Hello! Today’s post is one that will live in my Wellness category. I’m talking about the importance of self care.
What is it
Self care is care provided by you, for you. Too often, we put the needs and wants of other people first. I’ve made a big effort lately to put myself and my best interests first, and I’m honestly thanking myself for it already!
Why is it important
These days everyone is looking out for themselves. From living in New York, I’ve found that you can never get too comfortable with people. No one is going to have your best interests at heart, so that’s why you need to. Especially living in a big city far from home. If I don’t look after myself, who will? I’m so lucky to have my boyfriend here with me, and such a great group of friends. Everyone has their own things going on though, and it feels like things just keep getting busier and busier. That’s why I think putting yourself first is imperative.
How you can be proactive
Whether it’s meeting someone for a coffee or lunch, or if you are feeling obliged to go to something that you don’t really want to, you need to always suit yourself. We all have different things that we want to get done in our time off. I know myself, if I have a list of things that need to be done that don’t get done, I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up. At the end of the day, if going for lunch suits someone else, but not you – then don’t go. It actually feels weirdly liberating to do things on your own terms. I’ve been making a big effort lately to really figure out how I feel about my schedule and how I spend my free time. When I put myself first, I always thank myself later. (Obviously I’m not saying to be inconsiderate but just prioritize yourself, because I’ve learned that’s what everyone else does.)
One thing you can never neglect is exercise and your body’s need for it. We all have those lazy days where you just want to vegetate on the couch. I personally find that when I do have those days, I can never sleep well afterwards. Doing a quick 15 minute brisk walk every day does the world of good for your body and your mind. In January, I knew that getting to the gym was going to be difficult. Between having my Mum in the city while my Dad was sick, all of the time spent in the hospital, and then playing catch up in work and life afterwards – I couldn’t put that additional pressure on myself. I made a promise to myself that I would do at least 31 minutes of exercise every day to keep me sane, and I have done so far!
This really goes without saying. It sounds silly, but your body is a temple. You need to fill it with good food to feel good yourself. I ate crap at the beginning of January, and not only did I feel exhausted, but it really showed up on my skin too. Self care was most definitely not at the forefront of my mind! (But it is now.)
Mind your health
Only you know how you feel on the inside and only you can tell if something feels wrong. Ignoring a certain pain, or not taking the proper medication you need to fight an infection or a cold is just never worth it. No matter how big or small the problem is. No one ever wants to make a fuss, but if there is something that doesn’t feel right – get it checked out! This is exactly how my Dad got so incredibly ill over Christmas. He ignored something small which ended up snowballing into something so much bigger than he could have anticipated.
Ask for help
While we would all love to be able to be completely independent, sometimes it’s just not possible. There is no shame in asking for help every now again. I find that it saves a lot of time that you would have spent trying to work something out for yourself. Sometimes you just even need a second opinion or a second set of eyes on something to feel sure about certain things.
Put your mind to work
This is something that I haven’t started yet, but it’s next on my list. Today I’m going to buy a Sudoku book, so that I can do something for my mind in the evenings other than trawling through Instagram, or watching other peoples lives on Snapchat. I feel like this is a big part of self care. With everything going on on social media, it’s so easy to compare your life to others and that can be draining. I sometimes feel like I’m literally losing brain cells when I spend my evening watching other people. I used to play/do (not sure what verb to use here!!!) Sudoku years ago and I loved it! It’s a great way to test your mind and challenge yourself. I’m excited to get back into it!
Keep in touch
No one knows you better than your family / friends / boyfriend / girlfriend. Sometimes it can feel like you’re drowning in life and the world is against you. Reach out to a familiar face / voice and catch up with the people that you love. Self care is the most important type of care to me, but sometimes you need someone else to help too.
Photos by Claire Petersen
I hope you liked this post <3