Why should I practise self-care?
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has impacted everyone. Whether it’s adapting to online school, or having increased workloads, or struggling with the changes to seeing your friends or family – it’s been a tough few months. However, there are lots of ways that we can look after ourselves to make ourselves feel better and perform to the best of our abilities. Check out our top 8 tips for self-care below:
1 – Get plenty of sleep 💤
Sleep is really important for both physical and mental health. Sleep helps to regulate chemicals in our brain which help us with memory, understanding information and managing our emotions and moods. If we don’t get enough sleep, we can start to feel more irritable, stressed and sad, as well as finding it harder to concentrate.
2 – Try to eat a balanced diet 🥕
Ensuring that we eat a balanced diet is crucial to get all the vitamins and minerals in our bodies to keep us going. Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron deficiency, can give us a low mood. Try to eat a balanced healthy diet to look after your body and mind (and soul, too). It may be best to avoid caffeine too if you’re feeling stressed as it can increase jitters and make individuals feel more anxious.
3 – Get as much sunlight as possible ☀️
During Autumn and Winter, it can be particularly difficult to get the sunlight we need to be on top form. Make sure you go outside when you can to soak up the little sunlight we get in Cardiff. Sunlight provides Vitamin D which is really important as it releases chemicals such as serotonin and other endorphins that improve mood. Even if it’s not so sunny, go out anyway – fresh air works wonders.
4 – Be active with some exercise 🏀
Good old endorphins are released when doing physical exercise, making you feel good and providing you with a sense of achievement. It’s good to practise to do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, but try extra hard to be active if you’re feeling bored, anxious, lazy or tired as it can help give you a boost! Exercising doesn’t require a gym membership or have to be intimidating either; a short walk or home YouTube dance workout can even do the trick.
5 – Manage your stress 📝
Everybody experiences stress. The trick to managing your stress is understanding what makes you feel stressed and finding ways that you can manage it. Often, writing down your worries can help to alleviate stress and make tasks more manageable.
6 – Do something you enjoy 💛
Life can get busy and we can easily be overwhelmed with things we have to do. It’s important to put aside time to do something that you love. This way, you’ll have something to look forward to daily. It’s a good way to relax by reading a good book or watching your favourite TV show or even practise skills such as painting, playing music or trampolining.
7 – Connect with others and be sociable 📱
Even though local lockdowns can make it difficult to see your friends and family, we are lucky to still be able to keep in touch with people that matter to us online. Make an effort to maintain good relationships whenever you get a chance. Even a quick video call or online gaming session can improve mood. Talking to others also allows opportunities to both give and seek advice which may be difficult to ask for otherwise.
8 – Ask for help 🗣
If you find yourself struggling, a good thing to remember is that it’s okay to ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help, advice or support from anyone that you trust in your network. If you feel that you can’t talk to anyone, the team at Meic are there to listen to you and help you through the next steps. Meic are an information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. They are open from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.