Be good to yourself, and life will seem less challenging

You often take great care of those around you but neglect someone really important - YOU. Self-care is more than getting some R&R or pursuing leisure activities. It is essential; not a luxury. It is a commitment to treating yourself with love, kindness and understanding so that you can grow to your fullest potential, fulfill your role and contribute to society.             

Here are five easy ways to do self-care.

1. Be nice to yourself

In healthcare, we often put patients at the centre and forget to look after ourselves. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. It’s time to give yourself a break and a lot more compassion. For example, the next time you spill a drink, tell yourself, “Oh, it’s ok. The cup was wet and slippery. Let’s just make another.” Stop being so harsh on yourself and you will feel the ‘weight’ lifted from your shoulders.

2. Do stuff that you like

 Just as you would spend time with your friends pursuing activities that they enjoy, you need to do things that you like. This will energise you and give you joy.  It does not have to be earth-shattering; small acts suffice. For example, I treat myself to a relaxing cup of green tea whenever I feel a need to chill. 

3. Get out of your comfort zone

Be adventurous.  Allow yourself to explore new things before telling yourself that it is something you don’t like or can’t do.  You may be surprised by the many things that you can actually do. This will imbue you with a newfound confidence and strength.

4. Activate the warm & fuzzy

Thinking about those who mean a lot to you immediately gives you a rush of warm feelings. Remember those feelings and tap into them the next time you are unhappy or stressed. Activating these warm feelings within you help to free yourself from negative feelings, puts you in a better position to manage stress, and helps you to rejuvenate yourself.     

5. Be your own best friend

Instead of nasty self-talk, focus on your good qualities and talents. Put your own needs first. And be compassionate towards yourself. By creating your own internal support system, you will be able to help yourself in times of need.

There will always be challenges in life. If you practise these five self-care tips, no matter what circumstances you encounter, you will have it within you to overcome.

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