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What is Self-Care?

Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse. 

However, it’s important to remember that there is unlikely to be an instant solution. Recovering from a mental health problem is likely to take time, energy and work.

No matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. You shouldn’t neglect self-care and here's why:

  • Know your worth: Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Also, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too. Make yourself a priority each and every day. It might take some time but if you start to practise self-care as a part of your daily routine, you’ll slowly start to see a difference.

  • Sleep: If you’re missing out on good quality sleep this could have a big impact on your day-to-day life at university. Sleep helps your brain work properly – while you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day by forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. So, if you’re not sleeping well, you need to figure out why and try and change it. If you’ve got yourself into a bad routine, kick-start a better one by going to bed early or getting up early. 

  • Better physical health: Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, caring about your personal hygiene, exercising regularly, etc.

  • Stay hydrated: Hydration is also crucial, as our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally. Brain cells need a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and if you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted and your brain cells lose efficiency. 

  • Stress management: While a little dose of stress is a healthy way to give us a nudge that we need to meet the deadlines or finish that overdue task, constant stress and anxiety can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health. Smart self-care habits like eating healthy, connecting with friends or, practicing meditation cuts down the toxic effects of stress by improving your mood and boosting your energy and confidence levels. Always make time to switch off and enjoy  your hobbies and interests. Whether that’s taking part in a yoga class, cooking or backing, You may want to relax and enjoy a movie or get involved in the virtual events that are currently available. It’s important you to take a break from studying and devote some time to yourself.

  • Hygiene: Personal cleanliness is the key to good self-care and hygiene. Not only does it help to promote a healthy self-image, but it is also essential in preventing the spread of infections and disease. Eeven if you have a lecture-free day and don’t necessarily need to go out –take a shower and get fully dressed anyway and you may notice a big difference in how you feel for the rest of the day.

  • Stay Connected: As we’re highly social beings, we don’t necessarily thrive in isolation – relationships help to stimulate our brains and can actually improve our emotional and physical health. Laughter can also help to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies! Why not check out the virtual events and get involved!

  • Good housekeeping: Keeping your living space clean and tidy can boost your mental health. If you’re guilty of having a messy, cluttered room you could be damaging your psychological health – also making it more difficult to stay on top of the everyday cleaning which could leave you feeling stressed out.

  • Keep a schedule: Put together a schedule for the week ahead to plan your activities so that you can achieve your goals and priorities in the time you have available. This will help you stay on track with your studies, work and personal life and can also provide a structure to your routine – just make sure to plan in some “me time” to relax, unwind and do what you enjoy.