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  • Kathy Shaw

How to use Self Care whilst waiting for therapy

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

There are many definitions of self care found on the internet and in self help books, but I see self care as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well being and happiness. As a counsellor I understand how regular self care is important if we are to maintain and boost our emotional and physical health but I also understand that in the society we live in today demands get placed on our time and energy. Not only the demands of our society, but also heavier work loads, fear of losing the job, time pressure, as well as relationship problems, fear of failure, illnesses or various other factors. It seems that there is guilt attached to relaxing and putting ourselves first, but the result of not doing so means that people are putting their mental health and wellbeing at risk. The organisation Mind (https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/) state that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.


So how can we protect ourselves from physical and mental exhaustion?


6 ways to improve self care



1: Psychological self care

  • Practice mindfulness

  • Read a book

  • Learn a new skill

  • Limit your time on social media

  • Switch the phone off




2: Physical self care

  • Have a long soak in the bath

  • Go for a walk

  • Exercise

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Limit your alcohol intake

  • Eat healthy food




3: Emotional self care

  • Say no to things you don't want to do

  • Be kind to yourself

  • Listen to your body

  • Forgive yourself for small mistakes

  • Get support




4: Social self care

  • Ask for help when you need it

  • Go out with family and/or friends

  • Meet new people

  • Say yes to social events

  • Contact old friends





5: Financial self care

  • Review your current spending habits

  • Build a financial plan

  • Set financial goals

  • Keep up with any payments

  • Don't keep up with the Joneses

  • Live within your means




6: Relationship self care

  • Be respectful and kind to each other

  • Give each other space

  • Set healthy boundaries

  • Work through your insecurities

  • Communicate with each other




I believe that taking care of yourself is something that we should all be doing. It is not something that we should feel guilty about, it is something that should make us feel empowered and in control of our own life. Once you get into the habit of looking after your physical and mental health you will increase your chances of operating from a 'well state'.



However, if you are struggling with your mental health and find the idea of self care as easy as climbing a mountain in flip flops then I urge you to reach out. You do not have to suffer alone, help is available.


Please get in touch


Kathy


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