As some of you may know (if you follow me on twitter) I am taking part in something called #365daysofselfcare. This has been organised by the wonderful people at The Blurt Foundation. Below I have decided to write about what self care means to me.
Self care is a term used for when we look after ourselves. When someone has a mental health issue self care can be something that becomes more difficult and can even go out of the window completely. People can feel that it is selfish; this in my opinion couldn’t be more wrong. Self care is necessary to live a healthy life.
Self care is something that comes in many shapes and forms from simply having a shower to watching a film. Simple self care is really important to keep us well. Here are some things to try and remember to do:
- Brush your teeth – it may sound simple but it can be really hard to do. Brushing your teeth can make you feel a lot better. It can make you feel fresher and more alive.
- Get up – it can be tempting to stay in bed when your having a bad day but getting up and moving around is really important. It can make you feel better and you can always go back to bed later.
- Have a bath/shower – again this may sound simple but it can feel hard to do when you’re feeling rough. I find, however, that if I find the energy to have one it does make me feel better.
- Have a nap – naps are awesome. If you’ve got up its always great to reward yourself with a nap if you are feeling tired.
There are other things you can do as part of self care that may feel self-indulgent, but sometimes we need to think of ourselves first in order to help others as well as ourselves. These are not self-indulgent. these other forms of self care could include taking the time to watch a film or doing another activity in order to relax, for example I like to do origami. Taking the time to wind down is important self care and is not selfish or self-indulgent; it is necessary to carry on especially if you are looking after someone else as well.
Overall self care is important and I advocate it a lot; even if I, myself, have trouble sticking to it sometimes. Self care has a real impact on both mental and physical health. I hope that you can at least put some time aside for the simplest self care. You deserve it.