Today is the beginning of Self Care Week, an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your self, both physically and mentally. Liz Inchley, an occupational therapy student at Pause in Birmingham, shares her top tips for looking after your own emotional well-being.
Top tips for looking after your emotional well-being
Just like life, our emotional well-being can have its ups and downs. If you experience low emotional well-being for a long period of time then you may be more likely to develop a mental health problem.
We all have different ways of coping but there are some factors such as childhood trauma, social disadvantage or caring for a family member or friend, that can make you more vulnerable to low emotional well-being. It's important you are aware of periods of poor mental health and are able to challenge the possible causes.
Everyone deserves to feel good so here are Liz's top tips for managing and improving your own emotional health and well-being:
1. Diet and exercise
These are mentioned in almost every lesson or self-help guide about physical and mental well-being, but diet and exercise are very important. Try to make a healthy choice for yourself every day, and the positive effects will add up.
2. Know your limits
Sometimes we can feel stressed or burnt out because we have too many commitments to keep up with. Balancing your responsibilities with time for hobbies and relaxation can be tricky, but it’s totally worth the effort.
3. Be kind
Being able to show compassion towards others is good, but showing compassion to yourself is great. Celebrating your achievements and using positive self-talk works wonders for confidence! Identify some positives at the end of each day and say 'well done, me'.
4. Sensory experience
Using the senses can be very relaxing. If your day gets too busy, take a moment to look around and notice any colours you can see, identify what you can feel by touch, and try to notice any sounds, smells, or tastes. Bonus points if you can smell anything from a bakery!
5. Find your favourites
Most people will use some of their favourite things to help themselves feel better. If you have any favourites (photos, perfumes, toys, sweets, games, music, etc), keep them together in a box or drawer, so all the things that cheer you up are in one place.
So there you have our top five tips for looking after your emotional well-being. If you would like further mental health advice, please visit our resource vault where you'll find information on stress, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and much more.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone else and you do not think that they can keep themselves safe, you must try to stay calm, stay with them and seek immediate help and advice. There are national helplines: Childline (0800 1111) Samaritans (116 123) that are open 24/7 for 365 days a year. You can also call 999 or go to A&E at any time. MORE INFORMATION FROM OUR ADVICE HUB