If I ask the question: “Do you take care of yourself?” the majority of people will answer “Yes” and think, of course they take care of themselves! What sort of question is that!?
If I then ask “How do you take care of yourself? This can be a bit more tricky to answer, as self-care can sometimes be overlooked.
Self-care is any deliberate activity that we do to look after our emotional, mental and physical health, it can lead to an improved mood, reduced anxiety and a happier disposition.
Some people think that Self-care is the same as self-indulgence – it is not and there is no need to feel guilty about ensuring your self-care.
You should take time every day to do something for yourself, not sure where to start? Below are a few to choose from. You can also complete a self-care quiz which will highlight key areas for you to focus on.
Tips for self-care
- Get outside – taking some time away from your desk or the comfort of your home is a great way to improve your mental and physical health.
- Breathe – We know that breathing techniques can help us relax, but what we breathe can be just as important as how we breathe. Citrus scents can help slash anxiety and stress, rosemary can boost memory in some people, however a soothing smell for one may be aggravating for another. Finding your favourite aroma can help you to create that relaxing atmosphere.
- Try not to stress! Easier said than done I know, but stress is really bad for our health! Try not to succumb! Don’t let it get to you, try using strategies such as having a quiet cup of tea, relaxing breathing or reading a book.
- Dance! When all else fails – dance! Jumping around and shaking your body doesn’t just burn calories but can also improve your mood!
- Listen to music – Everyone has that one song that puts a smile on their face or that they just have to sing to. Research has shown that listening to happy music stimulates the brain and makes you happy.
- Eat Well – Adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet is great for self-care, plus certain fruits and vegetables are far better for us than we think – berries boost the brain whereas peppers can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s!
- Unplug – taking a break from social media, email, blogging and general screen time can give our brain the downtime it needs to recharge.
The most important part of this is being kinder to yourself and not punishing yourself if you are too busy to go out for a walk or forget to eat that extra portion of fruit.
Self-care should not be a chore but something that is embedded in your day to day life to enjoy.