Self-care is any activity that we do to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What isn't self-care? Self-care is not something we force ourselves to do nor is it something we do not enjoy doing. As Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”
It is not selfish to use self-care. We have to consider our own needs in order to take care of ourselves and others. It is similar to that saying, "you can't help someone else, if you can't help yourself first."
What are some self-care habits ? Self-care looks different for everyone. It is important to make a list of positive things you can do to work on your self-care, for example:
Engaging in physical activity; going for a walk, throwing the football, spending time outside
Get enough sleep
Do at least one relaxing activity every day, whether it's taking a walk or spending 30 minutes unwinding
Spending time with family and friends
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
Having a positive mindset or sense of humor
Planning for future assignments/activities
Managing/Maintaining healthy boundaries with technology
Do you ever feel worried, sad, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, etc.? The point is... We all have feelings and experience a plethora of feelings all throughout the day! What is most important is how you deal with those feelings. That is where coping skills come into play. These are skills that help you deal with your feelings in a way that is positive.
Everyone has different coping skills and what works for one person does not always work for everyone else. You need a "tool box" of coping skills which means you should have more than one option that is helpful to you and when one doesn't work you need to try a different one. Check out the list of coping skills below!
Your thoughts influence how you feel and how you respond. Positive affirmations (positive thinking) is very helpful to change your mindset and perspective when you are feeling overwhelmed or worried. Practice reciting at least 3-5 positive affirmations to yourself every day. Check out the examples of positive affirmations below!
Brain Dumping is when you write down all of your thoughts on paper. The idea is that by writing down the thoughts that are racing in your mind, you are transferring your worries elsewhere. It is especially helpful to do it at night before you go to bed to help with sleep.
Brain Dump helps clear your mind, organize your thoughts, gain perspective, improve sleep, increase focus and attention, and gain a sense of control over your worries. You can brain dump on a blank sheet of paper or start a journal. Check out the editable journal writing prompt below!