This week represents Self-Care Week, as outlined by the Self Care Forum charity.
Self-care is defined as proactively looking after ones own health and wellbeing, by using the information available to them to make informed decisions and choices.
The key word here is being proactive. Modern life can feel incredibly stressful and busy. We often have to contend with work, family/children, life admin, societal pressures and expectations. These pressures can be amplified for those who already experience challenges with their health – whether mental or physical.
Being proactive with our health is very often overlooked, with only around 7% of us who practice self-care on a daily basis. This is a concerning low number considering how much stress we have to endure! Self-care allows us to check in with ourselves and offer ourselves what we need – which can be useful for preventing a deterioration in our health or wellbeing.
The good news is that self-care doesn’t have to be an expensive, time-consuming task each day. It doesn’t mean we have to hit the local spa for a day of massages and steam rooms (although that would be nice!)
Self-care can be something as quick as doing a 5-minute guided meditation on YouTube, or taking time out to read a few pages of a book. Anything that you enjoy doing, that has a positive impact on your physical or mental wellbeing is self-care!
We look at some simple ways to fit self-care into your busy routine…
Top Self-Care Tips
Meditation: Meditation is a great way to practice self-care, and can be done in as little as 5 minutes for free! YouTube has lots of guided meditation videos that can be done anywhere with as much, or as little time that you have
Exercise: Exercise is one of our favourite methods of self-care because it impacts both your mental and physical health – what’s not to love! Exercise not only helps your cardiovascular health, but it also releases endorphins which can combat depression and and anxiety, making us feel better mentally. Best of all it can be free! (Fancy a run anyone?!)
Reading: Reading is another PMAC favourite self-care activity. Reading has been proven to reduce stress, enhance our creative and critical thinking skills, and help strengthen our relationships. You can read almost anywhere and books can be had for as little as 99p on eBay or from charity shops.
Music: Listening to or playing music has a whole host of benefits for our health and wellbeing. It can help us wind down, plus it is enjoyable if you enjoy it! When done as part of a group such as a choir or a band, it can help develop new friendships and improve our social connectedness – what’s not to love?
Drink more water: “Drinking water is self-care?” I hear you ask? Yes it is! Drinking more water and less sugary/caffeine drinks is an act of self-care that anyone can do. Set yourself a daily water-drinking target!