Fall in love with yourself first!
With February being the month of love, romance and good times, its is also a time to be mindful and generous in giving yourself some love.
Self-care is an essential act of taking care of your mental, emotional and physical health in order to improve your mood and reduce anxiety. It is so important because it encourages the maintenance of a healthy relationship with yourself, in order to transmit positivity onto your colleagues, classmates and clients. Without regular self-care, you might find that you are more susceptible to illness, stress and depression.
Many of us fall victim to putting others’ personal needs before our own, because we feel that it is selfish to put our own needs first. On the contrary, if our own personal needs have not been met first, it becomes challenging and draining to take care of the next person, in a holistic way. This will be especially helpful when treating and interacting with your clients.
There is still so much uncertainty because of the state in which the world finds itself in during these times which has affected the learning process, as well as job searching. Before wanting to start a self-care journey it is important to identify your needs first.
- What makes you feel calm and cared for?
- How do you respond to stress?
- Have you been productive with your studies?
If you have trouble answering any of these questions, then it is probably a good idea to take a few steps back to pause, inhale a few deep breaths, and reflect on these questions.
See below a few guidelines to assist you on your self-care journey:
The Selfcare Journey:
- Embrace and acknowledge the uncertainty. Process your emotions and share questions and concerns with your classmates and educators. This is a time to show empathy and support.
- Prioritize your personal health. Eat healthy foods and take vitamin supplements to boost your immune system. Exercise regularly and stay hydrated.
- Ensure that you get enough sleep at night. Your body needs enough time to regenerate itself during the night. 6 – 8 hours is usually enough.
- Create a balanced lifestyle. It becomes easy to do more of the things we like to do and leave the things we do not like to do. Time management is essential for creating balance, especially when having to juggle your studies, parenting and leisure time. Drawing up a timetable is a good exercise to manage this.
- Connect with a friend/classmate. Call or meet up with your friend/s, as socializing is as important for your well-being. Plan study groups with your classmates either virtually during these times, or when safe, find a happy and productive space to physically connect for this purpose. Make sure to maintain social distancing when doing so.
- Spend time in nature. Take a break from technology. Make some meaningful time for a nature/seaside walk for some weight-bearing exercise, or if you can, run once a week as your lungs need the fresh air. Be mindful to have quiet time, by indulging in some “Me-time” to relax with your favourite person, playlist or movie. Have a bubble bath and listen to soothing music to put yourself into a different head space.
- Find a hobby. Do something that you enjoy to relax and unwind. Play a sport, indulge in craft work, or perhaps doing something artistic. Journaling might be something you really enjoy, so stretch your means of expression and write down those power thoughts.
- Breathing exercises. When you feel stressed, take three deep, quick breaths with your eyes open and then three deep and long breaths with you eyes closed. This will help you to re-adjust your focus.
- Meditate. Take 10 minutes at the start and/or the end of each day to focus on your goals and find your calm. This can drastically assist with anxiety about assessments and case studies. Centre yourself and find a clearer way forward with your clearer mind.
- Focus on the positives. It can become comfortable to dwell on negativity and past experiences, especially when you have too much on your plate and all may seem hopeless. Adjust your mindset to focus on the positivity that your education can bring through for you. See the future. See the opportunities. See the journey ahead of you with optimism.
Selfcare is an essential act to be followed regularly to maintain balance in your life.
Remember to be open to change, as change is inevitable and constant. The best investment that you can make is in yourself. When you invest in yourself first, you have so much more to give to your clients, your family and your friends.
May your self-care journey be a winning success!
“Discipline is the strongest form of self-love.
It is ignoring current pleasures for bigger rewards to come.
It’s loving yourself enough to give yourself everything you’ve ever wanted.”