“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde
Self care is the simple idea of looking after yourself – it’s something that should be really easy, but can seem really difficult especially if life is being particularly stressful or difficult. Self care can be something you don’t even think about, like cleaning your teeth or taking medicine when you are ill, to things you enjoy like listening to music or seeing friends.
There is no single thing that works as self care for everyone so it’s important to find out what works for you and to recognise when you might need to have some time dedicated to self care. What’s important is that you know it’s OK to not be OK and that you often need to take some time out for yourself.
Some examples of self care can be:
- Wrapping up in blankets or duvets and watching some episodes of your favourite TV show or your favourite film
- Listening to music that you enjoy
- Having a warm bubbly bath
- Going for a run, cycle or doing some exercise
- Doing something you haven’t done in a long time that you used to enjoy
- Spending time with friends doing something fun
- Writing, painting or doing something creative simply to enjoy it (it doesn’t matter what the end result is as long as you enjoy making it)
- Having a warm drink of hot chocolate or tea
- Doing some breathing exercises or mindfulness
- Having a nap
- Going to the cinema
- Going to your favourite café or restaurant
- Spending time playing with pets
- Just going for a walk
- Take part in religious or spiritual activity
Some of these might seem silly or unimportant when there are things worrying you like deadlines and work relationships, but it’s really important to look after yourself especially when things are stressing you out.
Think of a mobile phone: you need to change the battery after using it lots or it won’t work. Think of your body as a phone and self care as changing the battery, after working and stressing for a long time you need to do something that will recharge the batteries.
Written by Will Anderson (Resilience Lab Peer Facilitator)