Mental HealthImage of person getting a massage

What is Self Care?

Often the festive season is a time spent thinking of our loved ones, whether they be friends or family, but it’s easy to forget the most important person… yourself! Self Care refers to undertaking activities with the purpose of improving energy, reducing stress and restoring health.  When you don’t have time for Self Care is usually when you need it most. It’s important for the kids to see you looking after yourself, this will show them that you respect yourself, and teach them to look after themselves when they grow up.  We do Self Care instinctively when we have an illness or injury such as:

  • Common colds and flu
  • Tummy bugs
  • Muscle aches
  • Grazes and scratches
  • Sprains and strains

It seems like common sense to take care of ourselves at those times, but why wait until we’re in pain to do it?  Use Self Care to prevent pain and injury.

Super Easy Ways To Implement Self Care

Here are some practical and specific ways that you could be implementing Self Care in your day without having to find extra time:

  1. Put a post it note on a doorway you frequently walk through in your day to remind yourself to check your posture, each and every time you pass through the door.
  2.  While brushing your teeth, stretch your calves out against the bathroom sink cupboard.
  3. Put a post it note next to the kettle with a reminder to stretch, so that while you’re waiting to make a cup of tea or coffee you can stretch your forearms against the kitchen bench or dining table or stretch your quads.
  4. Try doing your neck stretches under the hot water of the shower- the heat combined with the stretch will feel amazing!
  5. Try listening to an audiobook or story podcast in bed instead of scrolling through social media or watching tv.  Timers can be put on most apps that you listen through so that it stops after 5-10mins when you’ve drifted to sleep.
  6. Take Magnesium to help get a better nights sleep, and relax your muscles.
  7. Sleep with a pillow underneath your knees if lying on your back, or in between your knees and ankles if lying on your sides, this will help prevent or ease lower back pain.
  8. Set stretch reminders in your phone for twice daily to complete tasks that your massage therapist or physio have given you.  Twice daily reminders are recommended because if you’re busy during the first reminder, you’ve still got a second chance to get that days stretches in.
  9. Set a goal for yourself to do one relaxing or pleasurable thing a day- whether it’s going for a walk without your phone to clear your head, or baking a delicious dinner with music playing in the background.

It’s doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to take care of yourself but it is a time of the year when we generally let these things slide because we are so busy!

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