WAIT, DO THIS FIRST!
Before you do anything else: do this:
- Get up
- Stretch your arms toward the sky, then touch your toes
- Drink a glass of water
- Take several deep, slow breaths
- Send a message (or an affirmation card) to a mate telling them you love them
Now read this.
What is self-care?
“Self-care” means taking care of yourself physically, mentally and socially. Here’s the catch, though: taking care of yourself often means making tough calls and hard decisions. Such as, don’t eat the Maccas, eat the vegetables. Don’t burrito on the couch and binge Netflix: get up, take a shower, and phone a friend. Don’t buy the thing you don’t need, save the money instead.
Self-care could mean getting up early to exercise or staying up late to make sure you do well in an important test. It could mean finally cutting out the toxic frenemy you just couldn’t shake or working with a psychologist to uncover deep-seated issues. Making the bed in the morning could be a serious self-care win, and so can having a good friend phone you in the morning to encourage you to get up. And yes, self-care could mean taking a long bath filled with bubbles. It all depends on what you need the most, and what you feel capable of doing on any given day.
Sometimes, self-care means giving yourself some tough love: yes, it’s easier to indulge in a day of self-pity when things are challenging. But set boundaries for yourself: for example, give yourself two hours to feel all the feels, cry all the tears, rant and rave and scream at the universe… Then, pick yourself up, drink a glass of water and start working on a plan to get yourself out of the valley of despair. Obviously, this is not easy. Obviously, you won’t get it right straight away. But believe that you can try – and even when you fail at it, don’t guilt trip yourself. The only important thing is that you tried, and that you will try again. That’s already a major win.
Remember: every decision you make and action you take is an investment in yourself. You can’t control everything, but there are certain things you can – figure out what those are and try to let go of what you can’t control.
Sometimes, the toughest bit of self-care can simply be asking for help. Real self-care means understanding that you can’t always deal with things on your own: and you don’t have to.
No matter how hard it is for you to ask for help, remember that you are not alone. It’s okay to not be okay. And asking for help does not make you weak!
If you feel unsure about your future, reach out to our friendly Skillsroad team at email@example.com today.
We’ve rounded up some mental health and well-being resources and information below – click on the link or picture to either direct-download mental health tips PDFs, or follow the links to read more about what you can do to help yourself (or a friend) become stronger and happier.
Download the Skillsroad COVID-19 Youth Review today for insight into the challenges facing young Australians, and practical advice to get through it.
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