Self Care Awareness Month
September is self care awareness month which is a month dedicated to ensuring that you are looking after yourself everyday. In light of this, we want to share with you some of the best advice we’ve been given when it comes to self love and self care.
Feeling overwhelmed at work/uni
We are all going to experience those days where everything feels like it is too much you can’t cope with the never ending deadlines. A way to overcome this is to take yourself out of the situation even if it feels like you cannot afford to, if you don’t you may procrastinate even longer. Take a step back, whether that’s going for a quick walk, exercising, or cooking. When you come back to your task, pop on your favourite song or podcast or alternatively, just sit and write a list of everything you need to achieve. Believe us, once you’ve done this you’ll realise it’s a lot less than what you thought when you were in a stressful mindset.
Put things into perspective
It can be hard to understand how well you are doing in the moment when you’re living it day by day. Take time to consider where you were 2 years ago and compare it to where you are now. Putting this into perspective will hopefully make you realise that you are doing a lot of the things you wished you were doing 2 years ago. Put into perspective the goals that you set those years ago and how much you have achieved towards them to date. It is important to consider that there may have been factors that stopped you from achieving some of your goals that you set a few years ago so always be mindful and gentle on yourself, but we guarantee now you’re closer to them then you’ve ever been.
Most of us have experienced feelings of doubt or unworthiness at some point in our lives. If your accomplishments are a result of your own hard work, knowledge, preparation and you still feel inadequate, you’re probably experiencing signs of imposter syndrome. Ways in which you can help this is learn to know the signs, recognising the signs is the first step to overcoming them. Another is to let go of your inner perfectionist as it can be a major roadblock in productivity. When you feel like a fraud, it's usually because you're comparing yourself to some *perfect* outcome that's either impossible or unrealistic. Track and measure your success to see how you are doing and finally be kind to yourself.
You can’t control other people's actions but you can control your reaction
You cannot make everyone around you like, understand, validate, accept you and you cannot control this either. Not everyone is going to see how wonderful you are. If someone is treating you in a way you wouldn’t want to be treated, you have to look at this situation to see how you can respond. What you can control is your reaction to them and this could be removing yourself from the situation, having a discussion on how you can resolve any issues or continue to be yourself. In the end, it doesn’t matter how others see you, it only matters how you see yourself.
It is even easier now to compare yourself with the influx of edited images and videos flooded on social media so it is important to introduce healthy ways of looking at yourself and the body you are in. Firstly, appreciate all that your body can do like laughing, dancing and running. Secondly, remind yourself that ‘true beauty’ is not skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance and openness which makes you beautiful. It is also great to surround yourself with positive people who accept you for you. And lastly, do something nice for yourself - something that lets your body know you appreciate it like a bubble bath or massage.
Most people feel anxious or scared at points however, if it is affecting your day to day life there are always ways to help. Ways which can help with anxious feelings are talking to a friend or family member (if you can), use calming breath exercises, exercise, practise sleep rituals and consider peer support. What not to do is trying to do everything at once - set small targets which are easy to achieve, don’t focus on things you cannot change, try not to tell yourself you are alone, you have a support unit who are there to support you and finally don’t avoid the situations that make you anxious (unless it’s unsafe) - try slowly building up time spent in worrying situations. Remember, you have felt this way before and you have overcome it, just like you can now. If you are experiencing anxiety for extended periods of time, please visit your GP.
Friendships can add a lot to our lives, they help us feel connected, heard and valued. However, over time people can grow apart and friendships end. In some cases, friendships can cause stress, worry and uncertainty. In these cases it is important to practise self care to look after yourself. This could be through setting boundaries or even saying goodbye to the friendship. Here are a few ways to ensure your needs are taken care of within a friendship: note how you feel after interacting with them, if you feel drained, set boundaries on your time and make meetings more mindful.