The term-self care is used frequently but often misunderstood. Quite literally, self-care simply means the steps you take to prioritise your own wellbeing and care for your mental and physical health.
What is self-care and why is it important?
It includes everything related to staying healthy — including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical care when needed. It also encompasses the things you need to feel good on a daily basis and care for your emotional wellbeing.
Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you.
So, what do we mean by "charge your battery?" Some things, like work stress, lots of socialising or conflict in relationships, deplete our reservoir of energy and emotional wellbeing, or "battery". Self-care activities are things that RECHARGE our battery and restore us to a more energised state, so we’re ready to tackle another day.
Although self-care is not a "cure" for mental illness, understanding what causes symptoms of stress, overwhelm or burnout and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health and reduce the likelihood that you'll relapse into an episode of mental ill-health.
Remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.
Different types of self-care
We all recharge in different ways, so everyone’s self-care will look different. The important thing is to look at self-care as positive daily habits you can incorporate into your everyday life. Self-care falls into a number of categories, and some may resonate with you more than others. Here are a few to get you started:
Emotional self-care: this could include checking in with your emotions, using helpful self-talk, regulating your nervous system arousal and attending to your emotional needs - listen and they'll tell you!
Did you know? Researchers have found that hot baths twice a week can help improve mood.
Physical self-care: this could include getting sleep, staying active, choosing healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones and making regular dentist and doctor appointments.
Did you know? Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
Spiritual self-care: this could include attending a religious service, spending time in nature, meditating, doing something good for others, or keeping a gratitude journal.
Did you know? Comprehensive research reviews have shown that mindfulness-based programs help with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and distress.
Social self-care: this could include carving out regular family time, date nights, setting boundaries and saying no, cuddling up with a pet or reaching out to an old friend.
Did you know? The number and strength of your relationships can affect your mental and physical wellbeing. The benefits of strong social connections include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships.
Now that you know a bit more about self-care, you might want to create your own ‘self-care plan’ and schedule some recharging into your week.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.