The notion of self-care has been a particularly popular topic recently, but the true meaning of it is often neglected or unexplained. Many books, tv shows, videos and podcasts talk about self-help and self-care, but they still do not provide a clear explanation for how you’re supposed to incorporate it into your life.
So, what is self-care? It is not an indulgent or luxury experience, it is a necessary and valuable process which can be intertwined into everyday life through our mindsets, activities and habits. It is about addressing any stresses or problems holistically, giving yourself relief when you feel overwhelmed, being kind to yourself and taking time to replenish your energy. It is important to allow time for yourself as letting the days go past without checking in with your own needs can cause stresses and worries to build up, shorten your temper and attention span, and reduce your performance. Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to a friend or a family member, and it can help to ground yourself, put your life in perspective, and to appreciate the little things in each day.
There is no single idea or viewpoint on what the best self-care methods are, because each person will differ in what activities or practices make a positive difference to their well-being. Subsequently there are no instructions or recipes for the perfect self-care regime, it is up to you to explore what makes you feel good. Although it is important to realise that not everything that feels good is an action of self-care, check in with yourself and make sure that your activities are healthy coping mechanisms and are providing you with long-term relief rather than temporary gains.
There are different kinds of self-care and depending on your mood the one which may be most beneficial to you in that moment may vary. For example, there are emotional, physical, mental, social, sensory and spiritual forms of self-care amongst others, and identifying which works best for you and when is a part of the self-care journey.
Below is a list of self-care ideas that cover the forms mentioned above. Try to make any that work for you a part of your weekly or daily routine and see whether they provide you with long-term benefits.
Do one thing today just because it makes you happy
Read some feel-good poetry
Write a list to remind yourself of the things in your life that you are grateful for
Tap into your creative side. Use painting or another creative art to release your fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration on paper
Use 15 minutes to write out your thoughts about anything bothering you. Then throw away the paper.
Clean up your work area. (Many people find a clean and neat work area to be cathartic.)
Write encouraging affirmations or inspirational quotes on Post-its and place them where you will see them every day.
Watch a favourite film or tv show that elicits strong feelings of happiness and joy, or contentment and appreciation.
Or watch something sad and have a good cry, crying can also be a great form of self-care if you need to let out your emotions!
Take a different route to work or the shops to give yourself a change of scenery
Do a form of exercise that you enjoy and makes you happy, this could be going for a walk, a cycle with friends, a swim in the sea.
Work on something you enjoy but is also challenging and stimulating such as a crossword
Drink more water to feel hydrated and energised
Write a letter to your older or younger self
Do something you used to enjoy doing as a child such as swinging at the park
Cook a meal you’ve never cooked before, or cook for your friends or family
Take a nap or just sit and take some time to just be, self-care doesn’t have to be ‘doing’ something, it can be doing nothing
Speak to a loved one about their own self-care ideas or routines
Call a loved one who you haven’t spoken to in a while
Accompany a friend or family member when they run an errand
Ask for help. Letting people know you need help is a sign of strength not weakness!
Take some time to think about who the people are that you want to have in your life, if there are people who you feel may be negative influences in your life then take some time to consider whether that relationship is healthy.
Cuddle someone or something!
Have a movie night with a loved one.
Dress your pet in a silly costume and show them around to make others smile.
Join and attend a support group meeting to share your thoughts and listen to others.
Bake and give the goodies to a neighbour to brighten both of your days.
Send a surprise care package or a card to someone, giving to others can be a great way to make you feel good about yourself
Smile at a stranger
Take 15 minutes to soak up the sunshine
Smile at yourself in the mirror
Try an adult colouring book
Listen to your favourite music playlist or create a new one with music that calms you
Try your hand at some gardening, feel the soil and the leaves and appreciate the beauty of nature
Light a candle
Make a tea, coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the warmth of the mug and the smells of the drink
Turn down the lights, sit down, stare into space, and do absolutely nothing.
Watch the clouds, sunrise or sunset
Watch some autonomous sensory meridian response videos to help you calm down and fall asleep.
Write down a new affirmation
Try some yoga or meditation
Start a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings
Try some calm breathing techniques
Practice relaxation techniques
Donate money to a charity of your choosing
Do something nice for someone in secret
Pay mindful attention to the things you do during your morning and evening routine.
Intentionally find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work.
Soften your expectations of you and others.
Take a break from social media by deleting or deactivating it.
Volunteer at a local charity shop, hospital, play group or animal shelter, being of service to others can also be a way to serve yourself
What are you good at? Find an opportunity to use that strength today.
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It goes hand in hand with the Home at Halls app, which can be downloaded from your phone’s app store and accessed using the details you use on the Broadgate Park portal.
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Broadgate Park is our primary residence, consisting of over forty blocks in beautiful leafy grounds.