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What Self-Care Actually Is

There seems to be a very warped spin on the entire notion of what self-care really is. Scrolling through the various social media platforms you’ll find fads centred around losing weight, dieting, maintaining clear skin and treating yourself, under the guise of self-care. However, the act of taking care of yourself goes much deeper than simply putting a face mask on and calling it a day.

Take A Break

In the midst of deadlines and responsibility, it’s quite common to get so focused on a task that time becomes non-existent. I once sat in front of my computer for nine hours, so focused on the list of things I needed to get done that I forgot to eat for the entire day. Taking a break is essential for your health and wellbeing, as our body can only use so much energy before it starts burning out. Make sure you take the time to move about and look at something that isn’t a computer screen. Unwind after work by taking a walk, or if physical movement is too much to bare, lay on the grass and watch some clouds.

Eating Well

What you eat can make a massive difference to your overall well-being, and while it may take a bit of effort sometimes, it’ll make a lot of difference. There are particular chemicals and sugars in the food we eat, that if consumed in excess, can end up having an impact on our physical health, and by extension, mental health. If you feel that you don’t have time to cook (or simply hate cooking with a passion), there are a load of options for pre-made meals at the supermarket that are natural, no nonsense and filling.

Sleeping And Switching Off

Self-care can also involve getting to sleep on time, and yes, I do feel like a hypocrite saying that because let’s face it, I’m a 12:30 – 1am kinda gal. Once you’re in the habit of staying up late it can be a hard routine to break, as your brain is usually unable to shut down if you want to sleep earlier, especially if you’re a more anxiously minded person (I feel your pain, peeps). It’s often advised that meditation be done in the morning, but I suggest doing the opposite. Meditation before bed is a way to unwind and relax yourself enough to fall asleep. If you can get to sleep on time, you’ll get into the routine of waking earlier and feeling refreshed, rather than feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.

Be Aware Of How You’re Feeling

Sometimes we catch physical illnesses that require us to take some time to rest and get better. This concept is simple enough to grasp as it’s able to be seen. Unfortunately, what seems to be less understood is the concept of mental health, as these ailments can often be hidden. While it’s not realistic to be able to take the day off whenever you’re feeling a little mentally tired, if there is an occasion where you feel as though you’re really struggling, it’s probably best to take a day to recuperate. Being aware of how you’re feeling and responding accordingly is an important aspect of self-care, because if you ignore the signs, those smaller stressors build and can branch off into other illnesses, both mental and physical.

Make Time For Hobbies

Take the time to do things you really enjoy doing, you could even treat it as a reward for the day spend at work or university. There needs to be variety throughout the week to help stop your brain from falling into a routine rut, as this can cause you to feel like you’re running on autopilot (you need zest, or else life can get hella boring). Read, go to the beach, listen to music, call your family, the options are limitless as long as it makes you happy.

Image source: Broadsheet, We Heart It and Twitter

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