The Importance of Self Care

What the hell is self care you ask? It’s all about self love and taking care of yourself.

Self care differs depending on everyone’s situation. It would be easy for me to say, take some time out, treat yourself, switch off. But that can be hard to do when you work for yourself or are too sick to treat yourself or take time out because you are constantly exhausted. I recommend reading this article by Rex Leonowicz, it talks about self care and intersectionality. The importance of self care, my way is listed below.

Talk to someone

I have anxiety and I am very open about it. The main reason for my openness is when I recognised something was wrong, I knew I had to do something about it. So I researched counsellors in Dublin and chose one that was in the city centre. This was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I tell everyone, counselling is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes you can talk to friends and family but it’s also nice to talk to someone who isn’t biased and can give you another view on your situation. They give impartial advice. Counselling can be expensive but your doctor can write you a letter and suggest a counsellor for you.

Eat well

When I eat crap, I feel crap. So I try my best to eat better when I’m feeling low. Although that’s extremely hard when you have no energy at all and the pain of lifting the kettle is too much to bare, sometimes JustEat is my best friend. They have lots of healthy options on the menu to choose from. Keeping hydrated is very important. Recommended amount is 2 litres a day, so keep refilling your bottle, your skin will thank you for it.

Exercise

My least favourite activity. Like above, my body hurts when I am having a bout of depression. Lying in bed all day is sometimes all I can manage. But staying in bed all day isn’t good for your mental health so I try and go out for a small walk everyday. Even if it’s a half an hour, you don’t need to go particularly far, but getting out for some air can really help refresh your mind. And then you can go back to Netflix and chill.

It’s OK to say NO

A post shared by Danielle Im (@thegreenrhino1) on

I know I know, it’s the hardest thing in the world to say no to a friend or a night out. Many a time, a friend has asked me to go somewhere and I panic about it for a week, get myself into a heap, then have to cancel last minute and feel guilty for another week. When I could saved myself and them the hassle and say NO. If you find it hard to say no, especially when the person is waiting for an answer, say ‘I will get back to you on that’. That takes away the need of an answer straight away and give yourself time to think about whether you really want to go. If you feel that particular outing is going to be too much for you mentally, just tell the person no. They will understand. If they are a friend, explain to them how you are feeling and they will hopefully understand. And if they aren’t a close friend, you don’t have to explain yourself. Thats your business and noone elses.

Step back from social media

This can feel like it’s impossible. We’re on social media every day, its at our fingertips. According to an article by Forbes magazine, Instagram is the worst social media platform to use as it can cause depression. “It is interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”  Taking a break from social media, even for a few hours, can cause some relief. You aren’t comparing your life to anyone else’s and can focus on what you are doing. Of course its totally grand to update your status and add the odd #selfie to your feed, just give yourself a mental break and step back for a while.

Are there any things you do for self care? Add them to the comments below. And remember, self care doesn’t happen overnight, it takes lots of practice. So give yourself a break if you aren’t completely zen yet.

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Ellie Smyth

Community Manager at GirlCrew
Community Manager for GirlCrew Dublin, YouTuber and podcast addict. Follow my Tweets on @xLadySmythx

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13 comments

  1. I know how hard life can be when you are depressed and just stepping out throwing garbage can be a nightmare but I know that taking a long long walk and eat healthy always makes me feel a bit better. I am lucky living in Switzerland where we have forest everywhere but in other country it could be difficult walking in city because you dont want to meet people.

  2. Love this inspiring post and reminder to unload and take care of myself! Yes, I agree with you 100% self care is SO IMPORTANT. You can do much on empty – thats pertinent to food as well as pour psychological, emotional and energy bodies!

  3. I feel just like this too, some days they are closer together the other times it is more spread out. It’s a good thing you are comfortable talking about it, but I see it as a positive thing because maybe you are giving a voice to others who can’t bring themselves to speak up about living in a depressed state. Staying off of social media will help, you can really spiral and spend tons of time looking at what others are doing and upset yourself further by sitting on your computer/phone instead of being productive.

  4. There is so much written these days about self-care. When I was growing up, never did I hear so much of this term. I guess it’s an indication of the amount of stress many are taking one.

  5. I’m so thankful that I’m gradually getting better with this. I’ve said ‘no’ for the first time to many things this year and though it felt weird for me, it was best for me…

  6. Our life was given by nature and we should be thankful to have an opportunity to enjoy it. Hence, it is our duty and responsibility to take good care of this life. Never waste it.

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