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When you think about care, both physical and mental symptoms come to mind. Self care is hugely important, no matter how old we are. Learning to take care of ourselves can reduce stress, improve our moods and have a huge impact on quality of life.

Our blog this month at Horizon Care looks into the impact that self care can have.

What is Self Care?

It may seem like an obvious question, but understanding self care isn’t always straight forward. In the easiest terms it’s about taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. We all experience difficulties in life and it’s important that we recognise when to put ourselves first. If done right, self care can improve your mood, reduce things like anxiety and stress, and give you a better sense of yourself.

However, it isn’t about doing things because you feel like you have to or not seeking help when you need it. While caring for yourself promotes healthy living and lifestyle, it is still important to seek medical help if necessary. Self care is about balance and not risking your own safety.

Learning to Help Yourself

There are a few ways that you can improve your quality of life, regardless of what age you are. Mind, a charity for mental health, has some great tips online for learning about caring for yourself. Learning to care for yourself can be anything. Whether it’s making yourself a cup of tea or going to regular exercise classes, the variety is endless.

For those with long term conditions, it can be helpful to discuss self caring with your GP, nurse, consultant, or other professional. They will be able to talk about what is possible as well as your own medical requirements.

Healthy Eating and Lifestyles

For most people a healthy lifestyle can help to improve their quality of life. Eating fruits and vegetables and socialising regularly can have a huge impact on your life. Feeling empowered to do something each day can lift moods and also give you many different skills.

For those who are able to, going to a group class or meeting is a great idea. This could be exercise based, a book club or a variety of other things. Most local areas have different activities to take part in, so it’s worth looking out for meetings or open days.

Sleep is Important

Sometimes it is easier said than done, but getting enough sleep each night is key. It’s recommended that adults need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours per night. This gives the brain and body enough time to recuperate, preparing you for the next day.

Falling asleep and staying asleep can be difficult for some. If this applies to you, then think about some ways that you can improve your rest. Reading a book before bed can help to put you into the right mood for sleep, as can simple stretches, listening to music, and baths. For those that have thoughts running through their minds, writing a journal or keeping an organiser can help to put your mind at ease.

There are also plenty of natural and holistic sleeping aids available to try. Whilst this might not be for everyone, it could work for you. This includes options like creams, sprays, teas and more.

What Can I Do?

On top of the options mentioned above, there are plenty of things to be done! Think about activities that make you smile or something you love but haven’t done for a while. Some great examples of self care can be:

  • Exercising
  • Cleaning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Yoga
  • Listening to Music
  • Relaxing
  • Being Outdoors
  • Socialising

There are many more options and plenty of advice online. Some great places to go include the NHS website, Mind and Age UK.