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Explore all 4 Pillars of wellbeing

Self Care is about YOU and YOUR journey to WELLBEING

The True Essence of Self-Care: Beyond the Surface

In a world that often compares self-care with indulgent spa days and social media-worthy moments, it's crucial to peel back the layers and discover the true essence of caring for oneself. Self-care, at its core, is about the intentional acts we undertake to nurture our mental, emotional, and physical health. It's a personal journey, unique to each individual, that doesn't have to break the bank or consume hours of your day.

Let's dive into what self-care really means and how you can make it your own, especially during challenging times.

Self-Care: It's Personal

Self-care is the little thing we do to look after our own mental health. It's about listening to our feelings, understanding our needs, and taking steps to meet them. This could mean taking a moment to breathe when overwhelmed, engaging in activities that bring joy, or simply ensuring we're eating and sleeping well. The beauty of self-care lies in its flexibility and adaptability to our current mental state.

Self-Care is Not One-Size-Fits-All

What works for one person in self-care may not work for another, and that's perfectly okay. Self-care isn't about following a prescribed set of activities; it's about finding what resonates with you and what helps you feel better. For some, it might be reading a book or taking a bath, while for others, it could be setting boundaries or giving themselves permission to rest.

Making Self-Care Accessible

Despite common misconceptions, self-care doesn't have to involve expensive activities or products. It's about making time for yourself in whatever way you can, even if it's just for a few minutes a day. Here are some simple, accessible ways to practice self-care:

Listen to Your Body and Mind: Start by asking yourself what you need. Is it rest? Is it a break from screens? Or maybe it's a hearty meal?

Find Joy in Small Things: Whether it's a cup of tea, a walk in the park, or a favourite song, small pleasures can have a big impact on your mood.

Stay Connected: Reach out to friends or family, even if it's just a quick message. Connection is key to feeling supported.

Move Your Body: Physical activity can significantly boost your mental health. Find a form of movement that you enjoy and that fits into your life.

Practice Mindfulness: Taking a few minutes to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply be present can help reduce stress and anxiety.

When Self-Care Feels Impossible

There are times when self-care might feel out of reach, especially during periods of poor mental health. It's important to adjust your self-care practices to meet you where you are. Focus on the basics like eating, sleeping, and hygiene. Remember, self-care is about being kind to yourself, even if that means your only achievement for the day is getting out of bed.

Community Care: Extending Beyond the Self

Self-care isn't just about individual actions; it's also about how we support each other. Community care involves showing up for one another, whether through a supportive text, helping with practical needs, or simply offering a listening ear. It's a reminder that we're not alone in our struggles.

Embracing Self-Care as Your Own

Self-care is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. It's about finding what works for you and remembering that your needs may change over time. The key is to listen to yourself and make your mental health a priority. Because when it comes to self-care, it's not one thing; it's your thing.

Self-care is an integral part of maintaining good mental health, especially during challenging times. By understanding what self-care truly means and finding practices that resonate with you, you can navigate life's storms with a bit more ease. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it's necessary.

If you have a diagnosis or would like support in a specific area, try contacting a specialist organisation for help. For example:

Anxiety UK offers advice and support for people living with anxiety.

Beat provides information and support for people affected by eating disorders.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) supports men's mental health.

FRANK provides confidential drugs advice and information.

Hearing Voices Network runs an online forum and local groups across the country.

Mind Out offers mental health advice and support for anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+.

No Panic offers help and advice about anxiety disorders, including a helpline and recovery groups.

Student Minds supports students with their mental health.

Young Minds supports children and young people with their mental health.

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