The importance of self-care

Article written by Helena O’Leary – Book Reviewer at Quinn’s Quill, a daily online magazine for Munster.

Take time to look after yourself and the bad days will become that bit more manageable.

It was only in the last couple of years that I started to pay attention to self-care and its benefits. I guess I was too busy looking all around me at external factors that were causing my bad days rather than looking inward at how I processed things, coped with stress, or why I perceived life the way I did.

My self-care started with a list that read “Do the following if you’re just having a shit day”. It included things like open the curtains, go for a shower, get some fresh air, play your favourite music… very manageable self-care. Some days I only managed two or three things from my ten-point list, and that was ok too. I had to start somewhere.

Getting some fresh air and exercise is a great way to practice self-care.
Getting some fresh air and exercise is a great way to practice self-care.

From this list, I graduated to post-its stuck to my mirror that contained compliments I had received from friends and family, or things I liked about myself and positive mantras. I would make a point of reading each out every morning while getting ready for work.

I had embarked on my self-care journey and though it was in the baby steps stages, I could already see the benefits. Notably, I felt better about myself, I was calmer, and I was able to recognise when a bad day was coming (most of the time) before it hit me.

I began to dedicate more of my time to self-care, which resulted in me having more time to do everything else too because before self-care I was wasting a lot of time on negativity.

I stopped being so fearful of myself and because of this I did things I had never really tried before. For instance, I took up painting, I joined a choir, I started my own book club.

I get out for walks, I have created many playlists because I adore music, I spend time with people who energise and inspire me, and I get creative whenever I can.

Self-care is something that is defined by you. It is personal to what works for the individual. Take the time to mind yourself, accept your own help and champion yourself to be your favourite version of you.

For more information on how to create a self-care plan, visit our recent article on the benefits of practising self-care.

About the author

Helena O’Leary works in sales and account management by day and is a freelance editor and proofreader by night. She is also a regular contributor to Quinn’s Quill, an online magazine for Munster where, as well as monthly book reviews, she shares her musings on searching for health and happiness. You can contact her through Quinn’s Quill care of the editor (Sandra Quinn) and follow her on Instagram @grateful_writer_helena.