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Health News: Self-Care

Image: Haley Phelps on Unsplash

What is self-care?

Practicing self-care is including activities in our lives, to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.  Self-care does include the basic three; healthy diet, exercise and enough sleep, but there are other activities that we can do to make us feel good too.

Why is self-care important?

We are all so busy with our lives; taking care of others, working, looking after personal admin, running a home and fitting in socializing too. It can be very easy to forget about our own mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Often we are the last on the list of our priorities. This fast pace can go on for only so long before we start to suffer in some way. Whether it’s mental or physical symptoms such as anxiety, stress or physical illness, I believe the mind and body are very connected and stress does cause physical imbalance, which can lead to illness. Self-care is especially important at times of excitement, stress or when we’re especially busy or are experiencing big changes in our lives. Unfortunately these are the times when we tend to forget to take care of ourselves properly and self-care can go out of the picture totally!!

How can we include self-care into our lives?

By making time regularly to do something that makes us feel good or that we enjoy, we are practicing self-care.

Including some of the following activities in your life can really make a difference to your wellbeing;

*Comedy/laughter- watching or reading something funny

*Meditation

*Yoga

*Reading a novel or something inspiring

*Music- listening to your favourite tunes can really enhance your mood

*Watching something uplifting

*Exercise

* Fresh air- just going for a walk can help to clear your head

*Spending time in nature

*Taking time to relax in the bath instead of shower

*Manicure/pedicure/facial or massage- treating yourself to some pampering

*Hobbies, learning something new or doing something you’re interested in or are passionate about

*Practicing gratitude- writing 5 things each day that your grateful for can really help you to appreciate yourself and your life.

It can take a bit of planning!

Self care needs to be scheduled into your day/week to ensure you get time to do it. I actually recommend, when you’ve decided what activities you want to do, to write them in your diary alongside all of your obligations. This way you are much more likely to be able to find the time for yourself. As well as the ‘basic three’ (healthy diet, exercise and sleep) a good guide is to do one thing that you enjoy everyday and one thing that is relaxing.

I hope this will remind and inspire you to take a few minutes each day for yourself. This time investment is well worth it in the short and long term!

This article first appeared in the July 2018 issue of SE22 magazine

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