Taking care of ourselves, and putting real time into our own personal well-being can be challenging for a lot of people. Modern life can get extremely busy and draining, so forgetting to prioritise your own mental well-being is extremely common among many of us. Neglecting your mental and physical health can leave you feeling burnt out and exhausted on a day to day basis. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, or you simply want to put more focus into your own self-care, then this guide is for you. This blog outlines the importance of self-care and how you can introduce small changes into your everyday life, helping to create a happier you! To find out more, continue reading!
Understanding Self Care
When it comes to well-being and mental health, everyone is different, so don’t feel down if you haven't found the right self-care routine yet. Often, these things take time, and as you start to take a look introspectively, things may become more clear. Self-care is part of an ongoing process, and your needs may change over time, so acknowledging this is another important part of your journey.
Defining the term self care can look different to everybody, but the general gist of the term is to take care of your own personal physical, mental and emotional well-being. You may typically think of bubble baths and pampering sessions, however, self-care can include anything that enhances your well-being and contributes to your overall happiness.
Many people use self-care to regulate their lives, especially if they have hectic or busy schedules. And, even if you are living life at a more comfortable pace, making time to work on your personal growth can help you feel happier on a day to day basis.
What Does Self Care Look Like?
One of the most important parts of your self-care journey is understanding that self-care looks different from person to person and is an extremely personal process. Everyone is different, and different things help different people to unwind, relax and feel rested. We can break down some of the main types of self-care that people practise on a daily and weekly basis.
This includes physical aspects of your daily routine, which could mean prioritising sleep, exercising, getting outside, taking a walk or eating and drinking the right amounts. Any habits that impact your body’s physical health would be considered physical self-care.
Mental self-care is all about your mental health and emotional well-being. This might include taking long baths, reading, journaling your feelings and other things that mitigate stress or other negative emotions. Mental self care can also include things like socialising, and leading a well-balanced lifestyle.
This is a little different to your mental well-being and is more relevant to personal growth and development. Spiritual self-care might include meditating, journaling and spending time in nature. Things like making a gratitude list and random acts of kindness are also spiritual forms of self-care that help us on our well-being journey.
We have also curated a well-thought out list of simple ideas that could be considered self care activities. While not all of these suggestions may appeal to everyone, our list is designed to help get you thinking about your own needs. Some common habits you could try include:
Making Your Bed Every Morning
Drinking Enough Water
Getting The Correct Amount Of Sleep
Taking A Bath/Doing Skincare
Cooking Yourself A Nice Meal
These are simply our ideas to help you get started, you can build on this list or create your own collection of self-care habits to try.
Incorporating Self Care Into Your Routine
Self-care is highly personal, and incorporating it into your routine may be challenging at first, however, as time goes on these habits become a part of your routine and help contribute to a happier, healthier lifestyle. The following tips can help you create the perfect routine:
Work out which activities/habits bring you the most joy and fulfilment
You can start by choosing a small or simple change to incorporate into your daily routine
Try making this change daily, for a week
Reflect on how you feel at the end of the week (if you felt good about these changes, great! If you didn’t feel so great, try to spend some time working out why this was.)
When you’re ready to introduce more habits, try them out for a week and evaluate how you feel
Eventually, you will start incorporating more habits into your daily routine and start feeling better about life.
Benefits Of Self-Care
As you already know, self-care can help you to promote your well-being in a variety of ways. To find out how each of these habits can help you, keep on reading.
You don’t need to hit the gym every night to improve your physical well-being, and exercise looks different for everyone, whether it’s swimming, going for a run or doing yoga & pilates. The chemical release of endorphins and dopamine that come from physical exertion are scientifically proven to help improve your mood. Not to mention, exercising a handful of times a week, or as much as you like, will help improve your cardiovascular and muscular health.
Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to keeping you healthy. Feeling tired and drained day in, day out is unsustainable. While everyone is different, the recommended amount of sleep for adults is about 7-9 hours, and trying to stick to a good sleeping regime is definitely worth it. It’s important to be mindful of sleep deprivation as well as oversleeping, as these are unhealthy and can leave you feeling extremely exhausted or burnt out.
This may seem irrelevant to your well-being, however your diet plays a huge part in keeping you happy and healthy. Your body needs fuel to stay energised and to keep your brain working properly, especially if you are exercising or busy on a day to day. While ordering a takeaway is convenient, spending time cooking and fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs will go a lot further.
Eating a healthy balanced diet can help you to prevent conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Taking care of your internal physical body is crucial to feeling healthy and energised on a day to day basis.
Many studies show that spending time outside is a great way to mitigate feelings of stress. Being outside in nature, whether it’s sitting in the park or taking a walk can help to relax us, reducing stress and cortisol levels.
Many people find journaling to be an extremely helpful tool in their mental health journey. You can find a range of journaling prompts online to help you get started, or you can use your journal to help you articulate your thoughts and feelings. Writing things down can be useful to help clear your mind and help you to visualise things more clearly.
Going back and re-reading your journal or looking over past entries can also help you pinpoint triggers or delve deeper into the things that impact your mental health.
Fulfilment & Purpose
Coasting through life can often feel mundane and stagnant, many people lose a sense of fulfilment and purpose which can be difficult to process. Self-care routines help to mitigate this by introducing purpose back into your life, even with the smallest of habits. By prioritising yourself, it helps you to feel important and confident about life, putting you in a better mental position and mitigating the negative feelings you may be experiencing.
Key Counselling Training
If you’re looking for a means of fulfilment in your life, or looking for ways to give back and help others, our range of counselling courses could be perfect for you. Here at Key Counselling Training we offer a variety of counselling training to help you become an accredited counsellor, ready to help those who may be struggling.
To learn more about our online counselling training, you can head to our website. Alternatively, feel free to contact us and speak to our team today! We will be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have and helping you find exactly what you’re looking for.