BY ELLIE ROCHELL
It feels as though there is a lot of evil in the world at the moment, with recent news of girls being spiked in clubs across the country. So I thought, is there a better time to focus on ways to soothe the soul and look after yourself?
The Oxford Dictionary defines self-care as: “The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.” Now, don’t be fooled- this may sound simple- but self-care is something I (and I’m sure many others) really struggle with.
Let’s talk about the five main types of self-care:
Keeping your brain and mentality happy massively impacts your psychological well being. Whether this kind of self-care consists of doing a puzzle to keep your brain sharp or practicing positive affirmations to maintain a healthy inner dialogue. Making time to rest your brain is vital, this time allows you to heal.
You guessed it, doing exercise can genuinely be really beneficial for your wellbeing (both physical and mental). And no, it doesn’t have to be a five mile hike or hour-long jog, something as simple as a walk will do. Although, physical wellbeing doesn’t just rely on the exercises you do, it’s also all about getting a good amount of sleep, eating foods which fuel your body and partaking in activities (such as taking your medication or going to an appointment). There are truly so many ways that physically you can look after yourself.
Life gets busy and it’s easy to forget that making time to see your friends and loved ones is a great method of self-care. Nurturing these close relationships is vital for mental wellbeing, but fundamentally there is no right amount of time to spend with your friends. Something as simple as going to see a movie or grabbing a coffee can do wonders for you!
It is perfectly normal to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, anger and sadness. But having a healthy coping mechanism to combat these emotions is completely vital. Acknowledging your feelings by speaking to a friend or loved one is one of the main ways I tend to cope with these emotions, but you may find it easier to set time aside to be self-conversed about these emotions. Taking some time to emotionally recharge can be the be all and end all to self-care.
Spiritual self-care doesn’t have to involve religion or any specific beliefs. It can simply include anything which helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning or connection with the universe. If you practice a religion, prayer or attending a religious service is a great way to reconnect. Meditation also offers the same kind of mental healing.
Although reading about methods of self-care seems easy, it can actually be a really difficult thing to achieve. I myself am trying to better practice self-care acts. In the past couple months I’ve started a paint-by-number painting, I try to do some each week whenever I want some down time. I chuck on a podcast- more often than not an Emma Chamberlain episode or a murder mystery of some sort- and get in my zone, I can spend hours sat painting. I find it very therapeutic.
Don’t feel the pressure to plan an extravagant day with a new manicure, a haircut and a brand new fitness regime. Instead, do something which makes you happy, no matter how small.
Some ideas of self-care activities you can easily participate in include: having a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, having a bath or shower, wearing a new outfit you love or going for an icecream with friends.
But, with everything I’ve mentioned in mind. You need to remember that self-care is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ thing, it takes time to learn what is good for you.
So, take some time to explore various practices and see what works best for you.