This week it was International Self-Care Day.
I decided to start by asking the obvious, ‘what is ‘self-care’?’
It’s the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
After speaking with some of my colleagues, I have come to realise that not enough of us take care of ourselves and put ourselves first which is a shame as it is so important for not just our physical but our mental health too. Self-care can reduce stress levels and really is something people should stop pushing aside until they start to feel burnt out.
The most important information in the demonstration on a plane is that in the event the oxygen masks come down, you put yours on first, then you help others with theirs. If you are not alive and well, you can’t help others. It’s as simple as that.
Taking care of yourself comes in lots of different forms and it can be as obvious as eating healthy and keeping a good sleep routine; to keep energies up, to the less obvious matter of learning how to say ‘no’ to others.
Now, I’m not saying we should all become completely self-absorbed but it is not selfish to put yourself first now and again and we should all try to do something that is just for ourselves at least once a week, whether it’s turning your phone off and watching your favourite show with no interruptions, baking for fun and not because you felt pressured to bake for a friend, draw something (even if you’re terrible!), read a book with a cuppa and several jammy dodgers, take a bath, walk the dog without it being a chore, journal, listen to music, catch up with friends and family or simply have a well-deserved nap.
You can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure to take care of yourself first.