We would like to encourage everyone to be kinder to themselves (as well as others), especially when things go wrong. Follow our tips below to increase resilience and get more out of life.
*Content is provided by Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre and Psychology Today.
Why Self-Care Matters
It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you become sick. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy, and resilient.
Self-care is not selfish its essential. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
When we take time to look after ourselves, we are better placed to help others and have a positive impact in the world.
Make sleep part of your self-care routine
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep.
Start by thinking about your nightly routine. Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed? If so, it's especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake.
Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cellphone, etc.). And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.
Mediation and exercise
Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Combine 10 minutes of meditation each morning with a quick 15 minute walk around the block and as you walk think about all the wonderful things you are grateful for in the fresh air -it's a great way to condition your mind and body to love the start of the day.
This activity relaxes you first thing in the morning by getting outside straight away and moving – makes you feel better in many ways by releasing endorphins, getting sunlight stimulating your pineal gland and giving you vitamin D.
Getting outside anywhere connects us to nature (especially during COVID).
Appreciate the breeze or wind and blowing, the many colours of the sky, the variety of trees around, the wattle, flowering gums, the birds and their singing or chatter and see other people exercising.
For assistance to meditate, download a Meditation App onto your phone.
Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath, or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life; for example, you might wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit with a cup of tea and practice deep breathing before the chaos of the day begins, or you might take a walk around the block on your lunch break.
The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow, enjoy your life, and thrive.
Once you have created your To Do list, break it down into manageable-sized activities.
Decide what you want to do and start small and the process will grow at a manageable pace.
Give yourself small rewards along the way.
It's easy to become distracted working from home, family and homelife distractions.
Say no to others and say yes to your self-care.
Learning to say no is hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you'll start to feel more self-confident, and you'll have more time for your self-care.
Reflect to the end of the day and ask yourself, “What have I achieved today to take a step forward?
Tick off your success!
Step by step, day by day we will become better, stronger and more confident at what we are doing and what we need to achieve.
Make good use of your time by getting organised, it’s often the first step to becoming a healthier you, because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, can help you write down all your responsibilities and appointments, while at the same time keeping your life a bit more organized. You can also create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day.
For more information, visit Beyond Blue or call them on 1300 22 4636.
“Today, you could be standing next to someone who is trying their best not to all apart. Whatever you do today, remember to do it with compassion and kindness.”
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