To work in the NHS where caring for others is at the very heart of everything that you do, it’s no surprise that so many of you forget to practice what you preach and care for yourselves.
Self-care is a term that has been gaining more and more momentum over recent years but what exactly does it mean?
Self-care is to value yourself, your relationships and your professional life by taking steps to enhance, re-evaluate, and re-focus your life. This can be anything, such as sitting down and relaxing for 5 minutes or treating yourself.
Why is it so important?
Self-care is vital in reducing the effects of stress in your daily life. Some stress can focus you and have a positive effect but when it gets to be too much it can start impacting all areas of your life. By practising self-care, you can ensure that your stress levels stay at a manageable level, so you can function at full capacity both in work, and out of it.
Mind.org.uk also say ‘’Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.’’ Highlighting the importance of looking after your own mental well-being.
What steps can you take?
Make time for therapeutic activities; do things that you know have a relaxing effect such as:
Practise mindfulness; being more aware of the present moment can help you sort your thoughts and feelings towards a situation
Mindful.org has these steps on how to practise mindfulness
Spend time with your friends; often work and your home life can over-take your social life. Take the time to spend time with your friends, enjoying the things you like to do together.
Simplify your schedule; Sometimes you can over commit yourself to a variety of different engagements. Simplify your schedule and learn to say no so that you can concentrate on yourself
Exercise your body and mind; This will keep you fitter, and more energetic as well as broadening your mind.
To look after yourself and to recognise when you need to do this is not selfish. Be good to yourself.
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