Self-care can be the key to looking after our mental health. But it’s easier said than done. When embarking on our self-care journey, we may quickly discover a range of obstacles in our path. Too many conversations seem to begin “I’d love to do self-care but…”. And yet, it’s vital that we do it. Sometimes the challenge to self-care isn’t so easy to overcome. Especially when it comes to accessibility. Sadly, there will always be things we cannot control. So, how can we think about self-care differently and pivot to make it accessible for us?
For Intentional Self-Care: Why You Need It read here.
Many forms of self-care may be inaccessible to anyone with a disability; both physical and mental. Whether it’s social spaces or creative or exercise groups. All of these may be excellent forms of self-care. But we have to always ask ourselves is there anyone left out when we run an activity in a certain way or space? Who doesn’t feel welcome here? We need to consider this right from the outset. Do we make it clear from our advertising that all our welcome to come and participate in the way they feel comfortable? Are we running self-care opportunities in wheelchair accessible spaces? Is there a hearing loop system? Can people participate in various different ways? Are people accepted for who they are and what they bring? Is the group non-judgemental? Are there both physical and mental health first aiders onsite?
For What You Need to Know about Radical Self-Care read here.
Time is the great enemy to self-care. As I’ve written before, it’s the one activity that most often appears to fall off our to-do list. So, how do we make the time for it? Can we think about self-care in a different way? Viewing it as a necessity rather than a luxury or an option? We may find it useful to book it into our calendars and make it inviolable. An acknowledgement that it’s vital. Not just a nice thing to do if or when we can. We can also build self-care practises into our day. Making self-care routine is one of the best ways of ensuring it happens. When trying to create habits, bolting it on to an activity you always do can be helpful. Always boil the kettle in the morning? Do a 2-min meditation, take a few deep breaths, stand in your front or back garden or by a window. Do a quick yoga flow, press ups/star jumps etc. , create your to-do list, recite some affirmations; the list goes on. Likewise, sometimes we may think half an hour or an hour self-care or nothing. Instead, try doing 5 – 20mins options instead.
For Your Self-Care Routine When You Have No Free Time read here.
Self-care can be viewed, unhelpfully, as a classist or expensive habit. More the luxury of the middle and upper classes. But we’re increasingly learning that this is not true. It is far more than a bubble bath or day at the spa. And we can all find financially accessible options. After all, getting some fresh air, exercising, meditation, deep breathing, setting boundaries, gratitude, creativity, a hot bath, reading, talking with friends etc. can all be done for free or with minimal expenditure. There are countless apps and online videos for meditation, exercise and deep breathing. Likewise for gratitude practise or games/mindful activities to help us escape. Books can be found in libraries, borrowed from friends/family or colleagues or bought second hand online or in charity shops. Art can be done in numerous ways, and there are cheap places to buy materials. And chatting with friends or making connections can be done anywhere or everywhere.
What do you think about making self-care accessible? How can we do it better? What are your thoughts? As always, let us know below