What Is Self Care?
Self care is something that has been promoted on the internet now in small pockets for a while now. It’s actually recognised as a form of ‘self medicating’ in regards to both physical and mental health by the NHS. The idea is that you take time out of the routine and chaos and do something just for you. There are thousands of ways this can be done and the important thing to note is that it should be unique to you. ‘How to self care’ shouldn’t be pre-defined it should just be something that allows you to relax, gain clarity and essentially take a breather. We’re often guilty of judging ourselves or feeling bad for not working hard enough when actually it’s okay to take time to do you.
Doing things just for myself makes the world of difference in terms of my mental capabilities and how I connect with myself. Sometimes the whirlwind of daily life gets you so caught up that you can forget yourself. In the long and short of everything, you are you and you have to be with yourself 24/7 so I believe it’s beneficial to take the time to understand your thoughts, feelings and perceptions and be able to deal with what’s going on and process everything. The emotional side of self-care is crucial for relieving stress. Emotions can consume you and learning to compartmentalise these emotions will help you deal with life a bit easier!
If you’re not sure how you might Self-care I’ve put together 5 examples of how I personally like to self-care, I hope it gives you some inspiration as to what you may try in the future.
1. Do Something Away From a Screen
For a few hours just on one day do something that doesn’t involve looking at a screen or using technology. It can be so distracting and easy to ignore things you might be feeling or need to address in your head. I play badminton for two hours every week which is not only a good form of exercise but afterwards I feel so mentally refreshed (and sweaty). It also has a social element and it’s amazing to just switch off and focus solely on badminton for those two hours.
2. Go Outside
It’s amazing how fresh air can un-cloud your mind and allow for a little focus. Just go and be in the garden or sit somewhere and take in nature. It sounds cheesy but it helps you re-connect and just have some peace, the sounds of nature can be so therapeutic. Particularly being around or near water can feel very serene and make you feel at ease.
3. Cook a Meal
Cook yourself a hearty meal from scratch. I like to put the radio on and cook a recipe I haven’t tried before. It’s a satisfying process and easily done just take your time and follow it step by step. I cooked an aromatic beef curry last week which was really tasty and a new favourite. You can find the recipe here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/aromatic_beef_curry_90850
Go for a walk in the woods or some place away from an urban environment. Take some time out to do some yoga or pilates perhaps try something new from home. Yoga is brilliant for muscle aches particularly if you carry a lot of tension in particular areas. There’s plenty of content out there on YouTube.
5. Do Something Creative
Make something. Draw, paint, sew, colour, pick up a new hobby or an old one that you forgot. I personally enjoy doing my Lost Ocean colouring book or occasionally I’ll sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle. Just focusing on creating something and switching off is really great. It can be rewarding to just create something.
Self-care doesn’t always need to be set activities you can practice self-care in your everyday life too. Think about what it means to you personally, you know yourself best after all! Emotional well-being and self awareness is severely underestimated and you don’t have to suppress feelings. Usually if you can communicate how you’re feeling life might be that much simpler. For example:
- Sometimes you just have to do what you’ve got to do, you do you.
- Communicate with people, they may understand better than you think.
- Stand up for yourself, you don’t have to pussyfoot around people all the time you have feelings too.
- Don’t stress about something that has already happened, dwelling on things can take over, just accept that it’s happened, move on and let it go.
- If someone in your life is making you unhappy then let them go, relationships with people can be toxic and if you feel like it’s unhealthy then remove it. I wrote a post ‘7 Signs a Friendship Is Not Really a Friendship’ which can help you identify a toxic relationship. http://kirbyconfidential.com/7-signs-that-a-friendship-is-not-really-a-friendship/
More Information on Self-Care
Here are some helpful links that discuss self-care from different perspectives. Louise from Sprinkleofglitter and Cat from Catrific discuss their own feelings about the importance of self-care. I’ll also leave a link for a video where people share their own self-care routines.
I hope this helps some of you understand more about self-care and encourages you to do more you! See you next week!