Hey FFFN family! I have a question for you… how often do you practice self-care? What is self-care, you ask? Well, by definition, it is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. So, how often do you put yourself above others and make YOU your number one priority? How often do you do something that fills your cup and allows you to feel invigorated, energised and refreshed?
I’m tipping the answer is, not often enough. Today’s culture fosters expectations to perform according to high societal standards. Unfortunately, this comes at a price as these expectations are inextricably linked with greater stress levels, increased fatigue, anxiety and depression, and an elevated risk of total burnout.
Self-care is vital to maintain health and wellbeing so that you can be the best version of yourself. Practicing self-care can help you function with a greater degree of satisfaction, focus and clarity.
There are three main categories of self-care:
- Emotional self-care: giving yourself permission to take pause for a short period of time in order to re-group, basically learning to sometimes say “no” to things that may cause you unnecessary stress
- Physical self-care: following a healthy, balanced daily regime that is aligned with your personal requirements. Choosing nourishing foods over processed ones, adopting a realistic exercise routine that fits in with your lifestyle and goals and prioritising adequate rest periods and a regular sleep pattern
- Spiritual self-care: things such as meditation and mindfulness, keeping a journal, spending time outdoors in nature and incorporating acts of kindness into your routine
Everybody’s style and version of self-care differs and there are no right or wrong ways of going about it. The main objectives of implementing self-care into your routine is to bring yourself a level of satisfaction, downtime and the capacity to re-group.
Self-care doesn’t need to be indulgent, luxurious or costly (although it is absolutely ok to sometimes treat yourself to something special!). Many things that elicit feelings of happiness can be completely attainable. Simple acts like having an extra five minutes in the shower, sitting down to watch a favourite tv program or film, or taking the time to read an excellent blog about self-care (😉) can create a sense of wellbeing. On particularly challenging days, being more intentional with self-care practices may allow for greater self-preservation.
There is stigma around practising self-care that can lead to feelings of guilt. Implementing self-care into your lifestyle means you are making an investment into your own health and wellbeing and this shouldn’t be viewed as selfish. In fact, it is well documented that someone who feels greater satisfaction in their own life can then function with a higher degree of optimism and proactivity. This in turn has a ripple effect; whether it be in a work setting or social environment, others may also benefit from the positive energy that you impart.
So, to summarise everything above, here are the top five benefits of implementing self-care into your own routine:
- Protection of your mental health
- Increased feelings of self-worth and level of self-esteem
- Improvements in physical health
- Reduction in stress and anxiety
- Improved relationships with others in your community
I hope you all take the opportunity to create some downtime for yourselves, prioritise your own wellbeing and feel a greater sense of self-worth. Remember, it needn’t be much and it needn’t break the bank, but it is important, valuable and essential, just like you!
Catch you in the next blog!
Certain topics discussed in FFFN’s blogs include content relating to mental health, suicide and other triggers. If you are experiencing any mental health concerns, please contact your GP or nearest healthcare facility. In the event of an emergency, please call 000. For community support, please reach out to Lifeline, Beyond Blue or other credible mental health organisations. FFFN do not provide any professional mental health or medical advice and/or treatment.