Self-Care & Your Mental Health
It is really important as individuals that we take out regular time in our usual routine to care for ourselves. It’s not just about doing things you enjoy but giving yourself time to recharge your batteries and being kind to our own self just as we would do with a friend.
Self-care also includes self-compassion. This means recognising and accepting your feelings, in other words, our own humanness – when things don’t go as you expect. After all, we can only give what we have and your wellbeing has a ripple effect on those around you.
We understand that sometimes stress can get the best of us but it’s even more critical at these moments that we take a step back and focus on ourselves than turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, that will always be temporary. Self-care techniques, self-care activities and general lifestyle changes can also help to manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.
Here are some ideas to inspire you. Find some activities that appeal to you and schedule in a few self-care activities into your week to see the difference it can make to your wellbeing and happiness.
Have a relaxing bath or hot shower with your favourite bath oils or shower gels and take time to notice the feeling of the water on your skin.
- Take time to relax in your favourite place listening to your favourite music.
- Lie down in the grass or on a sun lounger. Focus on the clouds and watch them sail by.
- Spend time with your pet, taking time to enjoy the moment.
- Take a walk in nature allowing yourself time to look at the trees, listen to the birds, smell the flowers.
- If it’s sunny allow yourself time to soak up the sunshine, notice how the heat feels on your skin (don’t forget the sun cream!!).
- Carve out time during your week to spend with the people who truly nourish you by encouraging you and building you up. People who value you and speak positive things into your life, encouraging you to be all that you can be.
- Keep a journal. Take time to write down how you are honestly feeling. You could add photographs, pieces of art work or simple doodles of memories and emotions.
- Make a treasure box. Fill it with your precious memories, tickets from special events or places you’ve been to, special photographs, precious items people have given to you. Make time to go through your box and cherish those memories.
- Make time in your week to have a coffee or lunch date with a friend or loved one.
- Join a community group where people have the same interests as you, a great opportunity to meet new people.
- Write a nice card or letter to someone that you haven’t seen in a long time to catch up.
- Gather your friends together for a virtual quiz evening or book club. Or simply enjoy a good old catch up with friends with a nice drink and your favourite nibbles.
- This is important whether you are a person of faith or not. This is about taking time to think about and reflect on what really matters to you and what your values are.
- Take time to walk in nature and reflect on the beauty of the world around you. Take a camera to photograph the things that inspire you.
- Write down positive affirmations or quotes which inspire and encourage you. Stick them up where you can see them regularly to encourage you.
- If you are creative carve out some time to allow yourself to be creative without distractions. To create a piece of art, write a piece of music, a song or poem.
- Take a few minutes each day to write down the things that you are grateful for. Try our thank you jar activity, click here.
- Put on your favourite tunes and dance like no one is watching!
- Join a local walking group. To try our Walking for Health Group click here for more information.
- Plan a bike ride with a friend or on your own and cycle through your favourite countryside.
- Try a new exercise class, a great opportunity to learn something new and meet new people to.
- Allow yourself rest days away from exercise to.
- Visit our Physical activities page for more top tips!