In selfcare, you limit the strains you encounter and strengthen your mind so it’s better equipped to handle challenges. This article define selfcare and discusses benefits of selfcare and why they are so important.
The concept of selfcare is often seen as a remedy, but it’s really a daily routine that makes you able to handle stress long-term. All ages can benefits from these activities, especially those who are going through a tough time. Youth can be prepared to overcome different pressures, changes, and disappointments, and process them well when they’re taught early.
No matter what activity you do to relieve stress, if you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t work. You won’t be able to meditate if you aren’t sleeping enough. The problem is that meditating might make you sleepy because you’re not taking care of your body’s sleep needs.
Going to the gym a few times a week won’t make a difference if you don’t eat healthy, nutrient-dense food regularly. First, take care of your basic needs so you can do stress relief activities.
Define SelfCare: What Does It Mean?
Essentially, the term defines selfcare as a conscious act a person takes in order to make them feel good, mental, and emotional. It’s “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.”
The World Health Organisation defines self-care as:
“The ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider”.
As well, you could define selfcare as taking care of yourself using the information and knowledge you have. In collaboration with health and social care professionals, it empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently.
As far as selfcare goes, there are many forms it can take. It could be getting enough sleep every night or stepping outside for a few minutes.
Stressors in life can’t be eliminated, so self-care is crucial for building resilience. Living your best life comes when you take care of your mind and body.
What’s the point of selfcare?
Having a good selfcare routine can benefit your health. These benefits of selfcare include:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Enhancing resilience and reducing stress
- Enhancing happiness
- Energy boosting
- Making burnout less of a problem
- Improved interpersonal relationships
There are lots of ways to practice selfcare, and many of them are free. Our goal is to remind you of some of the benefits of selfcare and move them to the top of your list.
Cut back on social media use.
Results from The Millennium Cohort1 study have shown that young girls who spend more time using social media show stronger signs of depression compared to their less-using peers. This may be attributed to the feelings of inadequacy they contract from viewing glorified lifestyles and unrealistic standards of beauty. It’s recommended that young people channel their energies to hobbies, reading, and other productive activities rather than social media.
Maintain a healthy body clock.
Your mind is an extension of your body. Thus, its condition is highly dependent on how well you care for your physical health. Getting enough sleep should be a top priority because sleeping problems are probable factors of depression. According to a Harvard Health Publishing2, people with sleep problems have an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. If you’ve been putting off sleep for internet, this is a sign that you need to cut back on both.
You may have already heard this in passing but it’s true what the gurus say— meditation can fortify the mind. Dr. Elizabeth Hoge from Harvard Medical School acknowledged the psychological benefits of mindfulness meditation in easing anxiety. Harvard Health Publishing3 narrates that in one of Dr. Hoge’s study a significant reduction of symptoms has been found in subjects who underwent a mindfulness-based meditation program. The good thing about meditation is that you can do it yourself. There are apps like Headspace and Aura that can help with this.
It’s important to come up with a selfcare plan that works for you. It has to be something you make for yourself. By creating your own self-care plan, you can prevent getting overwhelmed, overstressed, and burnt out.
Remember to take benefits of selfcare with a little grain of salt. Though selfcare provides young people with the resources to thrive in critical situations, it still isn’t enough especially in cases of trauma, self-harm, and
substance abuse. More intense cases require an elevated type of psychological help like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a relief provided by certified individuals until expert treatment is available.
MHFA courses can be taken by parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals to understand a wide range of mental health crises, relate to young people’s emotional processes, and consequently deliver more effective assistance.
If you are interested in getting MHFA-accredited, talk to our representatives to sign up for an onsite MHFA or MHFA class near you. Call 07 5499 2406. We have regular classes scheduled in Townsville, Toowoomba, Cairns and Brisbane.
We also have onsite Mental Health First Aid training.
Contact us to schedule an onsite MHFA training. We are happy to travel across Australia for onsite MHFA.
1 Depression in girls linked to higher use of social media. The Guardian (2019). https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/04/depression-in-girls-linked-to-higher-use-of-social-media
2 Sleep and mental health. Harvard Health Publishing (2009). https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health
3 Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress. Harvard Health Publishing (2014). https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
4 There are lots of ways to practice self-care and most of them come free https://higherdose.com/blogs/news/the-ultimate-self-care-ritual
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