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Self-care is not selfish

Self-care is not selfish
In her community story, student counsellor, Elina, gives some advice on developing a self-care toolkit, which you can tailor to suit your needs and interests.

Finding ourselves in an unfamiliar world, having our usual routines disrupted and plans postponed can be an anxiety inducing experience. It can be easy to become overwhelmed at the stressors around us, and forget our mental, physical and emotional needs. Times like these call for, perhaps more than ever before, finding ways to slow down and connect with our bodies and minds through healthy conversation with ourselves – judgment free, compassionately and kindly.

Develop a self-care tool kit – a mental box of methods and equipment that can be drawn upon to self soothe in times of need.

  • Staying connected – a quick call or text to someone, sending a meme or sharing a post can lift my spirits, as well as the person on the receiving end.
  • Tidying up three things in my immediate vicinity.
  • Journaling (I like to collect photos, leaves and little mementos to scrapbook)
  • Shower/bath (optional scented candles/essential oils/bath bombs/music/book – make it your little oasis of serenity)
  • Curated playlist of feel good tunes (no sad songs allowed) followed by a one person dance party
  • Indoor plants – looking after our green friends has shown to have a multitude of positive benefits on our minds and bodies, and developing a green thumb is a great way to slow down and connect with Mother Nature.
  • Colouring books – intricate patterns and bright colours engage our senses, and focusing on the detailed, repetitive colouring motions keeps thoughts at bay.
  • Creating a gratitude list every morning to keep noticing positives in our lives
  • Developing affirmations – creating statements to remind myself that I am enough, I choose to be compassionate towards myself, and that this too shall pass.
  • Sleep schedule – Adjusting to our new lifestyle pattern can really throw off our sleep, leaving us grumpy, tired or anxious. Investing in black out curtains, staying off the phone
  • Yoga (The app DownDog lets me create a yoga session according to my skill level, time available and type of yoga desired)
  • 20-minute nap, starting with a body scan and relaxed breathing.
  • Cooking or baking. My favourite podcast or music in the background and a creative new recipe to try

Tailor make your self-care list to suit your needs and interests, and check in with yourself during the day to see where your emotions are at.

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