Self care – what is it and why is it important?

Self-care can often be mistaken for selfishness or self-indulgence, but this is so not the case.

The World Health Organisation 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.’

It means taking care of yourself so that you are physically and mentally well enough to do everything you need to do on a day-to-day basis.

Self-care has become even more talked about in recent years, with Google reporting searches for the term ‘self-care’ almost doubling since 2015. This is hardly surprising when we have an epidemic of anxiety and depression and with everyone feeling the impact of the pandemic on their mental health.

Self-care includes everything related to staying physically and mentally healthy, including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical care when needed.

There are three types of self-care.

  • Emotional – For example weekly bubble baths, saying ‘no’ to things that cause unnecessary stress or taking yourself out for coffee and cake with a friend.
  • Physical – Such as prioritising sleep, exercise and fresh, healthy foods.
  • Spiritual – This can include spending time outside, meditating or keeping a journal.

All of these are activities an individual can do to manage stressors in life and take care of their own health and well-being.

So why is self-care so important?

It helps you know your worth: Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. It produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Plus, it reminds you that you are important too.

Gives you a healthy worklife balance: Being overworked can make you more stressed, exhausted and less productive. It can lead to physical and mental health problems from depression to heart disease. Taking time out for self care can help keep you sharp, motivated and healthy.

Helps with stress management: While a little bit of stress can give us a healthy nudge to get stuff done, too much stress can have a negative impact on our mental health. Good self-care practice can improve our mood and boost our energy levels.

Improves your physical health: Self-care is not just about your mental health. Eating healthily, exercising and sleeping well will all have a positive impact on your physical health too.

So, why not try and implement some self-care into your day-to-day life by meditating or taking a long, hot bubble bath, and see how much better you feel for it. At BN She we can also offer a wide range of training regarding your wellbeing and our Mental First Aid courses are the first place to start. 



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