Self-care strategies

Self-care is the activities that we choose to complete regularly for our own health and wellbeing. You may have been engaging in self-care activities and not even realised it.

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Key takeaways

  • Self-care can benefit your health and wellbeing. It can be helpful to make time for the following:
    • positive activities
    • staying connected with others
    • practicing relaxation techniques
    • developing a good sleep routine.
  • It takes time to build a consistent routine. Try picking one area you would like to focus on for the week and dedicate time each day to work on it. Once this becomes part of your routine you can try another area to work on.
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Self-care will look differently for everybody, and the key is finding ways that work for you. If you are unsure of where to start you could speak to your nominated treating doctor (NTD) or a psychologist.

Have a think about before your injury and which of the following self-care activities you did regularly:

  • deep breathing or meditation
  • exercising
  • walking for leisure
  • listening to music
  • reading
  • seeing friends or family socially
  • having lunch or a chat with a work colleague
  • participating in a hobby
  • relaxing in the bath.

Now take a minute to consider which activities you still do now.

When you sustain an injury, your ability to engage with your usual self-care strategies may be impacted. Take a moment to review which ones you currently do and consider whether you need to add in different activities or increase the time spent engaging in self-care activities.

Along with the activities mentioned above you could consider the following positive activities:

  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • eating healthy, balanced meals
  • journaling
  • yoga or stretching
  • watching or listening to something that makes you laugh.
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Staying connected with others

Maintaining a connection with other people is also considered a self-care activity.

You can stay connected with others in lots of different ways:

  • catch up for a coffee with a friend
  • make time to call someone for a chat
  • spend time with family members
  • join a group that shares a common interest
  • speak to your NTD about whether you have capacity to consider volunteer work.
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Relaxation can seem difficult especially if you are experiencing stress, anxiety or tension. Learning to relax can take a bit of practice.

Taking time out each day to practice relaxation techniques can help you to learn these skills, giving you a tool to help when you may be stressed or tense.

There are many different types of relaxation techniques and you may need to try a few to see which one works best for you.

You could try:

  • guided visualisation
  • breathing exercises
  • muscle relaxation.

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Having an injury can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep. Setting up a good bedtime routine is an important self-care activity that can help improve your sleep and overall wellbeing.

Eight tips for healthy sleep:

  1. Have a regular sleep routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Don't lie in bed trying to sleep. If you are struggling to go to sleep, stop trying, instead go do something relaxing and give sleep another go a bit later.
  3. Use your bed for sleep, not for watching TV, your phone or computer.
  4. Relax before bed and avoid using your phone or computer for at least an hour before bed.
  5. Make sure the environment in your bedroom is right. Consider the temperature and whether the bedroom is dark enough.
  6. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes.
  7. Try not to nap during the day.
  8. If you are still struggling to sleep discuss this with your nominated treating doctor.
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