Now more than ever, it is so important to have good self-care.
So what is self-care?
Self-care is taking action to maintain or improve your own health. This does not just mean physical health; your mental health is equally as important. From a young age, we are taught how to look after our physical health, but we do not always know what to do to keep our mental health in top condition too.
With the uncertainty in the world, it is easy to get stressed, anxious and feel overwhelmed at times which is why we need to have our own strategies and tools to pull out of our back pockets when we are feeling like this.
Self- care can be lots of different things to lots of different people, so what can you do to have good self-care?
Get active! Mental health and physical health are connected, so eat well and exercise often to release those happy endorphins (hormones). Setting aside time to do things you love, whether that is reading, listening to music, or even just watching Netflix, can help to de-stress after a hectic day. For some just taking a step back and allowing time to stop and think about situations or asking yourself what you think you need.
Try to be organised as you can, build routine into your day. For some who find organisation difficult ask someone you trust to help you get started, maybe a simple timetable which factors in homework but also downtime so you can do the things that make you happy too.
Being at home comes with drawbacks however, it also comes with some advantages too like having more free time. This gives opportunity to ‘find your thing’ and to try that hobby you have always wanted to take up as now is a better time than ever!
Remember thoughts are not facts. We have 1000’s of them all the time and often these are nonsense. Sometimes we believe our thoughts are true, thoughts such as “I am a failure” can feel like a fact. Keep looking out for these unhelpful thoughts, realise that these thoughts are just stories that your mind has created and often our thoughts are not the truth. Recognise these thoughts and let them pass by.
Overall, the most important strategy to maintain good self-care is talking about how you feel. Sometimes we don’t really understand our behaviours, feelings and thoughts but talking to someone you trust can help. Don’t bottle up your feelings and assume that they will go away as this is not the best way to deal with them in the long run. It is common for people to feel as though they need some support. It’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help. Everyone needs support sometimes. Sharing your feelings with someone may help you feel calmer and happier.
This past year we have all experienced unprecedented change with, multiple lockdowns and restrictions coming and going at short notice. It has been hard even for the most resilient of individuals, having good days and bad days and that is ok. We are a community of our own at Abbey Gate College and we need to stay hopeful that all our clubs, events and extra-curricular activities will return during 2021 and remember that we are all in this together.
Written by Ciaran Paterson (Wellbeing Ambassador)