Practising regular self-care is so important for our mental and physical well being. It essentially involves activities that help to reduce stress, restore health and re-energise your body. Let’s delve into why self care is important and what techniques you can implement to take better care of yourself.
Importance of self care
When we’re stressing with university assignments, work, internships and everything in between, self care is usually the least of our priorities. It becomes all to easy to skip breakfast, stop going to the gym and miss out on spending time with friends and family. And we justify this behaviour by telling ourselves it will give us more time, but in actual fact, it leads to burning out very quickly. By taking the time to practice self care you will experience a range of benefits.
Self care allows you to refocus. Studying or working on a task for hours on end can wear you down, so much so that you’re not working efficiently anymore because you’re so tired. Taking little breaks in between studying helps to clear your head and sharpen your attention.
Self care can increase your self-knowledge as you are taking the time to discover what it is you like doing and what you’re passionate about. This can help to better understand yourself and what your priorities and values are. In turn, this leads to better self-esteem, because by being good to yourself you are treating yourself like you matter.
Self care can also help to reduce stress. While stress is a natural part of life, and in small amounts can be a good source of motivation, constant stress will just lead to feeling drained. By taking care of yourself, you prevent stress from completely taking over.
Practising self care
There are plenty of ways to practice self care, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to do what works best for you and your lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Log off social media
Social media can be great to stay connected with others and to be aware of what’s going on in the world. But sitting and scrolling through social media feeds can be an unhealthy, addictive habit. So every now and then it’s a good idea to give social media a break and just be present with your surroundings.
2. Make time for hobbies
Whether it’s baking, cycling, drawing or anything else, making time for your hobbies is a good way to take a break from your usual routine. It’s also an instant mood booster, as doing something you love will help reduce stress and restore energy.
3. Write things down
If you enjoy writing or you find it therapeutic, then that can be a great way to process emotions or to make future plans and goals. Consider keeping a diary or a journal where you can write down your thoughts, ideas, feelings, accomplishments, goals – anything that works for you.
A great way to refocus and reduce stress is to put aside time to do something that relaxes you. This might be taking a walk, having a bubble bath or listening to music. Whatever it may be, take that time to unwind and practice mindfulness.
5. Eat well and exercise
Stress typically leads to some unhealthy eating habits and less motivation to exercise. But it’s important to treat your body well so you can perform at your best. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional treat, but it’s important that on a regular basis you are doing physical activity, staying hydrated and eating good foods.