We’ve all heard how important it is to look after ourselves and to relax.  But what impact can doing so have on our mental health? How can taking time for ourselves have such a positive effect?   

 What exactly is self-care?  

Self-care looks different for everyone, after all, we are all individuals! At Zeffr, we see it as looking after yourself, so you are better able to be there for those who need you. It's key to our health and wellbeing, as a way that we can proactively improve and sustain our wellbeing. 

 What actually counts as self-care? How can we make it part of our lives?  

A useful first step is to take the time to tune in to yourself and consider what it is that makes you feel good; perhaps write a list of activities you enjoy doing, or would like to do more of; yoga, reading, walking, listening to music, having a bath, going for a massage, spending time with friends. The options are endless!  

A common trap we can fall into is the feeling that self-care is indulgent and selfish, but the reality is that by taking time for ourselves, we actually become far better equipped to help others, do our jobs and fulfil our daily tasks. How can we expect to give, if we have not taken care of our own needs and filled our reserves?  

Taking a favourite book to read in the sun, for example, may sound like an incredibly mundane thing to do, but by taking a break, doing something relaxing and enjoyable, happiness levels are boosted and stress levels reduced. Self-worth is far higher in those of us who care for ourselves, showing others that we appreciate our own value, feeding into feelings of wellbeing.   

 Talk yourself up, not down! 

 It’s worth considering the inner voice, as well. How we ‘speak’ internally has a vast impact on how much or how little we care for ourselves. Kindness is key. We should all practice speaking to ourselves the same way we would a child, friend or family member. Celebrate successes, no matter how small, be our own cheerleader! The impact of having a positive outlook and a positive caring internal dialogue is huge!  

 If we think of ourselves as batteries, self-care and relaxation are the power source recharging us, providing the energy to pour into all areas of life and boosting mood to boot!