What is self-care and why is it important?
There is a common misconception that self-care is about being selfish or acting self-indulgently. However, self-care is actually all about doing things that are good for your mental or physical health, so that you can be happy and healthy. When people talk about self-care, they are generally talking about the conscious or deliberate choice to do something that looks after their wellbeing. Self-care is becoming more and more popular amongst individuals. According to Google Trends, the number of searches for ‘self-care’ has more than doubled since 2015.
Self-Care day is on 24th July 2021 and we want you to dedicate this day to yourself and doing something that makes you happy!
What are examples of self-care?
This question is a little harder to answer, because self-care is different for everyone. It’s all about doing things that you enjoy and that makes you happy. This could be going to the gym, online shopping, chatting to friends, going out for dinner or watching a film. Really, anything you do for yourself that makes you feel better can be considered as self-care.
10 easy ways to practice self-care without spending money
You don’t have to break the bank to care for yourself. Here are some top tips for self-care that don’t cost the earth:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Drink lots of water
- Go for a walk
- Take a relaxing bath
- Say no to things you do not want to do
- Listen to your favourite music
- Watch your favourite film
- Make something healthy for dinner
- Make a list of five or more things you like about yourself
- Spend time with loved ones
The benefits of self-care
Physical health – A big part of self-care is committing to looking after your body and realising what it needs. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, exercising more or getting enough sleep each night, making small changes can have a positive impact on your overall physical health.
Stress and anxiety – Making time for relaxing activities, such as taking a bath, listening to music or practicing yoga are all forms of self-care. Any activity that makes you feel more relaxed can help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety and help lift your mood.
Self-esteem – As well as helping to calm your nerves, taking time to relax and look after yourself can have a positive impact on the way you see yourself. Treating yourself with kindness can make you look upon yourself in a better way. Studies have found that people with higher self-esteem find it easier to deal with setbacks and are more likely to achieve goals of self-improvement.
Mental health – Making small changes to prioritise self-care can help to manage mental health issues and might even prevent them from getting worse. Of course, self-care is not a substitute for professional help. However, taking part in regular activities that make you feel happy could reduce negative thoughts and make you see things in a more positive light.
Below is a self-care bingo card that our partners at Thrive have created. They have outlined some, what may seem, simple activities to complete, but why not use this to try and improve your own self-care and see how it makes you feel!