Self-care is a term that didn’t really exist much before March 2020. But as the months at home have ticked by and our lives as we know them have been thrown into a tailspin, the media, charities, schools and employers have been taking ‘self-care’ far more seriously.
NHS England tell us that self-care is ‘…about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself and when to get advice from your GP or health professional.’ But it’s come to mean much more since lockdown, don’t you think?
According to Helen.L.Coons PhD, a clinical health psychologist specialising in behavioural health and wellness at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, “Self-care is one’s actions around our physical, emotional, relational, perhaps professional, educational, and, for some people, spiritual well-being that reflect the way that we take care of ourselves on the most fundamental levels.”
As Brits, we’re raised with a ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality, a drive to carry on at all costs and only rest when we’re dead. But thankfully this somewhat Draconian attitude is starting to shift. And there’s no doubt that the current global pandemic has expedited matters.
Numerous studies have discovered that our mental health has suffered over the past 12 months, so self-care has never been more important than now.
And we don’t mean losing five kilos, kicking the midweek wine into touch, or turning vegan.
We mean really considering your mental and physical wellbeing. Taking the time to ask yourself if you’re ok. And giving credence to what you could do to make things better.
Is it time you leaned in to what your body and brain are telling you?
Practicing self-care is different for all of us. It might mean reading a book in the bath once a week, enjoying a walk by yourself or simply sitting in silence with a cup of coffee.
But most importantly, it means time dedicated to you.
Check out these 25 self-care ideas, courtesy of Meghan Livingstone.
Can you see yourself giving them a go? Let us know how you get on.