This week is National Self Care Week in the UK, and it seems like it's come at a pretty appropriate time. It's half way through the second UK lockdown and with uncertainty over what's going on post-lockdown still looming, it's really important that we continue to look after ourselves. Self care has been a buzzword this year, and rightfully so. In our early adulthood, it's easy to get taken away with the journey and forget to just take a step back and breathe.
This year the slogan is 'Live Self Care for Life'. What this means is kind of up to you and for everyone Self Care looks different. For some it's enjoying a good book, for others it's going out for fresh air, and for another person self care might mean rallying your housemates to finally sort out the mounting pile of crap in the kitchen. The world is an abundance of self care tips; we know we need fresh air, that alcohol should be consumed in moderation, meditation will change your lives, and you don't need us to tell you this.
So we want to use this self care week to let you know that it's okay not to be on top form. If you used to run 10k a day before lockdown and now you can only manage that a week, it doesn't matter. Had one too many pizzas? Same. Finding it harder to concentrate on lectures? Me too. Everyone is handling the current socio-economic climate differently, and that's okay. We're only human, and we all need to be patient with each other and respect that whilst you might be fine, someone else might not be.
Sometimes it's hard to put ourselves first, particularly in such worrying times, but it's important that we put our mask on before we help others (pardon the pun). Taking time to check in with ourselves is one of the most important things that we can do to avoid burnout, address our mental health, and be in the best position to help the people we care about. Take the rest of this week for yourself, and give yourself whatever it is you need to keep your happiness and well-being as a priority. It could be as simple as watching the sunset from your favourite spot, Marie Kondo-ing your instagram, or even something more complex like asking for help for yourself or someone close to you.
What I'm trying to say is that we're all here, together, navigating this weird new way of living. No matter whether your mental health has taken a bit of a hit, if you miss your friends and family, or you're bizarrely enjoying a slower pace of life, we are all in this and you are not alone. There are people that care about you and have your back, and we're so lucky to have a community here that look out for eachother.
Here are some great resources:
- If you are struggling with your mental health, SU Advice or Student Services are available. If you would like to contact someone off campus, the Samaritans are great
- BANES talking therapies is a counselling self-referral based in Bath which you can reach out to in order to discuss options for long-term support
- Look After Your Mate guide is a great guide for anyone who is supporting someone else going through a tough time
- Nightline is a student-led listening service that runs every evening of term time from 20:00 - 08:00
- Headspace is brilliant for guided meditation - plus they do a deal for students
- Student Groups are still running activities throughout lockdown if you need a bit of social time away from your housemates