What exactly is self-care? – BYC Sarah Law
What exactly is self-care?
We hear this word all the time, and for most people it evokes images of face masks and spa days. Don’t get me wrong, that is 100% a form of self-care, but I believe that there is so much more to it than we realise! Self-care is the ultimate key to a happy, healthy and balanced life, and I think the best place to begin is to understand what it really is and why it is so important.
At its core, self-care involves any activity we do deliberately in order to increase energy, reduce stress and take care of both our mental and physical health. Let me emphasize, it isn’t an activity that just ‘happens,’ it must be done with intention and be something that you actively plan as a ‘self-care activity.’ Add them to your calendar or even tell your family about what you are going to do. It’s crucial to keep a conscious mind, staying aware of what you are doing, why you chose to do it, and how you feel.
Self-care should be something that refuels us and something that we enjoy. It should be a way for us to process emotions and cope with stresses and sadness. And it isn’t selfish. Remember, only once you take care of yourself can you fully give to your loved ones; you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care also should not be an emergency response plan for when you have reached your breaking point. It is something you should practice regularly, whether that be each day or each week, where you can begin building healthy habits and behaviors to maintain and nourish your mental wellbeing.
Okay so, why do we need self-care?
Self-care builds resilience and our capacity to manage stress, reducing anxiety as well as symptoms of various mental health conditions. It improves our mood, increases our energy, and strengthens our physical immunity. We become better caretaker for others and we build better self-esteem, as by carving out time to care for ourselves, we are actually sending a positive message to our subconscious. Self-care activities teach us more about ourselves and what we enjoy doing, and it actually increases our productivity, as it helps clear our minds and slow down life, helping us concentrate and bring our goals into a sharper focus.
Covid-19 turned our lives upside down, and the world can sometimes become quite overwhelming, and that’s normal. Just don’t forget that it’s okay to take a step back and put yourself first. Take the time to nourish your mind and body, and be kind to yourself. Now that you know what self-care is, make sure you check out the #BYCares series on the Brimbank Youth Services Facebook and Instagram page for different ways to practice self-care!
Take care everyone,
If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed or stressed, get in touch with Brimbank Youth Services for some support: