Self care doesn’t make you selfish, read about self care and how you should take time for yourself

Being in nature can help with self care

What is self care?

Self care is taking care of yourself, whether that be physically or mentally, it doesn’t mean you’re selfish if you do things in a manner that pleases you, instead of others. Self care can be done by yourself, or with other people.

Why is self care important?

Self care is important as it enables you to put your mental and physical health first. By doing this, you make yourself a priority and not something or someone else, it may also allow you to gain control over how you feel.

With a lack of self care, a person’s mental health can deteriorate and their stress levels can rise. Sometimes taking a bit of time out for self care can make a world of difference.

Feeling content in your skin is all that matters. If you don’t look after yourself, you won’t have the capacity to give to others or support others even if you want to.

Busting self care myths

  • Self care is not just for women
  • Self care isn’t always quiet or done in a meditation room
  • Self care is not always about your appearance
  • Self care means different things to different people
  • Parents and carers need time for self care, too
  • Your self care needs can change over time
  • Self care doesn’t make you selfish.

Ways that you could self care

Whatever makes you feel better can be classed as self care, such as: Running, pampering, going the cinema, socialising, keeping busy, spending time alone, cleaning, being around animals, baking, being on holiday, yoga, pilates and all exercise. Being in nature, going to the gym, reading a book, playing football, listening to or making music, going to gigs, cooking, keeping your personal space organised, journaling, seeing family, catching up on sleep or bingeing on box sets could all be classed as self care.

Signs to look out for if someone isn’t self caring

Someone might not be taking the time to self care and so their mental health could suffer. Signs to look out for might be:

  • Someone that stops going out, or goes out too much and shows a change in behaviour
  • Someone who has a low mood, feels teary or anxious
  • Someone who starts using substances or increases the amount of substances they intake
  • Someone who is tired or forgetful or struggling to cope
  • Someone who is isolated or avoids people
  • A change in appearance – for example, looking more dishevelled
  • A change in diet and routine or stopping doing exercise or doing too much exercise all of a sudden
  • A parent who never has any time for themselves
  • Someone who lacks motivation or determination, when previously they had plenty
  • Feeling under pressure or overwhelmed easily.

If you notice the signs in yourself or someone around you, help them or yourself to find more time to self care.

Support and help