Be kind to yourself

By: Dr Isabelle Duck

‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance’ stated the remarkable Oscar Wilde. This statement has more weight now than ever. During the peak of Covid-19 and the lockdown, many of us were checking on vulnerable neighbours looking after children and regularly calling elderly family members. We were delivering food to others in need, keeping toddlers occupied and home schooling our teenagers.

Now that the virus numbers have dropped, we must take some time to heal ourselves.  Here, the effects of Covid-19 have been small compared to other countries, however there will be psychological wounds: anxieties about jobs, the economy, and worries about family overseas. Many will feel these concerns.

It is in such times when self-care must come into play. Now that things seem to be settling, let us take the time to momentarily withdraw from the unpredictability of life, take a deep breath, and reset. What is self-care? This can be anything from making a cup of tea to having a hot bath. It can mean having a chat with a friend or taking an hour or two to read a book or to watch the television. It is not a selfish act, and can often positively impact other aspects of life.

I hope that each of us can say that we have grown in some way as a result of the recent challenges, and now that things are slowly getting back to normal, it is a good time to focus a bit on ourselves. This will be easier for some, more than others. For example, the busy mother of three will find it hard to find the time for herself, but this is important.

As a General Practitioner, I talk a lot about self-care to patients. I do, however, believe we all know that this is an essential aspect of health and wellbeing but sometimes it is good to be reminded. On that note, please do not ignore medical concerns. Don’t forget to book in your annual blood pressure check. If you are feeling low, please don’t suffer. Visit your GP.

So let me say this. Permit yourself to take some time out. Take 30 minutes for a run, meet a friend for coffee, do some baking or do anything that you find relaxing.  We underestimate the beneficial effects of self-care and how it can positively impact other aspects of life.

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