Self-care is the practice of undertaking an activity to nourish our mental, emotional and physical health. However it is sometimes not well understood and sometimes we experience guilt about taking time for ourselves. Sometimes self-care is doing what you need to do with a touch more consideration for you! We all have things to do but sometimes the small things really count.
How do you practice self-care?
These activities should give you a break from uni work, and leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed. See here for a list of self-care activities. In addition to scheduling fun activities, self-care also involves meeting our basic needs on a regular basis. For example, ensuring that we get enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet. Assess your current self-care strategies here to see if there are any areas you may need to dedicate more time to over the coming semester.
Video: People Share Their Self-Care Routines (3 minutes)
If you want to practice some self-care think about these small steps you could take;
- How about a coffee in the sun?
- Or a cool ice tea?
- A drive to the beach and sitting looking at the rolling ocean?
- New sheets on your bed?
- Some hot buttered toast?
- How about a warm shower?
- Or a bath, with some essential oils or a book or music?
- Could you go for a walk? Even if it is wet, don’t be scared, you won’t melt! Just pop on some boots and a raincoat. Find a puddle!
- Could you try taking a break from social technology?
- How about you read a book or a magazine?
- Have you spent time with someone who makes you laugh or inspires you?
- Could you watch an episode of your favourite TV show
Why practice self-care?
Often, we can get into a thinking trap that spending time on ourselves is a “waste of time”, when we have so many other things on our to-do list. However, while it can seem counterproductive to take breaks from assessments to do something for yourself, these breaks actually increase your productivity and help maintain productivity and well-being through the entirety of your degree. If we don’t make time for regular self-care, then we may begin to experience symptoms of burnout.
When we are stressed and anxious we often feel this in our body and this limits how well we can cope in the situation. Sometimes there may be hours, days or weeks when getting through the day feels hard, this is normal. But what is so very important in those times is knowing how take care of yourself and having some ideas that you can put into practice.