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Emma Jane, from the team at Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, talks about what self care means to her and shares her tips for how you can prioritise self care in your own life, as caring for yourself first enables you to, ultimately, better support the people in your life.

Video Transcript

EMMA-JANE

We tend to think that self-care is a waste of time.If we were taught that sitting in the park and relaxing for two hours was praiseworthy, we will be proud of taking care of ourselves. Yet we need to give ourselves permission to do a little less. We feel guilty for doing what we should be doing.  

Self care isn't a selfish act, it's knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves. Lack of self-care can cause a decline in our mental, physical and emotional health. To take care of ourselves is restorative, it improves our mood, reduces our anxieties and can make us happier. When you take care of yourself and are not stressed, you are able to meet the needs of others.

An idea would be to start small and learn to take mini breaks. Give yourself permission to stop multitasking constantly. Taking a mini break will remind you that you're worth it and you are in control. I myself have a job, a child, a mother with dementia and a husband with a ME that I am responsible for. I had to become more mindful of my own needs as I was struggling to cope in every way. I had to stop and allow myself the space I needed to look after me first. By making small alterations to my daily routine I felt better and more able to support the people I care about.

Limit your to-do list to just five things. How many times do you lie on your pillow at night with the satisfaction that you've got everything done on your list? Hardly ever, because your to-do list will be long and impossible to complete. Demanding less of yourself will reduce your stress levels. Just because we can do more does not mean that we must. Taking care of you is very important and has to be a priority.