Featured on UnisonFund.ca Written By: Kathryn Hummel
As International Self-Care Day approaches on July 24, we encourage you this week to look within and think about what self-care means to you. It’s something that looks different to everyone. Although a broad term, it’s very important that each of us pay attention to the needs of our mental, emotional, and physical health. This is key to improving mood, self-esteem and sustaining a good relationship with ourselves and others.
First and foremost, consider how much time in a day and/or week you prioritize time for yourself. This means, doing something that makes you feel good and provides relaxation. Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, it’s a choice and it takes practice.
In today’s world, many of us put others’ needs before our own and may continue to neglect our own needs, which can result in many negative aspects. Be aware of what you do, why you do it, how it feels, and what the outcomes are. Tuning into knowing when your energy is running low and stepping back to replenish it, rather than letting it drain away, can be a game changer in one’s life to help avoid burnout.
Taking care of yourself not only enables you to live a healthy life, but also allows you to operate in a conscious and present mindset, protecting your own well-being and happiness.
When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish. In truth, self-care gives you the resources and energy you need to be compassionate to others. Giving compassion is a bit like filling a bucket. You can’t fill someone else’s if you don’t have enough of your own!
Here’s a few ways to incorporate self-care into your routine and/or consider how you can prioritize more time for yourself.
- Self-awareness of physical and mental conditions – listen to your body, don’t be afraid to say “no” when you are emotionally drained, attend doctor follow-ups, talk to someone when need be
- Get enough sleep
- Laugh – unwind with a comedic movie or novel, or visit friends
- Do relaxing activities everyday – whether it’s going for a walk or another pastime that helps you unwind
- Healthy eating – incorporate balanced meals into your life, find a happy medium between foods that nourish your body and treats to enjoy indulgences
- Do one pleasurable thing a day – read a book, journal, go to the movies, spend time in nature, etc.
- Physical activity – increase serotonin levels, mood, and energy – choose a form that you like
- Spend enough time with loved ones
- Set personal boundaries – i.e don’t check emails at night, limit relationships with toxic people, etc.
- Smile at yourself in the mirror
While these little things seem simple, they can actually be difficult tasks to adopt as habits. Wherever you are on your self-care journey, Unison is here to help guide you.
Looking to take better care of yourself? It’s okay to ask for a little help. Unison’s Counselling & Health Solutions is available for Canadian music professionals in times of need. Register for free and call 1-855-9UNISON to receive counselling assistance with issues like mental health, nutrition advice, finding a work/life balance, relationship advice, and more.