Taking care of ourselves physically and mentally is vital to reach our full potential. Self-care is a key factor when it comes to being the best versions of ourselves and enables us to better care for those around us too.
While the world has been presented with an array of challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, self-care has never been more important.
What is self-care?
More than just ‘me time’, self-care is a deliberate act with the intention of taking care of our health. This includes physical health as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.
The benefits of self-care are far-reaching and include reduced stress levels, increased levels of resilience and improved overall health. With a little commitment, self-care is something we can all practice every day. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.
Checklist – Ways to practice self-care
1. Create a routine that works for you
A routine can help you stay motivated and feel better equipped at managing your time. Your routine should be tailored to you and your individual wants and needs, providing space for all the things that you value.
2. Make time for rest
Sleep is vital for optimal functioning and most adults require around 7 to 9 hours each night. In fact, your ability to get quality sleep can be an indicator of your overall health, so ensure that you don’t ignore rest as part of your self-care practice.
3. Prioritise movement
The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. From making you feel happier, to increasing energy levels and helping you maintain a healthy weight, it is important to move your body every day. This can be a brisk walk, yoga, bike-riding – whatever form of movement you prefer or a combination of many.
4. Limit your screen time
While screens have become a focal point of modern life, setting aside screen-free time is a must. Reducing screen time can encourage you to be more active, sleep better and improve your mood.
5. Spend time in nature
From gaining essential nutrients like Vitamin D to its calming effect both physically and mentally, time spent in nature is time well spent. Getting outdoors can be a valuable self-care practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life.
6. Do things you enjoy
Even when life is busy, it’s important to find time to do the things you enjoy most. While there are limitations currently due to coronavirus, try to adapt your usual hobbies as best you can, or discover something new that feels fulfilling and makes you happy. It could be writing down your feelings, learning a new skill or just listening to your favourite music.
7. Stay connected
Loneliness over long periods of time can affect both your mental and physical health so it is very important to allow yourself time to connect with other people. Catching up in person may not be possible for now, but picking up the phone, jumping on a video call or reviving the pastime of letter writing is a self-care practice worth doing.
8. Nourish yourself
Putting healthy food into your body shows that you value yourself. Your body deserves good food, and cooking can be a rewarding and nourishing act of self-care.
9. Be patient and kind
It’s okay to have a bad day. You might not feel motivated every day. In fact, you might feel less motivated than ever at the moment. Create space for your feelings, whether they are good, bad or in between.
10. Reach out
The ultimate act of self-care is allowing yourself to reach out when things get tough. Ask for help and seek out support as you need it. This could be family and friends, or even your employer. You might prefer to contact an organisation who specialises in listening and supporting others such as Beyond Blue, Lifeline or Sane, to name a few.
Online Self-Care Resources
In addition to various online and/or phone-based resources you can reach out to, there are also plenty of app-based resources to support your self-care endeavours. If you’re ready to prioritise self-care, try downloading these:
- Headspace’s app is the perfect on-the-go tool for mindfulness and meditation
- Shine is useful for setting goals and staying motivated.
- Happify uses science-based games to help you overcome negative thoughts.
- Get creative and unwind with Colorfy, enabling you to gain the benefits of colouring-in, but in a convenient digital form.
Remember, self-care can come in many forms and should be tailored to each individual. Practice self-care in the way that works best for you and reach your full potential.
Download and print our self-care menu for tips on how you can improve your wellbeing
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