Why you should do something for yourself everyday

This article is adapted from a piece previously published on Beyond Blue’s website

It’s more important than ever to practice self-care on a daily basis.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the lives of people in Australia, the term ‘self-care’ has become increasingly common. There are countless articles on remaining positive, while Instagram feeds are packed with advice on how to stay in a good place mentally during this difficult period.

While it sounds straightforward, self-care is a process that requires attention and effort every single day. So, it’s important to understand the value of self-care and how it can be achieved, especially when access to family and friends is limited.

Self-care isn’t selfish

For a variety of reasons, many people don’t do things just for themselves on a daily basis. They might be too busy, too tired, or too focused on others. They may even think they don’t deserve it and feel guilty about focusing solely on themselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth in the current climate, whether you’re working, supporting someone or simply dealing with the new measures.

It’s important to understand that self-care doesn’t constitute selfishness. Being selfish limits your ability to give to others, whereas self-care enhances it. By focusing on your own wellbeing, you put yourself in a far better position to support others, which is so crucial as people come to grips with the impact of the coronavirus.

Everyone’s ‘something’ is different

Self-care, me time, doing something for yourself – whatever you want to call it, manifests differently depending on the individual. For one person, exercise might be their therapy.

With gyms closed and community sport postponed, this is a tricky situation to navigate but there are ways to work around it. Clear your head and grab some much-needed fresh air by going for a run or take advantage of the many home workouts available on social media, from HITT classes to yoga and Pilates.

It doesn’t matter what the ‘something’ is, as long as it contributes positively to your wellbeing and helps you reset and recharge.

Keep self-care within reason

It can be easy to get swept up in the self-care movement, so be practical when it comes to looking after yourself. With restrictions on social interactions and even leaving home, it can be tempting to indulge in ways that are still readily accessible, such as food, alcohol and online shopping.

Common sense should be applied to this ‘treat yo self’ approach. If you’re regularly engaging in retail therapy to feel better but are suffering financially as a result, the long-term impact on your mental health is likely going to be negative.

Try to strike an appropriate balance, which will help you to maintain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

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