Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing: Self care
By Sannah Malik
We can care for ourselves – Self Care – by incorporating small acts in our daily life that take care of our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Although this seems simple, and often overlooked, it’s vital to reducing stress, improving anxiety and low moods.
Self-care can mean different things to different people, but here is a helpful list of things that you may want to consider.
Create a list of all the things you dislike or no longer want to do i.e. checking emails after a certain time, going to certain events, etc.
Start eating a balanced and nutritious diet
Ensure you gain enough sleep (Adults require between 7-8 hours)
Exercise to improve not only physical health but also emotional health. It is important you choose a form of exercise which you like or maybe you would like to try (I.e. hiking, yoga, martial arts and/or running)
Take regular trips to your general practitioner and dentist for check ups
Practice meditation or do relaxation exercises
Spend time with your loved ones
Like with most things, practicing self care takes practice. Start small and simple by slowly incorporating aspects into your daily routine.
For example, I might want to exercise more regularly to increase my physical and emotional health. Instead of going to the gym for 1 or 2 hours which may seem intimidating to some, I might start with 15-30 minutes of gentle exercises.
In another example, if I bring work home all the time, it may cause me to feel overworked / stressed. Instead, I may set a time limit on the work I need to do at home. Beyond the time limit, I would focus on spending the rest of the evening doing the things I want to do.
It is important to note that self care is NOT a selfish act. It is small acts which we can fit into our daily routine in order to refuel us. Practicing self care is a vital step in taking back control over our lives again. It is knowing what we need to do to take better care of ourselves and being able to take care of others as well.