ALLIANCE Development Officer Grace reflects on self care and its importance as part of a wider self management routine.
In the last few years the topic of self care and wellbeing has been widely discussed. The isolation and fear that came with COVID-19 has made practicing self care more important than ever. This looks different for everyone, but the single most important part of this is, I believe, being kind to yourself.
The line between self management and self care is blurry. At the ALLIANCE we say self management means people are ‘in the driving seat’ of their own health, meaning they are also supported by the people around them, whereas I would suggest self care is something you do by yourself, for yourself.
No matter what you call it, looking after ourselves as well as others is vitally important so that we don’t burn out. Living in a pandemic is stressful and we need to be more kind, more patient and set clear boundaries with ourselves and others in our lives.
Before the pandemic, most of us went somewhere away from our home to work. Having a commute can help to clear your mind and provided a mental as well as a physical separation between home and working life. It is important to find a routine that works for you and to be clear on when you are working and when you are not. This is an important aspect of wellbeing as the creep of work into your personal life can increase stress, wreak havoc with your sleep and lead to lower mood and productivity.
Establishing a routine which incorporates work, play and rest is one of the most effective ways you can take care of yourself, improve mood and maintain your physical and mental health. In the newest Wellbeing Wednesday, you can get to grips with Pain Association’s ‘Self Management Bootcamp’ which takes you through all of the most important parts of effective self management and self care.
It is also important to recognise your limits and make time to check in with yourself. Mindfulness works for some people, if you would like to try it then we have a podcast on colouring for mindfulness that offers a short taster. This is a good way to relax, clear your mind, and notice any invasive thoughts which may help you deal with them.
Make time for yourself, be kind to yourself and recognise the importance of self care as part of your self management.