Self-care to me means taking time to put yourself first – and not worry about how that’s perceived by others or comparing your worth to other people’s standards. To re-evaluate what matters to you and the make time for yourself and what you really need. But also not denying yourself that little treat that brings you joy – whether it’s a sugary cup of tea, a catch up with friends or taking some time out in the day to work on yourself.
Why do you think prioritising our wellbeing is important?
I think it’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to other people and not focus on what actually makes us happy, or listen to our bodies. So I think to avoid falling into the comparison trap or a negative thought spiral – learning to take time out purely for your own wellbeing is such an important thing. Otherwise, this can lead to burnout – both at work and at home & in your social life.
How do you make time for self-care in your around busy schedules, work, and general life admin?
My big thing is making sure I get out into the fresh air at least once a day – I try to exercise in the morning before work and I also make sure I get away from my desk for a lunch break or a walk or even a little chat with friends. I can be guilty of never fully shutting off, and especially since the boundaries between work and homelife have become even more blurred but I make a real effort to step away from a task, have a breather, do something un-work related and then come back and approach it with a different mindset.
What do you do to relax and rebalance?
A nice bath after a long day really helps me wind down and clear my mind – it’s a great opportunity to shut off and relax. Also, as someone who is guilty of burning the candle at both ends, taking a couple of days in the week to really eat healthily and exercise - running or a boxing class (pre-lockdown), and even say no to a few social plans and have a couple of nights to myself just makes me feel so much better if I’ve had a stressful week at work (and maybe gone a little bit too hard with the social distance socialising).
How do you know when you need to take time out to focus on your wellbeing?
I tend to feel really anxious and start to take things really personally – self-doubt kicks in – both at work and within my social circle. I actually get email anxiety and sometimes let my inbox mount up to unmanageable highs of unread emails. That’s when the panic sets in, but I’m getting better at recognising the signs and start to delegate a bit more, or make sure I shut down the laptop in the evenings – or just take some time out to chat to a friend when that feeling starts to come on.