What is the best self-care?
What is the best self-care?
Self-care is a huge topic. Over the years, as we have developed and learnt more about how we function as human beings, the subject of well-being has become a frequent topic of conversation. Studies continue to show that in an ever faster-evolving world, taking time to slow down and look after ourselves has a dramatic impact on the quality of life we have. Unfortunately, the case is likely that those who realise that they are in need of making time for self-care are often having a tougher moment in their life. Instilling practices of self-care as a frequent habit has benefits that can be a mechanism of help through tougher moments, making things feel easier. Anyone who has introduced self-care into their life often promotes the benefits because of the impact it has had on them. Starting a self-care routine can appear overwhelming at times, but can make a massive difference. Here’s what you need to know about starting a self-care routine!
What is self-care week?
Every year between the 14th and 20th of November, the UK has a week dedicated to Self-Care nationwide. This week is a time to focus on the elements of self-care and support others around us on their own journey. From opening conversations to discussing the specific elements with families, friends, colleagues and communities this week is about sharing and making the best self-care routine for you. It’s bringing the conversation to the forefront and empowering everyone to prioritise their individual health and well-being. Resources are made available and crucial information resurfaces to help anyone and everyone get involved and find something new to help them on their journey.
What is the definition of self-care?
If you’re new to self-care, you might feel cautious about where to begin or what it all means. Always remember that someone will have had a similar experience to you and we all had to start somewhere.
noun: self-care; noun: selfcare
- the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
"autonomy in self-care and insulin administration"
- the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
"expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care"
Self-care can mean a variety of things to different people. It could be taking a prescribed medication every day; specific to an individual and crucial to the health of the person, however, not right for the person next to them. A more rounded idea of self-care is activities that help to reduce stress, make a person feel good, bring calmness and allow that person to relax. Each activity looks very different from one person to the next wanting to achieve similar results. The self-care journey or routine is very personal.
Why is self-care important for everyone?
Less and less time is being made available to prioritise our health. Self-care covers a variety of topics including foods we consume, movement throughout the day and time for reflection to name a few. Self-care is just as important as physical health. Our mental health deserves and needs adequate time to learn and heal just like our bodies. They’re also intrinsically linked. Physical symptoms have been known to be caused by stress as much as a physical ailment can cause stress itself! Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after any other part of your body.
What is the best self-care?
The best self-care often comes from a little trial and error. You know your body best and choosing things that serve you, make you happy, make you feel calm and ultimately allow you to have time to switch off are all great places to start searching for activities to create a self-care routine.
Our top things to consider are:
Only you know you. Only you know what makes you tick. Copying someone else routine isn’t going to be perfect for you, but by starting somewhere you can gain an understanding of what could work for you and build on this. It's also up to you to use these activities when you need them and take responsibility for doing so.
Choose things that fit into your schedule and don’t overwhelm you. If you work 9 to 5, you won’t be able to take an hour's walk before work if you rise at 8, but you could fit in 10 mins of stillness for example. Think of options that are easy to bring into your current lifestyle.
If you’re not a fan of gym environments, then signing up for the gym isn’t going to make you feel happy. Seek options that make you feel positive about doing them and not just because someone else does it.
Think about your day-to-day habits and how you can add a moment of self-care by attaching it to something you already do. If you read every morning attach a habit of writing for 5 minutes before you get out of bed after you’ve read your last page. If you want to take your vitamins religiously, attach them to the habit of making your coffee or tea in the morning; when you turn the kettle on, you take your supplement. This will help you remain consistent.
How can you build a self-care routine?
- Write out all the things that bring you joy and put you in a space of no stress, enjoyment and relaxation.
- Look at how you can invest more time into these things or similar things that you might like.
- Establish how you feel when you do these certain activities, some might make you feel energetic while others might bring you into more of a silent space.
- Choose the things that make you feel calm and positive and add on things that can help to make them sustainable in your day-to-day life.
- Work out your day or week structure and see where you can fit these in without disruption or stress.
It’s important to remain positive if you have to move things and if you can’t show up on one day, to show up on the next. You’re building a lifestyle, it won’t happen overnight and it’s not going to be perfect immediately, cut yourself the slack when you need to.
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