Graphic: mental health
While Valentine’s Day is typically about showing your appreciation for those you love, the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
So, this Valentine’s Day take time out to check in with yourself and your wellbeing by practicing self-care.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but there are many strategies you can use to evaluate how you are feeling, and why you might be feeling a certain way.
Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) State Manager – Mental Health Dawie Scheepers said self-care will help you to live well and improve your mental health.
“Taking time out of your day, or week to practice self-care is so important to ensure you understand how you are feeling,” Dawie said.
“There are a range of benefits that come with practicing self-care which include improving your physical health, reducing stress and anxiety, boosting your self-esteem and bettering relationships.
“Everyone has different self-care needs, so make sure you find an approach that works for you when practicing self-care.”
The circles of self-care are a fantastic prompt to help you assess how you are feeling and what strategies you may already have in place to manage your mental health.
There are five circles that make up the circles of self-care:
It is important that we feed our senses.
Whether this be with music, colours or soft touch, we need to understand the right balance of engagement with each of our senses.
You could listen to music, try new foods, or pat a pet.
While we are born to be social, interpersonal care focuses on connecting with people we care about or who care about us. Challenge yourself to find a new way to connect with those you care about.
This could be through playing a sport, being part of a choir or a book club, or taking part in cooking classes. Whatever it might be to help you connect with people in a different way.
Being creative helps us to make sense of the world. Different hobbies provide a lot more ‘self-care value’ than scrolling on social media, so it is important we put our energy into activities that we enjoy.
Why not spend time doing a colouring in, or a crossword? The RFDS has a mindfulness colouring book available here.
Sleep, food, and exercise are the three areas that make up physical self-care. It is important we pay attention to each of these to fuel ourselves.
Hiking, swimming, bike riding or simply going for a walk are great ways to practice physical self-care. To keep safe while doing so, be sure to pack a Rescue Swag first aid kit.
Spiritual / emotional:
Looking at ways to express and acknowledge feelings is important in being able to address why we feel a certain way. Ask yourself:
• Why are we here?
• What is it we really care about?
Find out more about the circles of self-care in the self-care document here, along with several other resources.