Looking After Yourself
When it comes to our mental health, practicing good maintenance strategies all year round can help us cope when times get tough. We need to bend so we don’t break and taking care of your wellbeing through self-care is a great way to do that.
We can look after ourselves by knowing what our signs and symptoms are ahead of time, so we know what to look out for when we’re not feeling or acting like ourselves. Maintaining good mental health and self-care looks different for everyone. It’s about everyday healthy activities that make you feel like your best self.
Self-care is the act of looking out for yourself, and focusing on the things that help improve your mental wellbeing. Sometimes, self-care might be doing things you really enjoy doing, such as spending time with friends or watching Netflix. Other times, self-care is doing the things you may not feel like doing, but you know will be good in the long run. This could be cleaning the house, taking charge of some activities you’ve been putting off, or any other deliberate act that takes care of your emotional and physical self. At times self-care might feel a bit like the demand of putting extra effort in during the pre-season, but similarly, being pro-active with your self-care will mean you are bet prepared to perform and cope with stresses or life.
Whatever it looks like for you, self-care should be a range of things that help you maintain good mental health, and make you feel like your healthiest version of you. You may not feel the effects of it right away, but with good practice and commitment, positive mental health practices support a balanced lifestyle and have long-term benefits.
Self-care looks different for everyone and should take into consideration your emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing. Some strategies may include:
- Getting outdoors for a hike or walk
- Spending time alone to relax
- Listening to music or reading a book
- Making a to-do list for the following day
- Finishing a project you have been putting off for a while
- Reaching out to a friend to catch up
- Volunteering or doing something charitable for someone else
- Turning notifications off on your phone for a few hours
- Getting in touch with your creative side through art or craft
- Engaging in mindfulness: mindfulness is any act that helps you focus on one thing at a time of your choice. Free apps such as Smiling Mind, Headspace or Insight Timer offer guided meditation. You can also engage in a mindful act like swimming, colouring in or breathing exercises.
- Spend time in the kitchen cooking
- Clean up the house: a calm space on the outside helps create a calm space in our mind!
Mental health crisis is when things have been gradually becoming more and more difficult, and you’re feeling in a really tough place. You may have been experiencing some significant signs and symptoms, such as hopelessness, consistent worry or agitation or persistent sleeping and eating issues. In this case, it’s a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional, or get a Mental Health Care plan from your GP. Head here to learn more about this.
If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life, contact emergency services on 000 immediately.