Self care is defined as "the act of caring for yourself when you are ill or stop yourself from becoming ill"(1). Let's unpack this a little....
Throughout our lives we all encounter mental, emotional and physical health challenges. Self-care is a set of deliberate action that we take to replenish our energy and immunity in order to reduce the impact of these challenges.
Self-care is not something we force ourselves to do, or something that we don't enjoy. It is a unique set of behaviours for all of us, however, there are certain elements of self-care that everybody can do. These include:
Sleep is vital to well-being. Reduced sleep can result in poor memory, mood changes, difficulty with concentration, weakened immunity and more. Although the amount of sleep required varies for everybody, generally, adults require between 7 to 9 hours a night whereas teenagers require between 8 to 10 hours (2)
A healthy diet providing your body with good nutrition for optimal function.
Exercise, apart from the physical benefits, provides increased serotonin levels which improves mood.
Regular checkups with the doctor, dentist and other physicians.
Engaging in activities that you enjoy doing and find pleasurable whether that is going to the movies, out with friends, going to the beach or a hike in the rainforest.
Take time to relax and unwind each day.
Spend quality time with loves ones.
Set healthy boundaries. What behaviours will you accept from others, and what behaviours won't you accept. Poor boundaries can lead to resentment, anger, and burnout (3).
You will have more to add to this list and, if not, this is a good start. Give yourself the time to sit down and develop a self-care plan. It really is a vital component to keeping you resilient and not get beaten down by everyday stressors.
1. Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). Self-Care. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/self-care
2. National Sleep. (n.d.). Sleep Hygiene. Retrieved from Foundarionhttps://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene
3. Nelson, D. (2016, December 8). Self-Care 101: Setting Healthy Boundaries. Retrieved from http://www.dananelsoncounseling.com/blog/self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/