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What is self-care and how can it help you?

What is self-care and how can it help you?

You might have heard the phrase ‘self-care’ in the big wide world of social media, but it’s not just a buzzword, it’s becoming an important part of everyday life, especially in 2020 for obvious reasons!

Self-care isn’t about making sure you brush your teeth or take a wash every day, it’s about making a conscious effort to factor in certain activities into your routine that will have a positive effect on your overall mental and physical health.

What does self-care actually mean?

The official definition of self-care in the dictionary is “the act of caring for yourself when you are ill or to stop yourself becoming ill”, in other words, it’s the practice of preserving or improving your health and wellbeing. It’s important to take care of yourself whether it’s indulging in a trip to the spa or taking 10 minutes for yourself to enjoy a cuppa! If you don’t look after your own needs, you’ll risk feeling drained which can take a toll on your immune system.

When did it become such a big deal?

Self-care has been around for a long old time, but it’s finally coming to light with more and more people talking about how they’re feeling. We are now seeing the subject of mental health in the media because people have a better understanding of mental health and it’s becoming normalised to make more people aware that it’s important to talk.

In 2016, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry launched a new mental health initiative called ‘Heads Together’ to tackle the stigma of mental health. Since then, we saw the launch of Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign in October 2019 which aims to help people look after their mental health and wellbeing by promoting a range of self-care actions.

what is self care

6 effective ways to practice self-care

Go for a wander – exercise is an important type of physical self-care, but this doesn’t have to involve sweating profusely at the gym, a simple walk is enough to keep you healthy and help clear your head.

Watch an episode of your favourite TV show – take a break for 30 minutes, relax and stick on your favourite TV show. Sometimes you just need to take a break from reality with a much-needed distraction. Watching some television allows you to take a break from whatever it is that’s causing you stress and reset so you can pick yourself up and try again.

Do something that relaxes you – don’t feel bad about having some time on your own away from your family, it’s not selfish. Sometimes you need to be at one with your own thoughts and relax, whether it’s having a relaxing bath, reading or listening to music.

Treat yourself – we all deserve a treat after a busy day at work, after an exam or a long journey. Don’t stress about what you’ve just gone through, treat yourself and celebrate your achievements. Have a cheeky takeaway, enjoy a slice of cake in your local cafe or pick up your favourite chocolate bar from the shop!

Aromatherapy – there are a variety of ways you can incorporate aromatherapy into your self-care routine. It can be as easy as adding a few drops of essential oil into your bath or using a fancy oil diffuser! Check out how you can boost your health and wellbeing with aromatherapy!

Wear your comfies – everyone has a favourite pair of joggers or pyjamas that make you feel like your troubles have instantly disappeared right? Getting comfy will soothe your body and make you feel relaxed. Don’t feel ashamed if you get home and immediately put on your comfy clothes, if it makes you feel good, who cares what other people think!

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Above all else, remember that self-care is all about you. These are just a few ideas that you might like to try but you can do anything that will make you feel great. Don’t worry about schedules, if you forget to do your yoga one day, that’s okay because you can switch up your self-care routine to suit whatever you’re up to that week.

Health and Wellbeing Support

When you take out a private health insurance policy with us we’ll give you access to 24/7 Health and Wellbeing Support. Services include telephone counselling, self-help programmes including CBT modules and everyday life support covering a wide range of issues. Click the link to get your free quote today.

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