Why is self-care important for our wellbeing?
Practising self-care involves taking care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Practicing self-care can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, recover from setbacks, and boost your resilience to help better equip you to deal with any stressors or difficulties that may arise. Self-care also provides a helpful outlet by providing you with a different focus, it helps you to relax and unwind, improves your self-compassion, and helps you to take care of yourself and others by building stronger support networks, which can help you to overcome any difficulties you are experiencing.
Identify how you’re feeling
When we feel physically unwell, we might take our temperature to check if we’re developing a fever. When we are feeling emotionally distressed, we rarely check our ‘emotional temperature’. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed in some way, try asking yourself the following questions:
You might then want to consider what you could do next to help you feel better. There is never a right or wrong way to feel, so try not to judge yourself negatively for feeling a certain way.
Take a break
Our lives can be hectic. We often receive the message that we should do more, be more and achieve more. This makes it easy to lose sight of the fact we are only human. If we don’t take regular breaks, we’ll end up feeling stressed, fatigued or even burned out.
The reality is that we can only really be productive and achieve the things we want when we feel adequately rested. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break! This could be a five minute walk away from your desk or booking in a few days of annual leave to rest and recuperate. It’s also worth taking a quick break to have a light-hearted catch up call with friends and family.
Let emotions go
In our line of work, we might hear upsetting stories or talk to people who are very distressed. This can be difficult to handle and it is normal to feel sad, anxious or frustrated. It’s important that we let our emotions go and don’t become too overwhelmed by them. A quick breathing exercise might help:
We often take a kinder and gentler approach to others than to ourselves. For example, we may sometimes feel that we need to be doing more, or feel as though we aren’t doing a good job. It is important we remain kind and compassionate towards ourselves, too.
You could try to imagine what you’d say to a friend, e.g. “It’s OK that you’re feeling stressed, worried or overwhelmed at the moment; it’s a normal feeling and it will soon pass.” Then, say this to yourself, instead.
Try writing down some kind words to yourself, as if you were a loving and caring friend. After you finish, you could read your letter and let the words sink in.
Seek support from others
People who care about us can be a great source of support. Sharing with others how we feel and getting things off our chest can often feel like a weight is being lifted, we can manage better and feel less alone.
Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs and ask for help and support by talking to your team and colleagues, family, friends, or a mental health professional, if this would be helpful, too.
They can offer useful advice as well as the help and support that we might need.
Healthy habits, hobbies, and interests
There is good evidence that healthy habits and engaging in fun and pleasurable activities or hobbies can improve our overall wellbeing.
These may include getting adequate sleep each night, making healthier food choices, spending time with family and friends, participating in various forms of exercise or relaxation such as walking, gardening, dancing, meditation, yoga, playing with your pet, being creative through arts, crafts and drama, reading a great book or listening to your favourite music and so much more.
Even small changes can make a big difference to how we feel!
We hope that you find these self-care tips helpful!
If you are experiencing any difficulties, or you notice a sudden change in your interest in taking care of yourself, please seek support from a professional such as your GP.
If you would like to know more about a range of health and wellbeing topics, please feel free to visit our website at: www.rightsteps.co.uk
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