Message from West Berkshire Council:
We have all had moments where we have felt anxious, scared, angry, sad or worried about coronavirus (Covid-19), and during this time we might be worried about our own health or the health of loved ones. We may have experienced changes in our sleep patterns, had an increase or reduction in appetite, or increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Although looking after ourselves may feel more difficult or unrealistic at the moment it is really important.
Self-care is about prioritising our own wellbeing and undertaking actions that can make a difference to our health and wellbeing, especially during Covid-19. Action for Happiness state that “self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential” We often think that we need to put others needs before our own, but when we don’t take care of ourselves, we might not have the energy to take care of others. Self-care increases our resilience and helps us get more out of life. It also helps us accept others as they are too.
For the month of September, Action for Happiness are encouraging everyone to “be kinder to themselves (as well as others), especially when things go wrong”. Social distancing and frequent hand washing are examples of self-care actions that we are all getting used to practicing. We should all try and see self-care as something we do as regularly as brushing our teeth rather than an indulgence.
How can I practice self-care?
Here are some general self-care tips for improved mental health and wellbeing. You could try picking the ones you like and see if you can gradually incorporate them into your day to day life. It would be great if you have ideas you would like to share with us too!
- Make time for yourself to relax and unwind, without feeling guilty about it
- Schedule mini breaks throughout the working day
- Eat some fruit and vegetables and protein sources
- Get plenty of sleep and restFind an exercise or activity you enjoy. Can you get out to spend time in nature?
- Spend time with friends and family (text and phone can make a difference) or find other ways to meet up with people
- Make time for personal care (a relaxing bubble bath or hair cut maybe?)
- Talk about your problems with people you trust or a specialist organisation
- Be proud of what you’re good at, as well as be aware of what you struggle with
- Pay attention to what you’re feeling
- Find time to do an activity you like on a regular basis
- Free up time in your diary by cancelling any unnecessary plans
- Action for Happiness has also produced a daily self-care action for the month of September: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/self-care-september
You can find more information about how to improve your mental wellbeing here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/wellbeing/wellbeing/
Some useful resources to help with self-care
- Every Mind Matters: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
- Books on Prescription: many e-books are available from West Berkshire libraries: http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/35201
- Sleepio: An evidence based sleep programme with 20 minute interactive sessions that use cognitive behavioural techniques which you can personalise to help improve your sleep. Download it from the Apple Store Or Visit the website from an Android device
- Try a guided meditation. Headspace and Calm have some free content available: Headspace: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19
- MoodTools – Depression Aid: MoodTools lets you easily track and record your mood, helps identify what things are having an impact on your mood, and suggests activities you could try to improve your mood. Download it from the Apple Store Or Download it from Google Play