What is self-care?

Looking after yourself, or self-care, is important in helping you stay at the top of your physical, emotional and mental and well-being. Learn more about what self-care is, why it’s important and how to take good care of yourself.

This may be helpful if:

  • You've been feeling stressed out
  • You're having trouble organising your time
  • You're feeling overwhelmed with all your different responsibilities 

guy sitting on leaves and grass smiling

What is self-care?

Basically, self-care is any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It can help you feel healthy, relaxed and ready to take on your work and responsibilities.

Why is self-care important?

There are a lot of reasons why self-care is important, but here are a few main reasons:

It keeps you healthy

Self-care does help you stay healthy! Physical stuff like exercise can be a great form of self-care for different reasons.  It keeps you strong, burns off nervous energy or just gives you some time to forget your responsibilities or things that stress you out. Self-care doesn’t have to just be physical either, taking time out of your day to do something you enjoy like game or read a book is also a great way to distract your mind and body from things that could be stressing you out.  

It helps you ‘recharge’

Some people use self-care as a way to unwind and de-stress after a long day or week. Taking a bubble bath, meditating or even taking a nap can help people catch up on rest and ‘un-plug’ themselves from the outside world for a little while. 

It can help you manage health issues

Self-care is sometimes a way of coping with physical or mental health issues. People with mental health issues will use self-care strategies to cope with symptoms that can be overwhelming, and to make sure that they can live their lives as fully as possible.

How can I practice self-care?

Because self-care is something that should be practiced routinely, it can take a bit of getting used to. Below are a few tips on how to incorporate self-care into your life.

Make time for it. Set aside some time to practice self-care. You might want to set aside a few minutes or hours each day to do something which makes you feel good and relaxed. You might also think about practicing self-care on the weekends or your days off – that way you have all day to practice!

Don’t double-book. If a friend or co-worker wants you to see them or do something for them during your self-care time, tell them that you are busy. Because you are busy. Busy looking after yourself!

Learn to switch off. This can be hard, especially if you are used to thinking about your school or work problems at home, but self-care is the time where you focus only on you! If it’s hard for you, try doing something which diverts your attention, like solving a puzzle or reading a book. 

Learn some quick fixes. If you are absolutely frazzled and short on time, learn some strategies which can be done in a few minutes. Breathing exercises and stretching are great as they can be done in a few minutes, practically anywhere!

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 12 August, 2015
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