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Self care is more than face masks and bath bombs

. Thursday, 24 October 2019 .
Self care has been a topic on a lot of people's lips recently what with it recently being World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October. Self care is a topic I always find really interesting because because it's often portrayed on social media as face masks, bath bombs and wearing cute pyjamas. Whilst these are great things to do, in reality there are a lot of other ways we can care for ourselves. If you don't regularly follow me you might not know that I'm actually a mental health nurse, but i'm not coming at this from the point of view as a professional; this is me as a person speaking. Whilst I cannot give specific mental health advice, if you do need support I would recommend checking out Mind, Young Minds, NHS Choices and the Samaritans. This blog post is meant to discuss well-being as a whole, which is something everyone should be aware of.
Getting comfy on the sofa watching YouTube is a big thing for me in terms of self care

Whilst having a nice bath and pampering yourself is definitely a great thing to do and can help to de-stress you after a busy day or week, I often find this idea of mental health quite patronising. Whether or not you have a diagnosed mental health condition, everyone has their own experience of mental health and well-being. We all have "mental health" whether that we "good" or "bad" and everything in between. Self care isn't just something for people who have a mental health diagnosis should be doing, it's something I truly believe everyone should be doing something to take care of their own well-being. The beauty of self care is that is varies from person to person and from situation to situation. If you've had a bad day at work a bubble bath might be enough to make you feel better, but if you've had a bad day on top of having a whole load of other things going on, then we're underestimating the power of our brains if we think that's going to be enough for everyone.

I asked on Instagram what your idea of self care was and received so many incredible (and varied!) results. Thank you so much to everyone that got involved. Here are just a handful of the kind of things people said they practised as self care:
  • Crying 
  • Napping
  • Doing something you enjoy
  • Talking to a loved one about how you feel
  • Taking a "lazy" day 
  • Taking some time away from social media
  • Drinking tea, in your pyjamas, watching TV, Netflix/YouTube
  • Going for a walk/hike/run
  • A G&T and a good book
  • Cutting toxic people out of your life
  • Spending time with family/friends/pets
  • Acknowledging your emotions, nurturing the good ones and finding alternatives for the bad ones
  • Practising gratitude for the good things in your life
  • Not being afraid to seek professional support, both physical and psychological 
  • Saying "no" to things you don't want to do

A hike and a cup of tea, another self care activity for me
As you can probably tell from that extensive (but condensed!) list, I have a lot of incredible people following me on social media. It also just goes to show that there are so many different things you can do to take care of yourself. I'm a firm believer that everyone should take some time, even if it's just once a week, to do something for themselves. Everyone deserves that time. We cannot always live every day in the fast lane or we burn out. We're human after all. 

I am by no means under-estimating the power of a good bath bomb here, but I just wanted to make people aware that there are so many more things we can do to take care of ourselves. The key is finding what works for you and having a tool kit of things you can do when it's needed. In reality no amount of self care is going to be able to treat mental health conditions, however it is important for our general well-being. If you're not looking after yourself then you aren't going to be performing at your best, whether that be in an education sense, work sense or even just generally in life.

What things do you guys do to practice self care?



Self care has been a topic on a lot of people's lips recently what with it recently being World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October. Self care is a topic I always find really interesting because because it's often portrayed on social media as face masks, bath bombs and wearing cute pyjamas. Whilst these are great things to do, in reality there are a lot of other ways we can care for ourselves. If you don't regularly follow me you might not know that I'm actually a mental health nurse, but i'm not coming at this from the point of view as a professional; this is me as a person speaking. Whilst I cannot give specific mental health advice, if you do need support I would recommend checking out Mind, Young Minds, NHS Choices and the Samaritans. This blog post is meant to discuss well-being as a whole, which is something everyone should be aware of.
Getting comfy on the sofa watching YouTube is a big thing for me in terms of self care

Whilst having a nice bath and pampering yourself is definitely a great thing to do and can help to de-stress you after a busy day or week, I often find this idea of mental health quite patronising. Whether or not you have a diagnosed mental health condition, everyone has their own experience of mental health and well-being. We all have "mental health" whether that we "good" or "bad" and everything in between. Self care isn't just something for people who have a mental health diagnosis should be doing, it's something I truly believe everyone should be doing something to take care of their own well-being. The beauty of self care is that is varies from person to person and from situation to situation. If you've had a bad day at work a bubble bath might be enough to make you feel better, but if you've had a bad day on top of having a whole load of other things going on, then we're underestimating the power of our brains if we think that's going to be enough for everyone.

I asked on Instagram what your idea of self care was and received so many incredible (and varied!) results. Thank you so much to everyone that got involved. Here are just a handful of the kind of things people said they practised as self care:
  • Crying 
  • Napping
  • Doing something you enjoy
  • Talking to a loved one about how you feel
  • Taking a "lazy" day 
  • Taking some time away from social media
  • Drinking tea, in your pyjamas, watching TV, Netflix/YouTube
  • Going for a walk/hike/run
  • A G&T and a good book
  • Cutting toxic people out of your life
  • Spending time with family/friends/pets
  • Acknowledging your emotions, nurturing the good ones and finding alternatives for the bad ones
  • Practising gratitude for the good things in your life
  • Not being afraid to seek professional support, both physical and psychological 
  • Saying "no" to things you don't want to do

A hike and a cup of tea, another self care activity for me
As you can probably tell from that extensive (but condensed!) list, I have a lot of incredible people following me on social media. It also just goes to show that there are so many different things you can do to take care of yourself. I'm a firm believer that everyone should take some time, even if it's just once a week, to do something for themselves. Everyone deserves that time. We cannot always live every day in the fast lane or we burn out. We're human after all. 

I am by no means under-estimating the power of a good bath bomb here, but I just wanted to make people aware that there are so many more things we can do to take care of ourselves. The key is finding what works for you and having a tool kit of things you can do when it's needed. In reality no amount of self care is going to be able to treat mental health conditions, however it is important for our general well-being. If you're not looking after yourself then you aren't going to be performing at your best, whether that be in an education sense, work sense or even just generally in life.

What things do you guys do to practice self care?



4 comments

  1. Firstly, the pale shade of your background makes your blog so easy to read! It's much easier than glaring white! So thanks for that!

    The post content is very important and well written also.

    I think a lot of people forget that just allowing negative emotions, and letting it out is self care - rather than constantly seeking distraction. I'm one of the biggest cry babies going - but I always feel a bit better afterwards.

    For self care, I always love a warm cup of tea!

    Love from Mckenna of lifeoflilyblog.com xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like it!
      A big cry definitely helps me sometimes too! Just got to get it all out of your system and then you can feel better ๐Ÿ‘Œ

      Delete
  2. Totally agree. I did a post recently where I spoke about the "deeper" side of self care. Having a bath, lighting and candle and reading a book is an amazing form of self care but sometimes we need more. I love all the answers you got from people - self care is SO varied. And totally depends on the situation too. I think the biggest thing I did for my self care this year was go on medication for my anxiety and start CBT again! x

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear that you've found something that works for you!

      Delete

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