What is Self care and Why is it Important?
Self care is gender neutral and is the process of taking care of our physical, emotional and mental health. It is important to you look after yourself to be more productive, improve your self-esteem, increase self-knowledge and being more compassionate to others. By knowing your self-worth you will be giving off positive vibes and make you seem more attractive. Although useful sensory self-care is useful it does not necessarily address your emotions but dealing with your emotions can make you less stressed for longer.
If you are sitting there thinking self-care is selfish, well I have found valuing myself more has allowed me to give more and have stronger relationships with others. It is easy to forget that emotions are not always good or bad, they are responses to situations that you control. It can be easy to mask these emotions by using self-destructing mechanisms like alcohol, overeating and drugs but they are only temporary solutions.This post will a part of a 3 part series to help you with self-care ideas in loving memory of Nathan Robson. Nathan sadly lost his battle to depression aged 20 on 19/04/2018.
Emotional Self-care Ideas
- Keep a daily diary
Take time out of your day to record how you are genuinely feeling which can help identify the triggers of your moods and what makes you feel happier. If you are worried someone might get hold of your deeper inner thoughts put the diary in a safe place with a padlock on it the old school way or keep it password protected on your laptop. A daily diary can also help you see how far you’ve come, especially if you are working with a therapist to find the route of your problems. If you don’t know where to start try use these pointers and make your own list.
Think if you I loved myself what would I…
- Do more of?
- Do less of?
- Who would I spend time with?
- What inspires me?
- What hobbies make me happier and how will I make time for them?
- What goals do I want to achieve?
- Which boundarieswill I set?
- What actions can I take now?
2. Seek Professional Support
If you don’t have anyone who you are close with seeking professional support could be a good route for you. Typically you can get up to 6 free counselling sessions through your University well being centre or the mental health charity Mind (U.K). These free sessions tend to deal with one problem you are facing due to the session limits.
However, you maybe entitled to free counselling in your local area through your GP about cognitive behaviour therapy, which helps retrain your way of thinking and may be more beneficial if you require longer sessions. If you feel talking to a stranger is not for you an alternative may be discussing going on anti-depressants. However, these take usually around 6 weeks to be effective and lose their effectiveness when combined with alcohol.
3. Practice a Healthier Diet
Food is important to fuel our day and affects our energy levels – Did you know certain foods can help induce you into sleeping or make you sleep longer? Getting enough sleep is important for the self-care triple bottom line. If you have trouble sleeping why not try one of these foods just before bed;
- Tuna or other fatty fishes
- Ice cream
- White rice
Food also impacts our moods, taking multi-vitamins will give you an extra little boost or treat yourself by indulging if your favourite desert. If you find you have little self-controland are treating yourself to often why not try replacing sugary or fatty foods with healthier snacks or drinks. Lentil crisps are packed with flavour and low in calories, smoothies, herbal tea, yogurts or egg salads.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I know comparing yourself to others is so hard, when you see beautiful people floating around Instagram and many people’s lives seem so much better. However, you are your worse own critic, deactivating social media for a while might help you to start focus on yourself.
Focus on your strengths and develop your weaknesses
One way to identify your strengths and weaknesses is by downloading an online skill matrix.
5. Avoid Withdrawal
Most times I considered killing myself has to be to do with being alone for long periods of time and overthinking. Withdrawing from people or your surroundings are the easiest way to enter a downward spiral. Even if you don’t think being around other people is helpful to keep sight of reality subconsciously. Avoiding withdrawal is always my biggest challenge with self care because when I feel sad I don’t want to inflict my mood onto others or socialise with them. You may feel you have pushed most or all your friends away but you can work to overcoming withdrawal by;
- Attend local support meetups
- Volunteer in a charity
- Take a random trip
- Call a helpline
- Buy or borrow a dog and take it for walkies
- Reach out to old friends
6. Reminisce on old Memories
Look back at past photos and videos can really give you the feel good factor and remind you of what makes you happy. If you have time and need a hobby making these into a scrap book with quotes with lovely photos can be really fun. If you don’t have time to do this why not make albums when you upload pictures to Facebook so they are easy to find later.
7.Let yourself Cry
No matter if you’re a man or woman letting yourself is not weak. Crying can help you let go of situations and doesn’t have to be in front of everyone else.
8.Talk to Someone
Therapy is not for everyone and sometimes talking to a stranger is helpful to get an unbiased view even if you’re on a night out. If you feel you are only temporary down a helpline can really help have someone who listen to you. However, be aware Samaritans don’t tend to give advice but just give a helpful ear.
9.Plaster on a Facemask
Buying a Facemask makes you feel good when you put it on a good one can help with your skin. I find putting on a facemask triggers a positive mood and helps me relax. My favourite ones are from LUSH which cost around £7.50. You can buy fresh ones or ones that last a little longer. If you have sensitive skin you may want to look in the Body Shop instead as there are a small about of parabens in LUSH products.The most important thing with emotional self-care, or any self-care routine in fact is you do it consistently.
Unfortunately Nathan’s mental health deterioratedonce his therapist went on leave and there was no one to replace her.
Sharing is Caring
Please share the love to help as many people with tips for emotional self-care. Thank you.
Have your Say
Are there any emotional self-care ideas that help you – if so why not share them below?
Behind the Brave Face | 7 Secret Signs of Depression
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Love this. Really helpful. Thank you x
No problem thank you for reading x
I totally agree! Self care is essential and it’s everything! Sometimes all you really need is a good cry! These are great tips!!
Thank you Laura x.
Journaling and a healthy diet are huge for me. Great post!
Thank you for reading x
Self care and compassion is so important, daily!!
It sure is xx
Sometimes it’s good to have a big cry. Gets all the pent up emotions out!
I totally agree xx
There are really good self care ideas. I don’t think that men really get this type of advice that often.
Thank you for reading and I am sure they don’t haha x
I used to feel like self-care was selfish sometimes until I was told: “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and realized just how true that was when I became a mom. I think people also forget that self-care isn’t just physical, but mental and spiritual as well.
I think you have to look after yourself to look after your children ! Yes it definitely does involve all 3 xx
A lot of my self care is removing sources that don’t practice body positivity. Things that focus on diets or eating right. Those things are so personal to an individual that 99% of the advice out there are just wrong because it’s not what’s right for that person. Self care is so important to practice and the world is slowly moving towards it in a positive light.
I do agree to that somewhat but suppose everyone needs a starting point. An elimination diet can certainly work for some but due to severe gastrix problems even though I stick to one I still feel extremely poorly !
A great post, reminding people of the importance of self-care. I very much agree and promote it in Facebook book, specifically for this. Thank you
Thank you so much for reading x
love this! self care is so important! I want to get more into journaling regularly!
Hi Rachael that you got reading , did you get round to journaling ? X
Haha we ‘borrowed’ a dog 6 years ago and the owner just gave him to us haha. Sometimes I hate that people think crying is a sign of weakness, our bodies need that emotional release.
OMG just saw this you are so lucky! Yes sometimes or even a lot of time we need to get it all out x
This article is really very helpful to me. It helps me to answer questions that I have not been able to answer for so long. I believe that if you apply these suggestions in life, it will make life more meaningful.
Thank you for your kind words I’m still working at practicing what I preach . If I help just one person that means something to me x
I completely agree about how important selfcare is. I made it one of my goals this year to take better care of myself. I have yet to find everything that works for me but this is a great read and starting point. Thanks for sharing.
No problem I’m glad you have set some goals x
The older I get I realize how much self-care is important. We just get lost in our daily routine and don’t pay enough attention to ourselves. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂
Thank you for your kind words ! Recently I have realised this more myself x
This is really good tips for self care. My friend would really appreciate it because he sometimes suffer from it.
Hi Jack, feel free to share it with your friend x
self care is so important, but we often neglect it
I know especially with busy lives or mental illness x
All of these are great. I just really wish I was better at the journaling part of it all. I could use that more.
It’s not always about how well you wrote but being brave enough to get something down on paper x