When we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed our internal resources can run low. When our resources are running low, we have reduced capacity to make good choices. You know when you are too tired to face even getting yourself ready for bed? Or when you are so hungry you can’t decide what to eat? We need to be fuelled and rested in order to make good decisions, including regarding how to take best care of ourselves.
Activity: What’s in your first aid kit?
If your resources are running low, it helps to have a ready-prepared list of ideas and suggestions for what you could do to feel better. Self-care isn’t all about spa days and face masks (though some of us wouldn’t say no to that); it’s about the small things we can do to make sure we feel nourished.
So grab a piece of paper and draw a box that represents your “wellbeing first aid kit”. This is going to hold the “medicines” that you know make you feel better when you feel low or frazzled or anxious. Here’s an example below, but when you do your own, be specific: don’t just write ‘favourite film’, think about what films really lift your spirits and list them (and where to access them, e.g. DVD, Netflix, etc.). Remember: make this resources as easy to use as possible, so when you open your First Aid Kit, you have a selection of tonics to soothe the soul ready and waiting to be chosen.
You may also be interested in this episode of the podcast R, D and the In-betweens where Researcher Development Manager Kelly Preece talks to Jayne Hardy from The Blurt Foundation about wellbeing and self-care in HE.