10 SELF-CARE TIPS FOR MAXIMISING WELLBEING

It is important that we look after our physical and mental health so we can keep on top of things during stressful times. Here are ten self-care tips which can help boost your wellbeing:

1.Regularly engage in an activity that you find relaxing. Put aside a little time every day to do something that you really enjoy, such as going for a walk, gardening, listening to music or reading. Schedule it into your daily routine so that it becomes a natural part of your life.

2.Practice regular relaxation. Try to squeeze in some yoga or meditation before starting your day. It can be helpful to visualise a safe, peaceful space e.g. a comforting room, a beautiful beach or lovely bush setting, and spend 5-10 minutes imagining this in your mind.

3.Maintain your friendships. Connect regularly with friends and family and undertake activities you enjoy together.

4.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are experiencing stress or worry it can help to talk to someone about it. You may like to speak to a friend, family member, you GP or a counsellor. Ask for help when you need it and accept help when it is offered – realise that you cannot do everything.

5.Get regular exercise. This will help to reduce stress levels and improve your health. Try to find an activity you enjoy. Exercising with others can help you to stay motivated. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day; even a 10 minute walk will benefit you.

6.Eat a nutritious, balanced diet. This can help with energy levels and stress management. Avoid consuming too much caffeine or sugar. It may help you to feel more energised in the short term, but can have negative effects in the long term.

7.Be kind to yourself. A positive and compassionate attitude can help you manage difficult times. Encouraging and rewarding yourself for getting through a difficult period or achieving a goal, however small, will reinforce your self-confidence.

8.Take some quiet time out for yourself, away from your usual demands, even if this is only for 15 minutes a day. For example, going for a walk, having a bath, having a cuppa or reading the newspaper.

9.Plan something to look forward to, a holiday, day trip or an outing with friends.

10.Get good quality sleep. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Switch off all electronics at least an hour before going to bed so that you can wind down. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try a relaxation technique or quiet activity until you feel sleepy again.