Download the self-care planning fact sheet and template from the Black Dog Institute.
Taking care of your self is a proactive way to contribute to your positive mental health, and can lead to better resilience when dealing with the stresses and challenges of running your business.
In general, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of reducing stress, enhancing energy and ensuring health, physical and mental, is a priority. Self-care can also be about processing emotional reactions to life, and doing things that may seem difficult, like asking for help.
Working long hours has been linked with poorer mental health, fatigue and burnout, as well as increasing the risk of injuries. Improving wellbeing to reduce these risks and poor outcomes is important to individuals, families, workplaces, and communities. Everyone has a role to play. Practicing self-care adds to your positive mental health and wellbeing, providing you with greater capacity to manage stress, increased resilience, and reduced symptoms of ill health.
Self-care can mean different things to different people, so do what works for you. The activities and timing of your self-care must fit into your individual schedule and lifestyle, which will make it easier to do them more regularly.
Here are a few ideas on how you can practice self-care:
- Schedule personal time into your daily routine – whether it is before, after or during work hours, be sure to make it a routine activity.
- Take meal breaks – don’t work through the whole day without a break for some nourishing food, and a moment of down time.
- Get regular exercise – whether it’s walking or running, team sports, or yoga - doing physical activity is an act of self-care and improves your mental health.
- Find ways to unwind every day – this may be exercise or practicing mindfulness, meditation, or watching your favourite TV show.
- Get the right sleep – quality and quantity. Prioritising sleep allows your body and mind to rejuvenate and start fresh and energised in the morning.
- Spend time with or call family and friends – your social health is important to your overall health. Taking time for social interactions is part of caring for yourself.
- Schedule your personal appointments, and attend them! Put the time into your physical, medical, and mental health by using appropriate services, whether it be your GP, counsellor or physiotherapist.
Want to know more?
This guide has been developed by Life in Mind Australia and the National Communications Charter Champions.
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