When hearing the words “self-care,” some people may think it means indulging yourself, such as getting a massage or buying yourself a treat. In some ways it can include these types of things, but it is also much more. Whatever your form of self-care, there is real value in taking care of yourself in simple, regular ways. For you, it might be your daily walk through the neighbourhood, a good chat with a friend or a session with a therapist.
Taking care of your physical and mental health can help you handle difficult experiences, help you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities and improve your ability to regain some control after you’ve been through a tough time.
Of course, many things can affect mental well-being, and they aren’t all within our control. But, having things to look forward to and putting aside time to prioritize yourself are important parts of everyone’s well-being. As many of us learn the hard way, you can’t do your best for anyone else if you’re not showing up for yourself.
If even the small things seem challenging or you’re finding that emotions like sadness, worry, loneliness or anger are long-lasting or interfering with your daily routines, it may be time to reach out for help. This is another important act of self-care itself.
There are many free and credible mental health resources available online, including self-guided therapy, one-on-one counselling with qualified health professionals and moderated peer-to-peer support. You can find more information about these resources at canada.ca/mental-health.