Gemma McCaw on why you should make wellbeing your number one priority

It’s about remembering the small things we can do each day to help us feel good and function well.

It’s impossible to pour from an empty cup and when it comes to our wellbeing, we must continually replenish our stores and take care of ourselves to ensure we’re at our best.

Self-care is all about looking after yourself, and finding time for things that feed your body, mind and soul. It doesn’t have to be expensive spa retreats, cucumber facials and exotic holidays (but if that’s what you’re into, then fill your boots!). Instead, it’s about remembering the small things we can do each day to help us feel good and function well.

There is a simple truth when the flight attendant tells us to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others. How could we possibly help someone else if we’re gasping for air ourselves?!

Don’t wait till later

Start prioritising your “me time”, even if it’s just grabbing a few minutes to yourself each day. Try taking five minutes to sit down to drink your cup of tea, listen to your favourite song and dance (it will make you feel good) or make time for a phone call with a loved one.

Manage your stress

You can’t make stress go away, but you can learn to manage it. If you are under prolonged stress, you run the risk of burning out and exhausting your internal resources. The first step is being mindful, understanding what causes your stress and looking at ways to minimise it.

Know that it is ok to say no

Putting yourself first is essential and knowing when to say no can ensure you are not overcommitted. Saying it in a way that lets the person know how you are feeling allows you to take control of what is best for you at that time.

Make some ‘me time’

Just like any other important appointment, schedule in some time just for you and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be for long, but it does require planning. Whether it’s an upcoming show or movie, book in events that you can look forward to in advance.

Be at your best through your own means

Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so find out what works for you. While some people prefer to connect with friends to recharge their batteries, others may seek solitude. You are unique, so think about what simple things you can do in your day to make you feel your best.

Get some exercise

When you take care of your body, you reap the rewards mentally and emotionally. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and nourishing your body with quality food are so important. Something as simple as a 30-minute walk after work or during your lunch break, or having a consistent bedtime routine can make all the difference.

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