Selfcare is the deliberate way in which we take the time to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Selfcare is completely individual and changes with each person. One person’s needs differ from another’s, selfcare is completely individual to you.
Selfcare reduces stress, improves emotional stability and promotes good sleep patterns.
It supports us during times of loss and change.
It helps us to heal and recover from challenging times.
It prevents burnout, which leads to a feeling of both physical and emotional exhaustion.
Feeling like you are being selfish by taking time for yourself.
Not setting out a specific time or day for your selfcare routine.
Believing that others needs are more important than yours.
Not developing a routine around your selfcare can sometimes mean it gets moved or forgotten about.
Sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Think about your night time routine and how you could change it to encourage a better night’s sleep.
Maintain a routine, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Caffeine will keep you awake so should be avoided a few hours before you go to bed.
Avoid eating before going to bed.
Create an environment which promotes a good sleep, a dark room that is quiet and slightly cool.
Avoiding screens an hour before you go to bed.
Healthy eating is a great way to practice more selfcare. Eating more fruit and vegetables in your diet will increase your vitamin and mineral intake and reduce your sugar and starchy snack intake.
Cooking can be very therapeutic and not only increases your interest in food, and independent living skills, but can also provides you with the opportunity to practice some selfcare. Listen to your favourite music or a podcast while cooking and it can make the experience all that more enjoyable.
Cooking also provides the opportunity to spend some time with friends or family.
Exercise improves your mood, reduces your anxiety and stress levels and improves your physical health. The HSE recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. This could be walking at a brisk pace, gardening, swimming or cycling.
Sometimes saying no to those around us can protect us from burning out. If you are stressed or anxious, it is important to take time out to recover and recuperate. Some people may feel obligated to say yes to every invitation but protecting yourself is also very important.
Saying no sometimes is a good way to introduce more selfcare.
Postnatal depression affects women after childbirth. This can be due to physical and hormonal changes in the body and the stress of the experience. Additionally, the added stress and responsibility of caring for a new born can increase stress levels and result in postnatal depression.
Nature is a great stress reliever. Fatigue, stress and anxiety can be reduced by going outside. It can also help improve your sleep.
Being around animals and pets can be very beneficial. They can help reduce anxiety and stress levels. If you do not have your own pets, maybe volunteering in an animal sanctuary is something which could interest you and they are always looking for volunteers to help.
Take some time away from your tv and phone to read. Maybe you have a long bus journey, bring a book and read during your commute.
Getting organised means that you will be able to practice selfcare.
Make a new routine for yourself, set aside a time in your day for selfcare and stick to it.
Bringing your dog on a walk after dinner, having your lunch in the garden, or listening to your favourite podcast in the morning are all examples of small pockets of selfcare you can fit in to your day.
Make a selfcare plan for 2 weeks and see how you feel afterwards.
Introducing something new can take a while to become part of your normal routine. After the 2 weeks you can reassess what you would like to focus on, for example, more time outside or more time with friends.