Self-Care Week is a UK-wide annual awareness week during the 14-20th November. Self-care can be described as the actions that you take for yourself, on behalf of and with others to develop, protect, maintain and improve your health and wellbeing.
This could range from choices about your lifestyle, such as brushing your teeth, eating healthily or choosing to do exercise, to taking care of yourself when you have common symptoms such as sore throats, coughs etc, for example by using over-the-counter medicines.
What are the barriers to you practicing self-care?
Many people find it hard to stop and listen to their body and what it needs, we so often ignore what our body is telling us. This is unfortunately exacerbated by the ‘hustle culture’ we live in today which encourages us to continually ‘push though’ and not take a breather, which ironically prevents us from taking care of ourselves.
We already know that self-care isn’t selfish, but a significant portion of us still felt guilty about taking care of ourselves. It’s helpful to keep in mind that self-care isn’t meant to take away from time spent at work or being with others, it’s spent to replenish ourselves so we can be more focused at work, more present with our friends and better take care of our loved ones.
Do you need more support to help you practice self-care?
Barriers to self-care are often due to a lack of strong personal boundaries. One way we can learn to become more self-directed and self-aware is by asking ourselves difficult questions and striving to answer them with kindness and honesty.
Do we need to stop and take a break? Do we need more sleep? To eat better? To take five minutes to refocus? Do we need to say no even if it means that someone will not like our answer?
The last (nearly) three years has made many of us shift our focus on what truly matters, how important our health is. Do you think it has hindered or increased your self-care practice? If it’s the former, you might want to start thinking about what tools you need to help you take better care of yourself. Those tools might look like:
- An exercise routine
- Looking at your diet and nutritional status
- Behaviour and habit change
- Adopting a new sleep schedule
Follow Self Care Forum on Twitter here https://twitter.com/SelfCareForum to see what else is going on this week!
Written by Abby Attenborough (ANutr)