SELF CARE

Self care consists of actions and attitudes which can contribute to the maintenance of well-being. It's about intentionally and unintentionally engaging in thoughts and/or actions that may have positive and affirming impacts on our mind, body, and spirit.

School, work, extracurricular involvement, and other aspects of our life can be rewarding but it can also be both mentally and physically draining. Every person has needs that need to be fulfilled in order for optimal well-being to be achieved.

EVERYONE HAS NEEDS


IF YOUR NEEDS ARE NOT MET, YOU MAY BE MORE LIKELY TO:

  • Become irritable or short tempered
  • Be resentful
  • Experience anxiety
  • Be exhausted and/or feel overwhelmed
  • Be scared
  • Develop a mental health problem (i.e. depression, anxiety disorder, etc.)


Thus, it is important to remember to try to maintain a healthy balance while also recognizing that it is OK to put your needs first. Being aware of your limits, and respecting them, is one way to care for yourself. Noticing any changes in your habits, attitudes, and moods can be a helpful way to see how you are doing.

TIPS FOR SELF CARE


GET ACTIVE
  • Make time for physical activity
  • Spend some time outdoors

NOTICE WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY
  • Eat a well balanced diet consisting of regular meals and snacks throughout the day
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Monitor your intake of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (these substances will often aggravate stress rather than relax

ENJOY SOME REST AND RELAXATION
  • Recognize that everyone needs quiet time to relax, be alone, and recharge
  • Keep a journal
  • Make sure you are getting just the right amount of sleep (try 7-9 hours)
  • Try relaxation exercises

SPEND TIME WITH OTHERS
  • Talk to someone
  • Enjoy time with friends
  • Play with a pet

DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
  • Treat yourself to something
  • Read
  • Listen to or play music
  • Watch a movie
  • Take a bath
  • Do something that makes you laugh

KNOW AND RESPECT YOUR LIMITS
  • Confront and work through your feelings regarding stress and taking time for yourself
  • Remember you can always say no: turn down extra projects, invitations, or work that you do not have the time or energy for

ASK FOR HELP
  • You can ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP instead of taking on everything yourself
  • If you need help, there are people at McGill who are here to support you

Note that the above is not an exhaustive list of self care practices. You can include many other activities in your self care plan. While self care is great, it is certainly not one size fits all. Seeking treatment when needed is self care. It's important to find ways of self care and practice it in ways that are right for you.