In 2022, the theme for Mental Health Month is ‘tune-in’; to yourself and others around you. Being present and aware of your own mental health can help you identify the small things you can do to be the best possible version of yourself.
Self-care, or ‘me time’ is often the last thing we think about, however, self-care plays a big role in maintaining our mental health and overall wellbeing. Allowing time for self-care is not being selfish, it’s a way of looking after yourself and nurturing our mind and body. Self-care is an activity in which we undertake regularly to take care of ourselves. It has been clinically proven to lead to improved wellness, (the benefits will vary from person to person and from one self-care activity to the next) with, some notable benefits including:
- reduced stress
- lessened anxiety
- increased productivity
- a boost in energy levels
- improved relationships
- lowering the chances for certain illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.
There are many ways to engage in self-care that focus on different aspects of our overall wellbeing, such as:
- Emotional: allowing us to recognise, sit with, and move past our emotions.
- Physical: fostering good physical health and wellness.
- Mental: focuses on our headspace that’s beneficial to good health.
- Social: helps us to build and grow good relationships.
- Spiritual: lets us think beyond ourselves and allows us to develop a deeper understanding of the world around us.
Some easy ways to engage in self-care can be:
- going for a walk either alone, with a friend or fur-friend and reconnecting with nature
- spending some quality time with a friend or family member, either face-to-face or virtually
- enjoying a spa day or create a spa day at home
- cooking your favourite meal
- reading a new book, or an old favourite
- spending some time meditating or doing some yoga.
OzHelp is huge believer in the benefits of practicing self-care, so we spoke with our counsellors to find out what their go to for self-care is, and if they had any tips. Here’s what they had to say.
My self-care activity is playing with my puppy Poppy and going on walks with my wife.
My self-care tip is to remain connected in your relationships with friends, family and significant others in your life; and get regular exercise even if it is just a 30-minute walk. Better still combine the two, and enjoy a walk with a loved one.
During the busy schedule of life, I try to go out for walk, breath, and drink water mindfully. As part of self-care, I look for the positive qualities of others and ignore the rest. I like to be creative, cook, clean and take care of my loved ones. Small acts of kindness bring happiness and energise me.
My suggestion for self-care is to find balance in life, spend time with friends, including furry friends, be present in the current moment and breathe.
I am a people person, so I get my energy from being with loved ones. As part of my self-care, I love to organise a walk, a day out or just a night in with my family or friends. My other way of staying consistent with self-care is by creating routines. I use my morning routine as a way to spend some time reflecting on some positives or my gratitude items so that I can start my day off with a positive. On the other end, I use my night-time skincare routine as mindfulness and to reflect on the day that I had. This helps me unwind and process the day’s events. My top tip for self-care, is that it doesn’t have to be complicated, find something you love and be consistent with it.