• Ellen OSB

WHY PRACTISING SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT

Updated: Apr 15

We, like so many companies right now, are doing our best to deal with the challenges that the infamous CORONA has thrown our way. As you can imagine, we’ve had to make a lot of changes to our service and it’s delivery, so thank you ALL for bearing with us while we figure things out.


We’ve put this post together to check in and explain why self care is important, now more than ever. To encourage you to find what works for you, to help you through this difficult time.


Without going into depth in terms of theories or practices, medical anxiety or anything relating to specific conditions, I’ve kept it nice and general.


It’s an unpredictable and rather scary time for us all. We’ve had to accept dramatic lifestyle changes that have been implemented strong and fast. From being stuck inside, unable to socialise, homeschooling, working from home, whatever it might be; it’s stressful.


The lack of control we have over anything at the moment, is enough to make the most mellow fellow, anxious.


We can’t change the world on our own and it’s not going to happen overnight, but if we work together and give ourselves the chance to do our best, in time, we will beat this. In order to give ourselves that chance we need to look after ourselves.


So, that is what this post is about; self care.


Self care isn’t selfish. I’m not encouraging you to become self centred or ignorant. I mean, look after you so that you can be the best you.


How can you look after anything or anyone else if you’re in desperate need of your own TLC?


With this pandemic, people’s plans have been ruined, non-essential workers are at home, so are their children, and jobs, money and hope are being lost.


There’s no dressing it up. It’s utterly awful. In so many ways. Of course, there'S always someone in a worse position than ourselves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. Recognise it for what it is. Shit!


Someone else’s situation may be worse but that doesn’t take away how you feel. It’s important to know that you are entitled to your feelings. Whatever they are. Let yourself.


Having said that, it’s also important to remember the power of positivity. We have to remain optimistic, because what do we have if we don't? Try to make the best out of a bad situation as best you can, for it will pass eventually.


Self care has, over recent years, become trendy. Taking social media by storm, those professing to practice #selfcare have been, praised, criticised, ridiculed and idealised. So what exactly constitutes self care?


The way I see it, it’s doing something for yourself that allows you to address/ develop/ maintain/ improve your mental health and wellness. You can do that however you wish. Some will argue the do’s and don'ts of self care, criticising those who trivialise what they consider an important practice. For the sake of this post, if it’s helping you affect any of these things, it’s good enough for me.


Whatever you do, understand why it’s important.


To begin with, I struggled to understand how to be selfish in a good way. Then it dawned on me. Aeroplanes. When the stewards take you through the ‘in case of an emergency’ procedure, they explain that when the oxygen masks come down, you should ensure yours is secure before helping others.


That’s, in my head, what self care is. Kind of.


You have to tend to your own needs too. Especially now, when you also need to give a lot of love and support to other people.


There are so many ways to practice self care. Some more time consuming than others, but it can be anything. Trying to keep it conventional and what you ‘think you should be doing', might not actually be working for you.


Just because Kelly told Instagram that a candle lit bath is her type of #selfcare, doesn’t necessarily mean that is has to work for you.


Sidenote: Nothing against all the Kelly's out there. I’m one of them. I just wanted to get my point across.


If you’re struggling to know what works for you, then ask yourself this simple question; what makes me happy?


TV? Books? Food? Drink? Clothes? Exercise? Photography? Music? Films? Silence? Naps? Cooking? Cleaning? Puzzles? Animals? Drawing? ANYTHING. There’s no right or wrong.


Being in lock down means we’re all together, at home, inside. That is genuinely some people’s worst nightmare. I am one of those people.


The uncertainty of it all is killing me but it’s also teaching me a lot. (that’s me practising my ‘positive thinking’ preach).


Like, self care being important for centring myself during the chaos. We all need to be able to just stop. Even if only for a few minutes. Finding a way of caring for yourself is a great way to gather yourself and refocus.


Being forced to be with people in much closer proximity, for longer than you might usually, can drive you a bit mental. Energy is contagious. Like Corona Virus (too soon?) it spreads quickly. It’s important to keep that energy as light and optimistic as you can. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes just being aware of it can help.


Appreciate the space you’re in. It’s easy to resent it, when you’re stuck there. Rather than despair of it, learn to appreciate it. It’s keeping you safe. Even if it’s just a wee corner of a room, learn to love it.


Structure. One of my favourite things. So many of us are working from home while also living there/ schooling there/ socialising there (remotely of course, face-time is a wonderful thing)/ relaxing there, EVERYTHING. With that, it’s good practice to set yourself a structure. Like boundaries or time slots. It’s an easy way to feel more in control, which reduces stress and anxiety, allowing us to keep perspective and think clearly. Or, in my case, clearer.


I hope this has been helpful in some way. If you take anything away from it please let it be this; taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s sanity.


Love to you all. Stay safe and be kind to yourselves.


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