and offering yourself healthy food can be beneficial.

Self-Nurturing Through Exercise

Exercise doesn't have to be a slog. Find movement that you enjoy, such as in a group fitness class, hiking in the woods, or just dancing in your kitchen. Movement can be fun if you use it as a way to support yourself rather than as a chore to change yourself.

Nurture Yourself with Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves to feel good throughout the day. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake around the same time every morning. Avoid screens for an hour before bed, and keep screens out of your bedroom.

Get Outside

Getting outside for a walk in nature is proven to offer both mental and physical benefits. It can lower cortisol levels and blood pressure, and it is an effective way to manage stress, boost energy, and create feelings of peace and happiness.

Social Self-Nurturing: Caring For Yourself Through Community

One of the common challenges we face is making friends as adults. Many individuals report feeling lonely and needing more human contact. Self-care can also involve nurturing our human need for connection and social contact.

Social Nurturing Activities

Here are some ways you can nurture yourself socially with self-care practices.

Spend time with a friend.

If you have a friend nearby, make a point to spend more time with that person. Sometimes we can get caught up in our work and home lives and forget to take the time to nurture our friendships. Call a friend up and schedule a time to have a cup of coffee, get lunch, or just spend time at home at one of your homes for a bit. Taking time to be with our loved ones can protect our well-being in a significant way.

Make new friends.

If you don't feel like you have anyone you can talk to, it may be time to make some friends. It can feel difficult to do this as an adult, but there are several ways you can reach out and connect with someone new. Join a neighborhood book club, an online meetup group, or a community hiking club.


Develop a connection with your community by volunteering with a local organization. An example of self-care is bringing meaning to your life by touching the lives of others.

Caring for the Mind and Spirit: Mental and Emotional Self-Nurturing

Good things can happen when we take a moment to nurture ourselves with mental or emotional self-care practices. These habits can bring us healing to the heart and mind, help us value our emotions, and help us develop a sense of taking time for ourselves.

Mental and Emotional Self-Care Activities

The following are some ways to self-nurture in ways that are directed at the mind and spirit.

Learning from books, blogs, videos, and podcasts.

As adults, we often neglect learning opportunities. Our kids may be in any number of activities, but we don't realize that we don't offer ourselves the opportunity. Learning is self-care.

Music lessons, for example, can create a feeling of flow, which can bring you into the present moment and facilitate feelings of joy. Treat yourself to a course in something you enjoy, whether it's learning an instrument, a history lesson, or a speed reading class.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Make sense of your life by recording your thoughts and feelings every day. A gratitude journal can help you take a break from life and let you focus on the aspects of your life that bring you the most energy and joy. If you are struggling with your emotions, developing a habit of journaling can be good for your soul.

Practice compassionate self-talk.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to self-care is to learn to respect yourself as a person of value. You may be only one person, but you contain an entire world of possibilities.

Learning to take care of your own needs means learning to be kind to yourself. Say "no" when you need to, and set and respect boundaries for your own self-care. Be kind in the words you use for yourself. A great way to learn to do this is to work with a licensed Austin therapist. They are equipped with evidence-based techniques to help you learn to value your own needs.

Healing is possible when you learn to treat yourself with love. Self-care and self-nurturing are paths toward learning to nourish yourself and bring meaning to your life.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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