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Taking Care of Yourself First

You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” Unknown Author

Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Self-care matters.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is the practice of consciously doing things that preserve or improve your mental or physical health. It’s about taking care of yourself … putting yourself first. It isn’t selfish. It’s about looking after your needs.

WHO defines self-care as: “The ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”

How we introduce self-care to our lives varies from person to person. We are all individuals. The way we prefer to practise self-care will be different to other people’s choices. Our common goal is to make time for ourselves.

It’s important to acknowledge that self-care should be long term. The time involved can be flexible … you may have an hour to go for a walk or 15 minutes to practise relaxation or meditation. Self-care can fit in with you! It can involve physical and/or mental activities from reading to running, crafting to cooking … or simply doing nothing at all. What would you enjoy doing?

Why Self-Care Matters

There are significant proven benefits to introducing regular self-care activities to your lifestyle: 

  • Being healthy and happy
  • Feeling good impacts upon work, home, all relationships and, importantly, our self-esteem.
  • Self-esteem influences how resilient we are.
  • Enhances decision-making
  • Makes life more enjoyable
  • Reduces stress due to better sleep, self esteem

15 Self-Care Activities to Try:

Self-Care doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive. There are steps that each of us can take to look after ourselves.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep.
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Try yoga or relaxation classes.
  4. Go for a brisk walk – enjoy the great outdoors.
  5. Try a relaxing treatment, e.g. massage, reflexology, facial … or a hot bath
  6. Spend time listening to your favourite music.
  7. Make something healthy yet delicious for dinner.
  8. Make a list of five or more things you like about yourself.
  9. Spend time with loved ones.
  10. Take regular exercise.
  11. Treat yourself to a new haircut.
  12. Be assertive about how you spend your time. Turn down invitations that you simply don’t want to accept.
  13. Make time for a hobby enjoy such a reading, something creative or visiting an exhibition.
  14. Be organised and book regular time for self-care!
  15. Make time to watch your favourite film or television show.

Further Support

The NHS defines self-care as: “Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional.”

Are there any self-care activities that you would like to try but can’t due to pain, poor flexibility or maybe a fear of becoming injured?

At Shefford Osteopathic Clinic, we help you to keep enjoying your hobbies and sports by alleviating pain and optimising your mobility. As well as helping you to feel fitter and enjoy life more, our team can also offer lifestyle advice to support your self-care goals.