Find out what self-care means for you, and how you can look after your mental, physical and emotional well being.
What is self-care?
Self-care refers to activities that help individuals look after themselves both physically and mentally. It includes behaviours we can adopt to ensure that our bodies and mind function effectively and healthily.
It is important to recognise that self-care doesn’t require the need to add more activities to already busy schedules, but to take time for ourselves when we need it.
When should we practise self-care?
Self-care is different for everyone. There is no specific timeframe or frequency for it to occur. Self-care is about allowing ourselves the time to partake in activities that improve our mental and physical health and wellbeing.
It is important to understand that self-care isn’t designed to be an emergency stress relief plan but should be incorporated into our everyday lives to maintain positive wellbeing.
How can we incorporate self-care into our lives?
People benefit from self-care activities and actions in different ways. It is important to identify which activities and behaviours will be most beneficial to your own wellbeing.
Some suggestions for self-care include:
- Make time for the activities you enjoy and that help you to relax. This doesn’t have to cost money but can be as simple as having a bath, going fishing or playing with pets.
Managing your stress
- Learn how to monitor and reduce stress in positive ways. Examples may include relaxation, controlled breathing, exercise or yoga.
- If you have spiritual beliefs, take time for regular spiritual practice or spend time with others who share your beliefs.
Asking for help
- Recognise when you need help from others and ask for their support. This can be from colleagues, friends, family, your GP, a psychologist or another health professional.
- Eat healthy food, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and limit the amount of alcohol or other substances you take. If you don’t feel well physically, it can be difficult to give others the care and attention they need.
- Spend time with your family and friends. Close personal relationships can be especially important during tough or challenging times.
- Develop friendships or relationships outside of work. If things become stressful at work, it can be helpful to spend time with people who aren’t involved in the situation.
- Try to achieve a balance between your professional role and your personal life. This means leaving your work problems at work.
- Provide support and encouragement for colleagues. A supportive workplace is a nicer place to work for everyone.
- Be inclusive of diversity. A sense of belonging for all staff members is essential for health and happiness.