Self-care tips

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If you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or what they do online, we encourage you to get support by working through these sections and contacting our anonymous helpline.

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Self-care is important because it helps to improve our own physical, mental and emotional health. It helps us to deal with the challenges we face.

Taking time for self-care can seem very difficult when you are in the middle of huge, life-altering challenges and experiencing a range of emotions. But spending time focusing on your self-care will give you the physical, emotional and mental strength to cope better.

Improving your self-care doesn’t need to be time consuming. Here are some examples (see below for tips):

  • get a good night’s sleep
  • drink lots of water
  • go for a brisk walk
  • take a relaxing bath
  • say no to something you do not want to do – boundaries are important
  • listen to your favourite music
  • watch a favourite film
  • make something healthy for dinner
  • listen to your favourite music
  • make a list of 5 or more things you like about yourself
  • spend time with loved ones or people you trust.

Types of self-care

 

Calming techniques

Different things can help when we are feeling anxious, stressed, uncomfortable or emotionally distressed. Some strategies will be more effective than others for different people, and it is about finding out which ones work for you. Here are some examples.

 

Tips to help you sleep

Following routines and practices can help good quality sleep. This is sometimes called ‘sleep hygiene’. Here are some things to try.

  • Aim to have a regular sleep pattern by waking up and going to bed at the same time each day of the week. People can choose to stay up late during the weekend which then impacts the time they wake the following day, but by doing this, it can disrupt sleep patterns the following week.
  • Avoid daytime napping. If you do nap, it is best to avoid napping for longer than 30 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and food consumption too close to bedtime. Tea, coffee, colas drinks and chocolate with caffeine can disrupt sleep if consumed in the evening.
  • Regular exercise can help you sleep well.
  • Daily exposure to natural light helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
  • Use your bed for sleep, rather than as a place to read, watch TV, listen to the radio, or use your phone, laptop or tablet. That way, the bed becomes associated with sleep rather than with these other activities.
  • Think about whether your bedroom might be making it harder for you to sleep, for example, temperature, uncomfortable bed, inadequate curtains or blinds.
  • Try to avoid mentally engaging activities close to bedtime. It can take some time for the mind to switch off and if you are feeling alert you are less likely to fall asleep.

It might take some time before the positive changes you make to your sleep routines take effect. If you regularly find you are having problems with your sleep-wake cycles or are feeling sleepy during the daytime, you should take advice from your GP.

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