The Cognitive Dimension of Self-Care

5. cognitive self-care Mar 09, 2020
reading to support the cognitive dimension of self-care

The Cognitive Dimension of Self-Care, one of LivingUpp’s 8 Dimensions of Self-Care, focuses on your mental health—how you think. This dimension of self-care helps you manage your mindset, keep your attention focused on what you do want rather than what you don’t, and enlist creativity to solve problems.

In this article, you’ll learn how to establish a supportive cognitive self-care practice that helps you improve your mental health.

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What is Cognitive Self-Care?

Cognitive self-care is any action you take to improve your mental well-being. Over time, the small choices you make every day can have a big impact on your mental health.

LivingUpp defines self-care as a preventive health strategy involving actions and behaviors that improve, restore, or maintain good health. By implementing a holistic self-care practice, you’ll spend less time and money on sick care and more time living your life.

Examples of Cognitive Self-Care

Here are some cognitive self-care examples to help you design a healthy lifestyle:


Staying open to new ideas and information is essential when it comes to personal growth. Whether you prefer self-study, formal education, or experiential learning, keeping an open mind is the key to life-long learning. Examine your self-care plan closely to ensure you’ve included space for personal and professional growth.

Cognitive self-care activities that support learning:

  • Asking questions
  • Attaining a new certification or degree
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Joining a book club
  • Experimenting with new forms of self-care
  • Taking self-study courses


Your mindset is powerful. While occasional negative thoughts are normal, fixating on what isn't going well, or what you don't like about your life, won't produce the changes you want. That's because negative thought patterns often turn into complaints. Managing your mindset with self-care strategies can change the way you experience your life.

Cognitive self-care activities that support a positive mindset:

  • Meditating before you begin your day
  • Listening to uplifting music
  • Creating a vision board
  • Exercising
  • Journaling affirmations
  • Creating a bucket list
  • Working with a therapist
  • Surrounding yourself with positive people

Morning Practice

Beginning your day with clear intentions can set the tone for your entire day. A purposeful morning routine can help remind you of your most important goals. Establishing a morning practice can help you stay grounded and focused on your desires and goals.  

Cognitive self-care activities to include in your morning practice:

  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Writing notes of gratitude
  • Practicing yoga
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy breakfast

Need a lifestyle reset? This Self-Care Starter Kit is designed to help you develop a foundation of self-care rituals that support each of the 8 dimensions of your life.

Using the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care Framework

The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework simplifies the healthy lifestyle design process. Using the 8-dimensional self-care pinwheel, you can easily develop a holistic self-care practice that supports the key areas of your life.

Here’s a quick overview of the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care:

If you’re looking for some structure to help bring self-care into your daily life, the Lifestyle Design Planner* incorporates the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework and the Rate Your 8 self-care assessment tool into its daily planning pages. This makes it easier to prioritize and plan your self-care rituals.

How to Support Your Cognitive Dimension of Self-Care

The Cognitive Dimension of Self-Care plays an integral role in supporting your mental health. To design a cognitive self-care practice, choose specific self-care strategies that strengthen your mental well-being.

You may need to experiment with different forms of self-care to determine what is and what isn’t effective for you. Over time, you’ll be able to curate a collection of self-care activities that align with your needs and personal brand.

How do you support this dimension of your life? Share in the comments below.

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Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. 

*LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other sites at no additional cost to you.