Taking Good Care of Ourselves (Self Care)
For many people the start to 2020 has been very stressful due to the impact of the bush fires. During times of stress it can be easy to turn to unhelpful ways of coping so it is important to take good care ourselves. Self care means different things to different people – it can be useful to think about what self care means for you. Are you taking good care of yourself right now?
Some simple but fundamental self care practices are: eating well, getting adequate rest, focusing on the breath and practicing gratitude.
Perhaps one of the most important self care practices is focusing on the breath. Breathing is free! Our breath is always there for us to use to relax, to calm down, to take a pause and to relieve stress and anger. You can bring awareness to your breath anywhere anytime. Try it now – take a comfortable seat, close your eyes, place one hand on your tummy and one on your chest. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Try and deepen your breath a little so that you can feel your tummy expand. Try doing six conscious breaths in the morning and six in the evening.
A good night’s sleep makes everything seem better! Here is a helpful document for getting a good night’s sleep.
Other self care practices could be taking time to go for a walk, have a bubble bath or listening to some uplifting music. It can feel selfish to take time out for yourself but you and those around you will all benefit if you are taking care of yourself. You’ve probably heard the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program has a fact sheet on self care in the context of bushfires, see below.