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Sandra Dean – Registered Member


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It’s World Mental Health Day 2020 and a difficult time in the world so I want to talk about the importance of self care and what it means

Lack of self care is often a feature with clients, which can be a sign of lack of self esteem and/or self worth. At best, it means we do

What are my personal needs?

What are my personal needs?

not live our lives in the best way we can and do not nurture ourselves, and at worst it can lead to self harm, self punishment or pushing important people in our lives away. I have personally done all of these things and the result is not pleasant, so I have had to learn a lot about self care myself over the years, both as an individual and a counsellor.

We may say the children come first, work comes first etc… But, if they come first who is looking after us? And if we want to give those people our best, we need to look after ourselves first. It builds energy so that we can help others. Self care actually fuels us it does not deplete us. But if we keep giving our energy out and not replenishing it via self care, we are at risk of breaking down, feeling exhausted, resentful or bad about ourselves.

It is a fact that, despite many NOT doing it on purpose, if we keep giving, people will keep taking.

Relationship breakdowns can occur if we rely on others to look after us in the ways only self-care can do. No-one can hand it to us. We have to find out what our personal needs are and how to satisfy them.

Self care

Self care

The rigours of the Covid-19 pandemic have meant more stress, more isolation and less freedom for many of us, plus loss or ill health for some, and it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves and keep checking in to see how we are! The restrictions have hit me hard and are making some post traumatic stress I am experiencing much worse, so I will be taking my own advice here and really concentrating on how to cope with my thoughts and emotions and look after myself.

So, what is it and how do we do it?

Self care (although it certainly could be) is not all about getting our nails done or having a massage, I am talking about deeper level stuff. 

 

Check in with yourself regularly:

How do I feel today?

What do I need to do today?

Am I up for it or do I need help/a resource to help me?

What will I eat today?

How can I make today the best it can be for me?

Is there time today for me to relax?

Is there something fun going on or things that will make me smile?

Will I get exercise?

Will I get fresh air?

Am I drinking enough water?

And if you feel you are too busy for your self care needs, then find a one hour slot in your diary and, just like an important appointment you cannot miss or be late for, put in an hour of ‘Me-time’ and use that hour to do something just for you.

Our basic needs are often:

Social – seeing friends and family

Physical – exercise, fresh air and movement

Mental – being creative, learning, being mindful (engaging with our 5 senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) and coping with our mental health.

Take a look at each of those and see how you can improve your life right now and into the future.

Best wishes this World Mental Health Day and take care! 🙂 

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