By Sophie Steventon, Insight Executive, OPEN Media.

We are constantly hit with a barrage of bad news. Whether on the TV, social media or even chatting to family and friends, scary and upsetting news is being fed to us daily and it is extremely hard to escape it all.

Whether we like it or not, our mental health will have taking a battering over the past year, even if you consider yourself to be mentally resilient. Now, more than even it is imperative that we look after our mental health and wellbeing.

Over the past few years the topic of mental health has been thrust into the spotlight with many buzzwords and phrases being thrown about, one of them being self-care. But what exactly is it?

Mind describes self-care as ‘techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse’. It can be practised in so many different ways, from journaling to watching your favourite film or even something as simple as going outside for a walk. With this in mind, here are 3 important rules to remember when it comes to self-care…

  1. Keep it simple. We are all familiar with the LinkedIn posts describing the daily routines of ‘successful people’ (you know the ones, wake up 3am, 3 hours of yoga, 6am juice cleanse, into the office for a 12 hour day) which for the majority of people are completely unrealistic and not sustainable in the slightest. Keep your self-care practise nice and simple. Don’t over complicate things unnecessarily. It is about making changes for yourself that are easy and realistic!
  2. Do what makes you feel good. However big or small, do what makes you happy. If self-care for you means spending the day on the couch watching trashy TV then do it. If it means an early start for a run before work then do it!
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others. With social media being so prevalent in our every day lives it is so easy to get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to others. Whilst we are mostly stuck at home the endless scrolling between social media apps we start to become hard on ourselves. Some peoples self-care practise may involve them creating, some may be exercising, some may be spending the day in bed when they feel like they need it. Just remember that this is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Follow these easy steps and you can’t go wrong with your self-care journey, be kind to yourself and remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first!

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