Looking after yourself
How many times in life do you put the needs of other people first? We’d wager it’s quite a lot, be it work, family or household commitments that you end up prioritising.
Hands up if you even feel a bit naughty if you have some time to yourself and choose to spend it wallowing in the bath or binging the latest box set that’s grabbed your attention?
And yet, making time to look after yourself is one of the single most important things you can do to protect your wellbeing and mental health and, in turn, your relationships with your family and friends.
As our counsellors like to say, you can’t pour from an empty cup - so instead of self-care coming bottom of your list of priorities, make sure you make time to do something for you, whatever shape that takes.
It’s been a strange and often challenging year that has probably turned your usual routines and views upside down. We asked some of our mental health ambassadors what they have been trying to do to look after themselves and their emotional wellbeing.
As it’s Self Care Week, we thought we’d share some of their thoughts:
Although I struggled at times, lockdown was also a wonderful opportunity for some ‘me time’, to explore creativity, take time to pamper myself and relax. It’s often easy to get swept up in the fast paced day to day, but lockdown almost forces you to take a breather and slow down. I’ve made sure to make space for some of my new self-care rituals in my daily routine.” Gemma
I tried to stay in contact with my friends and family, even when I haven’t felt like it or felt particularly sociable. I’ve also tried to find simple things that make me happy and indulged myself more than usual.” Jordanne
I’ve tried to not drink as much as I might have before, as that can often take us into areas where we worry too much. I’ve also tried hard to be positive, in the hope that rubs off on others!” Derek
I’ve made time for hobbies and projects - art, decorating, playing the guitar. Even a jigsaw (there was one piece missing….)” Owen
Lots of time gardening and reading.” Kirsty
I’ve tried to make better use of time on things I actually want to do. Good, quality time with my family, exercise/ walking, relaxing more, enjoying our two dogs!” Paul
I’ve been exercising and gardening. I’ve found being outdoors to be a real release. Otherwise, using visual conferencing such as Zoom or teams has helped me feel connected with friends and colleagues.” Steve
I found it helpful to spend time forward planning! A chance to step back and look at changes that could be made.” Dave
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