Self-care is the actions we undertake to look after ourselves, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Self Care is the actions that we take for ourselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.
It incorporates the essential acts of care that we all need to focus on – like eating well, keeping ourselves clean and getting enough sleep.
On top of that though, self-care is what nourishes us personally: the things we do that comfort us, calm us, and make us feel good. These will vary from person to person – you might be drawn to creative activities, physical pursuits, mindfulness techniques, a combination of all three or something different altogether.
“Health is not just about what you're eating. It's also what you're thinking and saying.” - Unknown
I understand how important self-care is, but also how tricky it can be. I've gone through times where I've only showered once a week.
Self-care is far from easy. When our self-worth is on the floor, making time to nurture ourselves feels like an unnecessary effort. We tell ourselves we don’t need it, and we don’t deserve it. That it’s pointless and self-indulgent. That it’s selfish.
But self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. We can’t do or be all the things we want to without taking care of ourselves. A car can’t keep driving forever without some kind of maintenance – regular fuel top-ups, service, MOT and repairs. We are exactly the same.
Of course, we may feel resistance around practising self-care. We’ve spent so long telling ourselves we’re unworthy, that showing ourselves kindness feels extremely discomforting. We may also find that as we make building self-care into our lives, some of the people around us seem unsettled too. Change can be uncomfortable for us all – but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.
On this page I share information and resources to help you on your self-care journey. I hope it inspires you to make positive change. Because – whatever your head may say – you are worthy, and you do deserve better.
When you have a mental illness, it’s difficult to care about anything – least of all ourselves.
However, self-care is one of the key tools in our armoury for combating mental illness, so it’s important we make it a priority.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscaglia
When we practice self-care, even when we feel good, it can feel overwhelming. While it’s currently being talked about a lot, many of us are still not quite clear what it is. We may be unsure about how to start building it in our lives – or indeed where to start.
It doesn’t help that what counts as self-care differs from person to person – what helps one of us, might leave another of us cold. And on top of that, as we grow, change and develop, our self-care needs change too. Self-care never stops being a work in progress – but it is so worth the effort. We just need to take it one step at a time.
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” - Audre Lorde
Self-care is accessible to everyone, and even the smallest acts make a big difference.
You can start now by reading anyone of these posts.
“Depression is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. Depression is very different.” - J.K. Rowling