Why self-care is so important

Your wellbeing is so important and yet so hard to achieve at times.  The Wellbeing Project was created as a supportive safe space for women who have been affected by domestic abuse to come together and meet new people.

Since the start of the year we’ve been following the Action for Happiness movement, sending out a calendar with a different theme each month to help women look after their wellbeing.

This month it’s Self-Care September – so it’s all about you and making time to do what makes you happy. Here’s what Broxtowe Women’s Project Outreach Officer, Justine, has to say:

Some of you have had your children off school for five months due to COVID which has left you little time for yourself. Or even others without school children have had months of these strange and unprecedented times which may have meant you’ve lost focus on what’s important.

This is an opportunity to take some time for yourself, focus on self-care and re-evaluate what it is you want in life.

You quite often come last after focusing on everything and everyone else before considering yourself.  Perhaps on the odd occasion when you have thoughts about doing something for yourself you then feel selfish. Self-care is not selfish; it is an important part of your wellbeing. It does not have to take up lots of time or be expensive but can be about just setting a little time aside to do what it is you want to do.

‘To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.’ Michelle Obama

What is self-care?

To practice self-care you are taking action to maintain or improve your health. If you sprained your ankle or broke an arm you wouldn’t ignore it, you would seek help to make it better. Your mental health and wellbeing are the same and they require your attention.

It’s important you remember that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself either, as Mandy Hale once said:

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

With certain things that have happened in your life you can sometimes forget who you are, what you enjoy doing, what drives you, what inspires you, what excites you or even what your aspirations are.

Self-care can be about trying to find you again, whether it’s remembering the little things you used to do that made you happy, or trying something new.  What will you regret if you never do it?

Self-care can be different for everyone

A good way to make sure your planning self-care into your daily life is to set some goals.

It could be something small like to read a book every month, bake a cake, or something more challenging like to look for a new job or become a volunteer.

Some of these suggestions might help you achieve these things:

  • Speak up when you have the opportunity, to increase your visibility. Your opinion matters.
  • Prepare your CV or gain skills for an interview. You can get help on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.
  • Learn something new every week, something that is achievable, like a new cake recipe or walking route.
  • Start to clear outstanding debts. Knowing what to start or who to turn to with this is taking the first step. There are great services like PayPlan or Citizens Advice that can help.
  • Take driving lessons. This can create independence and open opportunities.
  • Be confident. Sometimes easier said than done. Be comfortable in yourself and your decisions.
  • Don’t hold back from doing something because it is scary or hard.
  • Follow your dreams!

‘Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’ Dr. Seuss

There are lots of ideas on the Action for Happiness website, head there to take a look and don’t forget to follow this month’s calendar to help keep you focused on self-care. We would really love to hear how you’ve got on with this, so please email us with what you’ve been up to and any photos you can include too would be fantastic.

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