Yes, it’s a Wednesday and nobody starts something new on a Wednesday. Or do they? I certainly am. I’m putting my dislike for irregularities (I hate when things don’t start on a Monday, or on the hour) aside in order to invite you with me on my journey.
I’m sure you’ve heard of 365 days of self care, if you’re on twitter it’s almost a given since it’s all I see on my feed. Basically, it’s committing to doing something purely for yourself every day for a year. If you’ve read many of my mental health posts you’ll know how important I think self care is. Giving yourself that time to do whatever you fancy doing and enjoying it is really good for your welfare and mental health. Taking this time isn’t selfish or lazy or a waste of time when you’ve got better things to do. It’s actually really useful for making you more productive during the rest of your day since you’ll be more relaxed and probably more cheerful after you’ve done it.In fact, not taking this time to care for yourself can actually cause some serious problems and damage to your mental health, because we need to care for that in the same the way we care for our physical bodies.
You wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth or having a shower or eating and drinking would you? In that case why do we think it’s ok to go without looking after our minds?
The things you do don’t have to take long or be expensive. I’ve scheduled in a bit of time this afternoon to write a letter to a friend – self care, maybe 20 minutes, free. Tomorrow I’m planning to treat myself to a flapjack at uni – self care, 5 minutes, 75p. It can be absolutely anything that you want to do. Having a bath. Reading a book. Watching a movie. Having a glass of wine. Meeting a friend for a coffee. There are so many options and a lot of them will be quick and easy and mean that they don’t take too much time out of your busy schedule. Even if they do though, it’s important to have the time to enjoy yourself.
So I’d encourage you to join me (and most of the twitter community) in committing 365 days to self care. And remember – if you miss a day, let yourself off the hook, that’s the most caring thing to do! You can find me on twitter @KayleighHather and Facebook @KayleighNHather. If you’ve decided to join in please let me know, we’re in this together!
If you’re really struggling, please know that there are people who want to help you. In a crisis give Samaritans a call (or your GP or crisis team) let them show you some love when you’re struggling to show it to yourself.