The Self-Care Revolution – Adam’s Journal

18th May 2016 by Catia Neves

Hi all,

I thought I would share something about this well-being Wednesday that I am passionate about (albeit not always very good at it): Self-Care. It’s definitely something that I think D&A will be campaigning about over the next couple of years.

Ok…so Self Care sounds good, but what does it really mean? Well, it’s all about being aware of our well-being but, more importantly, taking active measures to ensure we actually look after ourselves. This sounds easy. But how many of us actually practice Self Care? I think that the way society is set up, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and look after everyone else, and it’s so easy to forget about looking after ourselves. I know this will be particularly true for everyone in D&A, as we have such an amazing community of individuals who provide life-changing support to students daily.

I’ve struggled with this at times, and I still do! Even with things I enjoy, I sometimes need to remember to stop and think about my energy and well-being. I think people struggle to do this because they worry it will come across as selfish and self-important. For example, one of my favourite parts of my role is going around the country telling people how brilliant the D&A team is! Sometimes, when we have many back-to-back meetings at different ends of the country, it can be mentally and physically exhausting. Therefore, I have tried to learn to plan my journeys better and not feel bad about staying over the night before to save energy and cut down on stress in terms of remembering what I need to take with me, travelling, finding the right venue, setting up, then having a clear mind and good energy to deliver the workshops/speech before travelling all the way home in one day. This means I’m looking after myself and delivering better work for D&A.

“Self-care is not self-indulgence, it’s about self-preservation” – Audre Lorde.

I really recommend this TEDX talk about self-care. It shows that by practising self-care, we will actually be in a better emotional and physical state, meaning that we can actually support the people whom we care about and work within our lives much better!

I really hope this encourages us all to think about how changing small things to practise Self Care can make a big difference. Here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to start moving from simply recognising the theory of Self Care and making it a daily practice:

  • Have I slept enough in the past few days?
  • Did I eat enough food?
  • Is an excess of sugar or caffeine affecting my mood?
  • Have I taken time to eat — without driving, watching television, or doing work simultaneously?
  • Am I hydrated?
  • Have I spoken to someone I love today?
  • Have I communicated my needs to somebody, or am I bottling everything up?
  • Have I spent too much time doing/thinking about work?
  • Have I been outside, seen daylight or done any exercise?

Remember, self-care is the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t feel supported in work or in study, self-care is much harder. Explore our Access to Work and Disabled Students’ Allowance guides to ensure that your self-care is built on a foundation of comprehensive support in the places you need it the most.

Let’s join the revolution of self-care!

Adam out!

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