Self-care and rest

Circle with list of seven types of rest

It’s self-care week (16-22nd Nov) here in the UK, and with many people living with restrictions due to the global pandemic, the message of self-care seems particularly important.

What things count as self-care?

Anything that you enjoy that makes you feel good! (Restrictions allowing.) It could be outdoors or inside, on your own or with others. It could be energising or relaxing. It could be creative or enjoying something someone else has created.

The Self Care Forum’s definition of Self Care is: ‘The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.’

Self-care is daily choices and lifestyle habits that help you care for yourself, maintaining a health life and managing minor ailments or issues.

When routines are disrupted and our usual activities curtailed, it can be easy to forget or lose track of doing things that keep us well – physically, emotionally and mentally. After a while, if things start to unravel, we finally realise just how important that 10 minute walk at lunchtime was, or the weekly chat over lunch with a friend.

Schedule self-care things into your diary

A trick that I find helpful is to schedule a time for something fun or relaxing, setting aside a specific time to do something that recharges my human batteries. This could be setting a time for my yoga practice, or checking the weather and choosing the best time for a walk or a cycle ride that day. Otherwise, I find the day can get too busy and ‘free time’ gets swallowed up. Schedule your self-care activity as you would schedule a meeting.

Is resting self-care?

Self-care and rest doesn’t always mean taking a nap (although I do love a siesta!) or doing nothing, there are other forms of rest. According to physician Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith, there are seven types of rest, and which one you choose depends on what you most need at that time. All seven types count as self-care.

Circle with list of seven types of rest
Image by @shinetext

Seven types of rest:

  • physical
  • mental
  • social
  • sensory
  • emotional
  • creative
  • spiritual

You can take a quiz to see which you type of rest you need most at any particular time, or read more about each one online or look up some of the resources on Dr Dalton-Smith’s website.

What type of rest are you going to take today?

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