Mental Health is not just about understanding the illnesses, but also how you can help your mental health and also prevent mental illnesses. To do this, you need a self-care plan. Everyone will have a different way to approach it and traumas and mental health issues play a part in making sure that you pick the correct steps to perfect your routine.
A good self-care plan should help reduce stress, time management, relaxation, mindfulness, avoid procrastination, create assertiveness and create healthy habits.
What is Self-care?
Self-care is taking care of yourself so that you are functioning at your best to take care of the people and duties that are counting on you. Often when people hear self-care, they immediately think of taking time to be self-indulgent and have the ‘me’ time. But his is a misconception about what self-care actually means.
Basically, self-care means looking after all aspects of your health and wellbeing. From eating the right foods, maintaining your personal hygiene, getting enough sleep, communicating with love ones and regular exercise, right through to taking time out to just ‘relax and chill’. Self-care means being aware of everything you need to do to keep your mind and body fit and healthy.
We asked our WAYS staff, what they do for self-care and to give you some ideas:
- Ensure I eat food I love to eat
- I research foods I love and spend time sourcing it and enjoy cooking it
- I spend time with positive people
- I ensure I spend time doing fun things with my nieces and nephew
- I mediate to theta and alpha brain state 20 mins every day
- I make sure I get enough sleep
- I plan dream holidays!!!
- I ensure I am consciously grateful for any positive elements in my life and remind myself of this as often as I can.
Alfonse (RTO teacher):
- Start my morning with a good breathing exercise for at least 30 mins every day as a pattern
- relax, have a coffee and start reading and answering my personal emails [not work] from family overseas and friends
- at around 06:30 am, I have breakfast and enjoy watching the Australian local news at the same time
- at around 07:00 am, in a very relaxing way, I access the news in France, Spain, USA, Venezuela… and get informed of what is going on around the world
- at 08:00 I am getting now ready to start my WFH activities which are full-on, starting by reading emails on my Inbox at WAYS and reply if needed to some of them
- In the late afternoon, I do catch up with friends, family members… by calling them, talking about important or simple and humble things and basically feeling good and chilled-out
- When the weather allows it, I do walk out of my place near the beach and simply walk with no pressure and allowing myself to be free, relax and in touch with the environment
- Some days, many other activities happen at night, during Monday to Wednesday [my working days] as needed otherwise, reading, watching a movie, a documentary. etc are part of it
Luke (Adolescent and Family Psychologist):
- Scheduling downtime to unwind each day
- Sticking to a regular sleep routine (minimum 8 ½ hours)
- Exercising at least three times per week
- Connecting with family and friends
- Spending time in my relaxing place – the beach
- Practising mindfulness, for example, being present by engaging with my surroundings when I am outdoors or noticing from moment-to-moment thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in my body
- I make sure that I walk for at least 45 minutes a day and listen to a podcast, it’s the best way to switch off!
- My best friend is often asleep when I’m awake (she’s in the UK) so we leave each other daily voice notes which is my daily giggle!
- I always make sure that I plan to see friends at the weekend
- Weekly family facetime
Billie (RTO Coordinator):
- Billie (RTO Coordinator)
- I like to call family and friends that are overseas
- I love spending time with friends listening to music
- I love going out on my bike
- Cleaning my apartment
- Baking or cooking something nice to enjoy
Christina (Case Manager):
- I find that going for a run is the absolute best way to clear my head.
- I try to do this at least three times per week.
- I also love making dinners with friends and watching movies!
- Another great form of escapism is reading a good book!
- Having long phone calls with my Mum and with my best friends is one of the best things I can do for my mental health.
- Exercise daily
- Walk at least 10,000 steps per day
- Wake up for a sunrise coastal walk at least twice a week
- Walk with friends
- Spend quality time with my friends and partner
- Facetiming family at home
Now your next step is to put together a plan for your mental health. Write down all the things that make you happy and put these steps into your daily routine. You should have at least 5 things you are doing everyday.