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The Meaning of Self-Care

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

What does self-care mean? Whilst self-care is often associated with pampering yourself with bath bombs and facemasks, it actually just involves taking action to maintain and improve your own wellbeing. Self-care is important for everyone to do and is a vital part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. It isn’t selfish, it doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of time. Self-care can be as simple as relaxing and reading a good book. We spoke to Colin Haughton, one of the Trustees of Three Little Birds, who is passionate about promoting self-care.

"Self-care means thinking about yourself and the space you're in"

Q: What does self-care mean to you?

Colin: Self-care means thinking about yourself and the space you're in. So, for example, if you're feeling a bit down then maybe just taking time out for yourself and either doing something that makes you feel good like going for a walk, doing exercise or just doing a bit of 'Me time', TV, duvet time, whatever. If you want to relax, then I guess having a nice bubble bath would be a good thing.

Q: What do you do to take care of yourself?

Colin: Personally, I like to go to the gym and either do cardio or do some weights and some stretching. I also like to be outdoors, so going for a walk, going shopping. Just basically being outdoors, whether it is in a park or a forest. So basically, something related to exercise, whether in the gym or outdoors.

Q: Why do you think self-care is important?

Colin: It is important because it affects your well-being, it affects your mental health and your mood. So, the three of them interlink, and they all affect each of us. So, if your well-being is not good, then that could affect your physical and mental health. I think it is important because if you're feeling happy in yourself and your well-being is at a decent level, then you could be there for other people that are not feeling great. So, if you're strong enough, then you can support them and give them advice on how to stay motivated to be mentally and physically well.

"Self-care is important for everyone to do and is a vital part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle"

Q: Do you have any self-care tips?

Colin: I mentioned a couple which was going out walking, getting outdoors. If you're into physical exercise, get into a gym and do stretches, go on the treadmill, cross trainer, anything that gets your heart rate pumping. Even going for a walk, just being out in the sunshine and thinking about your space and your physical and mental wellbeing.

Self-care can mean different things to different people. It is dependable on your personality, accessibility, and your needs. Whether you go outside, exercise, listen to music, take a bath, or read a book, these things are so important to us. Self-care can improve your physical health, protect your mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, and can improve your relationships. One thing that stood out from my interview with Colin is that self-care is an aid to improve your level of wellbeing so you can support others around you. That is an important goal of self-care and wellbeing: to enjoy and look after yourself and then to be able to help others.

Written by Priya (Three Little Birds Volunteer)

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