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Thrive | Mental Health

Self-Care: How to Love Yourself

Self-care is so important. We’re quick to support others and make sure they’re okay, but why do many of us not show the same love to ourselves? Whether you struggle with mental health issues or you’re someone giving support, it’s important to take some time out from the craziness that is life to focus on yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. So here are just a few self-help techniques for you to try.

Fuel yourself with nutritional food

When feeling low, it can be a challenge to face cooking and seem much easier to grab a takeaway or eat junk. Eating chocolate can be a comfort on bad days, but too much can leave you feeling worse once the sugar wears off.  Eating healthily can make such a difference to your state of mind and can fuel your body with the energy you need to function effectively.

Move your body

The last thing you might want to do is exercise, but it can be a great way to increase your energy. Going for a run or walk could help to organise your thoughts after a busy day. Breathing in fresh air can do a world of good. Working out with a friend can help with motivation, and it won’t even feel like exercise.

Get enough sleep

Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is so important. Without it, everyday tasks can become a challenge; especially school. When you have a lot on your mind it can be difficult to switch off at night, even counting sheep doesn’t do the trick. Maybe keep a notepad next to you so you can write things down to release them from your mind. It’s also advised to avoid looking at a screen at least an hour before you plan to sleep.

Surround yourself with love

There may be times where you just want to be alone, but try not to shut others out. You may feel like you’re a burden, but your loved ones care about you and want to be there for you. Your life will be impacted by the company you keep, so it can be necessary to remove those who only bring negativity.

Focus on you

Life can get hectic, especially when it comes to school or work or family, so it’s really important to set aside some time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty if you’d rather watch a movie in your PJs than go out with your friends. It can be easier to distract yourself with life than face how you’re feeling but this could lead to things building up until you just can’t take anymore. Keep a diary or journal which tracks your feelings and identifies triggers for things such as anxiety. Write down one positive aspect from each day to remind yourself of the things in your life that make you happy.

No one person is the same, so different methods will work for different people. Self-care is personal to YOU and should make you feel better, not worse.

If you need further support, then please check out YoungMinds, or call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

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