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Self-care in 2021

By Sian Charman

“Self-care” is a phrase we hear all the time, but what does it mean?

Well, it does what it says on the tin: self-care is the act of looking after yourself.

The word “self” literally means “a person’s essential being”, something I think a lot of us could do to remember from time-to-time. You are an essential being, I am an essential being, and we need to look after ourselves. We deserve it.

Some people think it sounds indulgent. Maybe you think that if you tell somebody you’re going to practice self-care, they’re going to think negatively of you, but did you know that most of what you do is self-care? Feeding yourself, showering, brushing your teeth, even popping your head out of the window for a quick bit of a fresh air, all of it contributes to self-care and how you look after the most important person in your life: you.

 

Your self-care needs can change from day to day, month to month, season to season. As Winter draws nearer and the days get darker, many people find that they begin to feel sad or unmotivated. Now is a great time to find some methods that will help lift your mood and make you smile.

 

When we are feeling down, the thought of practicing self-care can be overwhelming. Sometimes, you might feel like you don’t deserve it, though, believe me, you do. The reality is, just a few small steps can go a long way to improving our wellbeing and ensuring that we can be the best possible versions of ourselves.

 

Remind yourself that you are doing your best. Be kind to yourself. Making small changes can take you from functioning to flourishing. Better days will come, and you will be okay.

So often, we blame time (or a lack thereof…!) for not being able to practice self-care. Other times, it’s cost. Both are very real reasons. We live in a busy and expensive world!

I’ve come up with some ways that you can practice self-care quickly, cheaply and, most importantly, effectively!

Before you start, know your limits. It’s not a race. Work within these limits to set yourself small challenges that will make you smile. 

A clock is shown along with the caption 'Make time for yourself'.
A cloud shows a number of ways to practice self-care, as described in the article.

What do you think? Would any of these tips be helpful to you?

 

Give them a try and let me know what you think. Good luck and don’t forget you are worth it!

 

Before I go, I have one last tip: positive affirmations. Speaking something out into the world is a powerful way to make something feel real (and sometimes it even makes it real too!). Try saying the next phrase to yourself once a day for two weeks and see how your attitude towards yourself changes in that time:

 

I can do this. I am worthy. I have got this. I am enough. I trust my judgement. I deserve love. I deserve to be happy.

 

PS: If you feel like things are getting too much, always speak to your GP. You are not alone.