How to Practice Self-Care
When life becomes overwhelming, the practice of self-care is very important.
Health 2000 have provided some practical advice on how to get through.
Good self-care is key to having strong, healthy relationships with yourself and others. It enables a healthy work-life balance and recognises that workaholism is not a virtue! It helps you deal with stress better, improves your mood, boosts your energy and self-esteem, and promotes better physical health.
You can practice self-care through the mindset, activities and habits you create to help deal with stress, illness, unhappiness and other negative emotions.
Self-care is not self-indulgent or even lazy – it is simply recognising what you need to deal with difficult situations. Just like the saying, “You cannot serve from an empty vessel,” you need to take time to replenish your spirit and look at the things that matter to help both yourself and others.
Ask yourself this question: “Do you take care of yourself?” Most people will answer “Yes,” but when it comes to defining how they care for themselves, the answer may not be as simple.
While self-care is simple in theory, it’s something that can easily be overlooked when life gets busy. Therefore, self-care needs to be undertaken deliberately with a focus on all aspects of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
While everyone’s definition of self-care can mean different things, there is a basic self-care list that can be followed by all of us. This includes:
- Eating a nutritious, healthy diet
- Drinking two to three litres of water a day
- Getting enough sleep – adults need seven to nine hours a night
- Exercising regularly
- Keeping up to date with medical care and check ups
- Spending time with loved ones.
The following list contains ideas for self-care activities. Naturally, not everyone will enjoy them all, but try the ones that interest or excite you. Don’t put off self-care until next week or next month – get started today and see the difference it makes in your life!
15 ideas for self-care:
- Write inspirational quotes on post-it notes and stick them in prominent places
- Take a nap without an alarm clock
- Say “no” to something of little importance to give yourself ‘me-time’
- Declutter your wardrobe or a small space
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Do stretching exercises or roll out your muscles on a foam roller
- Call a friend or family member for a chat
- Take a break from social media by deactivating it or unfollow people who make you feel negative on social media
- Pray or meditate
- Pamper yourself with a massage, manicure or hair cut
- Read a book or magazine
- Plan and book your next holiday or overseas trip
- Catch up for coffee with a friend you haven’t seen for a while
- Go tramping or camping in nature
- Dance to your favourite song.
If you or someone you love are struggling with mental health, reach out to a health professional who can help.
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or www.depression.org.nz
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.co.nz
Youthline: 0800 376 633 or www.youthline.co.nz
Mental health foundation: www.mentalhealth.org.nz