Top of the list for good emotional health is self-care. Self-care as a phrase gets used a lot, but it really is a simple concept. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Imagine a “care cup” – it’s important to keep our care cup topped up. You may have heard the phrase “ you can’t pour from empty.” While it may sound cliche, there’s a lot of truth in this phrase. If we are not taking the time to look after ourselves and are stressed, tired, overwhelmed, you are much less likely to have the resilience to cope when times are tougher.

Here are some ideas to keep your “care cup” topped up:

  • Get enough sleep. Adults usually need 7-8 hours each night.
  • Have a healthy, nutritious diet.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Go to yoga
  • Use relaxation exercises
  • Practice meditation
  • Spend time with your family and friends
  • Take time away from work – turn off those emails on the weekend!
  • Do at least one relaxing activity every day
  • Do at least one fun activity every day

Sometimes we can feel guilty when we do things for ourselves. It’s easy to think that you “should” be working, doing those household chores, calling a family member etc. But in fact taking the time to look after our emotional health means you will be productive when you are working, better able to care for others and most importantly, you’ll feel better. It’s an important investment, and one that we often neglect with our hectic 24/7 lifestyles.