Self-care: activities to help you look after your wellbeing
There are lots of services in Gloucestershire that can support you with your mental health and wellbeing, especially if things get too much and you feel like you need some extra help or someone to talk to. But day to day, there are lots of simple ways to look after your emotional health and wellbeing and practice good “self-care”...
What is Self-care?
Self-care is any activity that you do to take care of your emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Self-care can help improve our mood, reduce anxiety, improve our resilience and help us build better relationships with ourselves and others.
It can help us prevent mental health problems from developing, or manage the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.
So while self-care can help with mental health problems, it should be practiced by everyone on a regular basis to keep us healthy and happy. Just find something that you enjoy doing and make time for it!
There are many things you can do that fall under self-care. Here are just some of the things you could try:
- Practice being ‘in the moment’ – mindfulness activities like meditation or breathing exercises can help us recognise how we feel and reconnect with our surroundings. It can help us feel calmer and cope with difficult thoughts.
- Get your body moving - physical activity releases endorphins and boosts our mood. It can also give us a sense of achievement as we reach our goals.
- Spend some time outdoors – getting some fresh air and spending time in nature is proven to boost our physical and mental wellbeing. (Just remember to follow social distancing rules to keep yourself and those around you safe).
- Make sure you get enough sleep – stick to some kind of routine, and do things before bed that help you relax and unwind (like taking a bath, reading a book and putting your phone away).
- Take a break from technology! We all spend lots of time on our phones and computers, but it’s important to remember that social media isn’t always real life.
- Create a ‘good mood’ playlist of all your favourite songs
- Take time to do something you enjoy or try a new relaxing hobby like painting
- Say ‘no’ – it’s okay to have some ‘me time’ if you need a break or aren’t in the mood for socialising! And it is definitely not selfish!
Find out more
There are lots more ideas available through Kooth’s activity hub (it’s free to sign up!): https://www.kooth.com/. (Kooth is a service designed for young people age 11-18 living in Gloucestershire, where you can get free anonymous counselling online, chat with other young people, find self-help articles and more.)
Mind also have some self-care suggestions: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/self-care/
The Mix have put together a guide to self care where you can find out more: https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/looking-after-yourself/a-guide-to-self-care-15574.html
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have collated a list of strategies that you can use to help manage your wellbeing: https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/