Self-Care Ideas for Each Type of Intelligence

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

When you hear the word “intelligent,” what comes to mind?

Toronto Reference Library
Love the Toronto Reference Library! Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

Brainy, whiz kid, genius, prodigy, brilliant, smart, or my personal favourite, rocket scientist…

I always think, “good at math” first but I know there’s way more to intelligence than being able to ace a calculus exam.

Chances are that if you weren’t good at “reading and writing and ‘rithmetic” (as the old song goes), you felt like something was wrong with you and school was a chore that you had to endure until you could escape.

Sadly, many people slip through the cracks and never graduate even though they’re smart and brilliant in their own way.

What if our education system nurtured and celebrated kids with different intelligences other than the traditional, linear thinking ones?

What if kids with a knack for growing vegetables in a garden, or reading other people’s energy, or inventing new games to play, had room to explore their talents in the classroom, too?

In 1983, American psychologist, Howard Gardener, described 9 types of intelligence:

  • Naturalists (like animals and plants)
  • Musicals (like playing with sounds)
  • Logical-Mathematicals (are good with numbers and problem solving)
  • Existentials (will ask life’s big questions)
  • Interpersonals (are people-people)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetics (are physically coordinated)
  • Linguistics (like playing with words)
  • Intrapersonals (are self-aware)
  • Spatials (can visualize in 3D)

If any of these intelligences resonate with you, I’ve come up with a list of self-care activities that you can weave into your life – starting today – that will play to your strengths and preferences and will be like music to your ears!

Honouring and understanding your own intelligences and ways of being and of perceiving the world, is empowering!

And if you happen to stumble upon a self-care activity and a career that speaks directly to your intelligence, you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot and you’ll be able to soar to new heights!

1. Naturalist Intelligence

Naturalists relish interacting with the natural world and have an affinity for plants, animals, rocks, and Mother Earth.

Good Careers: Botanist, Chef, Geologist, Naturalist, Veterinarian, Wilderness Guide

Self-Care Ideas: going on a nature walk, wearing crystal jewellery, petting a cat or dog

Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness Coach with Dragonfly.
Naturalists have a way of communicating with wildlife.

2. Musical Intelligence

Musical geniuses have rhythm! They work with sound and can create emotional responses by changing notes, pitch, rhythm, timbre, and the tone of a song. They’re also sensitive listeners and can pick up on nuances others may miss.

Good Careers: composers, conductors, folio artists, musicians, performers, rock stars, song writers

Self-Care Ideas: going to a concert, listening to music, writing poetry, singing in a choir, playing an instrument

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to solve problems by coming up with theories then calculating, quantifying, and figuring out the number sequences that work. Math is the language of the Universe and it helps us to perceive relationships, connections, and patterns and it brings abstract concepts to life.

Good Careers: accountants, bakers, computer programmers, detectives, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, inventors, mathematicians, realtors, scientists.

Self-Care Ideas: Working on a crossword puzzle, reading a murder mystery book, organizing a collection

4. Existential Intelligence

Existential Intelligence is about asking the deep questions of human existence like: What is the meaning of life? Where do we go when we die? and How did this whole she-bang start?

Good Careers: astronomers, life coaches, monks, nuns, philosophers, priests, rabbis, spiritual teachers, writers, yogis

Self-Care Ideas: Looking at the stars in the night sky, meditating, journaling, travelling to sacred places

Saint Mother Teresa 3rd class relic.
Saint Mother Theresa

5. Interpersonal Intelligence

People with Interpersonal intelligence are good with people and have the ability to connect and communicate well with others. People-people are the leaders among us, know how to read feelings and motives, and are good at influencing others.

Good Careers: actors, life coaches, politicians, social workers, teachers, talk show hosts

Self-Care Ideas: hosting a party, putting on a play, talking with friends, teaching concepts to another person

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

People with Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence are very aware of how their body moves through space and time. It’s about having hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and balance. It’s also about learning by doing and feeling.

Good Careers: athletes, dancers, magicians, massage therapists, personal trainers, surgeons

Self-Care Ideas: dancing, getting or giving a massage, playing a game of tennis

7. Linguistic Intelligence

People with Linguistic intelligence have the gift of the gab and also write well. They have the ability to express ideas and concepts in meaningful ways. They like communicating with all kinds of people and playing with words – for Linguistics, puns are fun!

Good Careers: journalists, life coaches, novelists, poets, public speakers, standup comics

Self-Care Ideas: journaling, reading, telling stories, writing a blog post

Journalling is very therapeutic. Photo by Samantha Hurley from Burst

8. Intra-personal Intelligence

Intra-personal intelligence is a personal awareness. It’s the ability to understand and appreciate your own thoughts and feelings and by extension, the human condition.

Good Careers: astronomers, life coaches, monks, nuns, philosophers, priests, rabbis, spiritual teachers, writers, yogis

Self-Care Ideas: meditation, reading, taking a yoga class, travelling, writing

9. Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize in three dimensions. People with this intelligence are the artists among us and they can rotate an object in their imagination and see it from all angles, as if they’re physically holding it in their hands.

Good Careers: architects, artists, designers, engineers, painters, pilots, sailors, sculptors

Self-Care Ideas: Day dreaming, doing a jigsaw puzzle, drawing pictures, play a game of pool, walking a labyrinth

sketching heart in book.
Artists help us see new perspectives!

How many of these intelligences do you recognize in yourself?

Hopefully my summaries of the 9 Intelligences will help you gain some personal awareness of what makes you special and unique in our diverse world.

I’m sure you’ll find that you have an affinity for more than one of these intelligences and they each complement each other in some way.

The truth is, you can be successful in life with any combination of these intelligences.

Don’t ever let anyone else make you feel bad or wrong about your unique talents and gifts and your way of processing information! The world needs what you have to offer, so shine your light!

Whenever you feel down, keep this in mind: If we were all just good at math, the world would be a really boring place!

Keep Art and Jim in school!

About the Author

Maria Koropecky is a Wellness Coach and Blogger who specializes in self-care. Maria is currently accepting new wellness coaching clients. If you’d like spiritual guidance on this topic, please make an appointment for a Crystal Mapping session with Maria today!

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