With grateful thanks to our blogger Annabelle for sharing their Self Care Journey.
24 August 2023
Self-Care and Mental Health
by Annabelle Martin
So… Self-Care. Now I hear you all saying: What IS it?? Taking a hot bubbly bath?? Watching your favourite movie in PJs?? Going out for a stroll in the forest?? Having an Everything Shower?? (A term I will explain later) Well… The truth is…. Self-Care is all of those things and more. Self-Care is how you take care OF YOU. So it can be all of these points I’ve just made and SOOOO much more.
Self-Care – Taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day. (Everyday Health, 2021)
As the image above says: Self Care ISN’T Selfish. Just making sure you all know that it’s okay to put yourself first. I know it can be a struggle for people (And believe me I ABSOLUTELY know that feeling) but it genuinely can do you good. BUT!! As with most things in life, you must be able to find a balance within your day to day schedule for it to remain healthy.
There are a few different categories of self-care such as:
- Emotional self-care – such as self-talk, weekly bubble baths, saying “no” to things that cause unnecessary stress, giving yourself permission to take a pause, or setting up a weekly coffee date with a friend.
- Physical self-care- such as prioritizing sleep, adopting an exercise routine you can stick with, or choosing healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones.
- Spiritual self-care- such as attending a religious service, spending time in nature, meditating, incorporating regular acts of kindness into your day, or keeping a gratitude journal.
So I’ve said what Self Care is and given some examples of it, now I’ll explain how it can help your mental health.
Self-Care can help to increase your energy levels, manage your stress levels and can help you lower risk of illness too. (Not saying that it’ll be like a miracle pill because that still hasn’t been invented yet so try different ideas. It’s all trial and error but once you find something that works for you, you’ll know what to do when you ever need it.) (NIMH, 2022) Another thing that helps is talking to others (Yes, I know how obvious I sound right now but really, talking helps.) It can help take a weight off of you and the more you talk to others, the less stressed and worried you will feel which will always help you mentally. Self-Care can also help your self-esteem/wellbeing as you are taking care of you and gaining more confidence in yourself and letting go for stresses, worries and normal day to day events in life that aren’t the greatest. (MIND, 2017)
So my Self Care Journey started in the middle of Lockdown. I was scrolling through TikTok as I was bored and I came across Self Care baths and Everything Showers (Which are when you go into the shower and take care of EVERY part of your body and just give yourself a little love and time.) with people using so many things: Body Scrubs, Different Lotions for your body (body butters and creams) and how different scents helped to calm and relax you. When I watched a few of them on my FYP (For You Page) I went onto Amazon and got a LOAD of different bits to try…
And I’m happy to say that I still have a Self-Care Bath every other day, make sure to go outside when it’s good for me, have a meal out at a favourite places (When my money situation is good) and do Self Care routines on my face daily to make my skin look and feel good and it helps with my acne troubles which is a MASSIVE boost to my self-confidence, mental health and basic wellbeing.
So I hope you have all learnt something today. That you know yourself better than anyone else and you know when to carry on with life and when to just breathe, take a step back and let life go on with you just taking a moment to chill, reset and catch up.
- Lawler, M. (2021). What is self-care and why is it critical for your health? [Online] Everyday Health. Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/self-care/. Accessed 3rd August 2023
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (n.d.). Caring for Your Mental Health. [Online] Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health#:~:text=a%20mental%20illness.-. Accessed 3rd August 2023.
- MIND (2019). Self-care | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [online] Mind.org.uk. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/self-care/. Accessed 3rd August 2023