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.
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.
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
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.