A reflection on the importance of self-care

Before the pandemic, self-care was a bit of a misnomer; often misunderstood to be synonymous with self-indulgence. This most challenging of years has given new focus to the term, one crucial for us all to consider, address and adopt. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.

NHS England tell us that self-care is about “keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.”

Since lockdown began a year ago today, the notion of self-care has become much more important. According to Helen.L.Coons PhD, a clinical health psychologist specialising in behavioural health and wellness at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, “Self-care is one’s actions around our physical, emotional, relational, perhaps professional, educational, and, for some people, spiritual well-being that reflect the way that we take care of ourselves on the most fundamental levels.”

So much has been reported about the impact of the past twelve months on our mental health and wellbeing. People have faced the most challenging of times, so much so that We are After the Storm was born to find a road map for people through it. The nation is taking time to reflect today and over the next week as we mark one year since we first went into lockdown. We don’t want to use this space here to reflect on the loss, but rather consider what we have learnt about the importance of self-care. 

Now is the time to ask yourself how you are doing and to give credence to what you could do to make things better. It is time to find strength to move forward, to find hope and to reconnect, first with yourself, then with the world. 

Practicing self-care is different for all of us. It might mean reading a book in the bath once a week, enjoying a walk by yourself or simply sitting in silence with a cup of coffee. Most importantly, it means time dedicated to you so you have enough in the tank to take those vital steps forward in a post-Covid world. 

If you need help or support with any of the issues we discuss in our blog, please take a look at our service providers who are there to help you.