What is self-care and why you need to start prioritising yourself by practicing it

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is self-care?

Self-care comes in a wide range of forms which can be simple yet effective. Self-care is anything that gives you a break and a chance to spend some quality dedicated time on you. It does  not have to be anything special or expensive, it can be something that is simple without much cost. It is anything that gives you time, a chance to relax and enjoyment.

While there is self-care in terms of your basic needs such as eating well, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated self-care is also about doing something you want to do and can take pleasure in rather than being something you ‘need’ or ‘have to’ do. When it becomes a ‘need’ to do it can often increase the pressure you already feel in your life.

Here are some examples of things you could integrate into your life for self-care. This is not an exhaustive list and you may already have some of your own interesting self-care ideas in place.

  • Journal or gratification diary
  • Walk without a goal
  • Have a hot bath or shower
  • Have a pamper session
  • Colouring, drawing or get creative with crafts
  • Say no to something or someone
  • Reading a book or magazine
  • Having a hot drink either at home or take yourself out
  • Exercise – gym, biking, running, walking – anything that works for you!
  • Relax – Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga, Pilates
  • Schedule breaks into your diary for you and stick to them!
  • Take a break from social media – have a clear out of your feed
  • Put some money aside to treat yourself
  • Have worry free time
  • Have a mental health day

When it comes to self-care there is not right or wrong thing to do. It is about taking time to love yourself and remember that there is only one you. You are the expert of your own world. Taking time to nurture ourselves can be difficult. It is often one of the first things that we drop when things feel too much yet it is one of the most important things to help maintain our resiliency.

So how do you make time for self-care?

  • Reflect on your current weekly routine and identify where you could make time for self-care
  • Specifically book time in your week for just you (for me this is a Thursday evening when I get in from work at 9pm)
  • Take mini breaks throughout your day
  • Continually check-in with yourself – if you need time rearrange what you have planned for the week

So why is self-care important?

As I said above, looking after ourselves helps us to feel more resilient. Making time for yourself can help to reduce your stress level and feelings of anxiety and panic. It also gives you space to get to know yourself better and helps you to identify and be aware of your triggers so you can take preventive action rather than reactive action.

How has self-care helped me?

Here comes time for self-disclosure. Before starting my counselling training I used to spend very little time looking after myself. I was always there to support other people and was going through my life without much thought to who I was and what I needed. Through my counselling training, I found that I had a tendency to not be kind to myself and was challenged to try and include more self-care into my lifestyle. Now I actively take part in setting aside time for myself on a weekly basis and will alter my plans in order to be proactive towards my mental wellbeing. This can include; hot baths, treating myself, cancelling my plans for the evening, giving myself an extra hour in bed, watching T.V or a film and that it is sometimes okay to ditch the to-do list.

I hope that reading this blog has been useful and has started to make you think about some things you can put in place to start looking after you. Just remember different things work for different people.

Remember: You can’t pour from a cup that is empty. Self-care is a way of filling up your cup.

What do you do for self-care? Let me know in the comments below


About me:

Krysia is a qualified person-centred counsellor based in Rainhill/Warrington. She currently works as a telephone counsellor for an employee assistance programme and runs a part-time private counselling practice. Krysia’s specialist areas include; Anxiety, Depression, Work Related Stress), Chronic Health issues and working with clients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and intent. In her free time Krysia likes to get out into nature, be creative and cuddle random dogs whenever possible. Want to find out more about counselling or read more on my blog, feel free to pop over to my website.

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