The past year or two have been super stressful and drastically changed the way we live our lives. Now, as we start moving into the post-pandemic world re-entry anxiety is very real. Whether it's the new adjustments to life because of Covid or something completely different, self care is one of the best ways you can look after yourself.
So, what is self care? According to renowned healer, emotional trauma expert and founder of Divine Empowerment Antonia Harman, in short, self-care covers any time you take to nourish yourself. “It can be a huge range of things, from bubble baths, to meditation, to doing your favourite activities – you know, truly taking time for yourself,” she expands. Below are a top list of ideas to practise self care for absolutely free!
1. Get outside into nature
We may live in a city, but Leeds and the surrounding areas have loads of green places and nice nature trails! Why not go down to Meanwood Urban Valley Farm and see the animals, then walk through the Sugarwell Hill nature trail just behind? Or if you're looking for a big park, why not try Roundhay Park and check out all the swans? Otley Chevin forest is another great place for a walk, full of trees. Slightly further a field, why not take a short journey to Ilkley and walk the moors? Fresh air and sunlight will do you the world of good!
2. Get your body moving
There's countless YouTube and Instagram live workouts you can watch for free! Not to mention our Pilates and Yoga sessions we also run for free! Exercise gets your endorphins pumping, even ten minutes will be a massive benefit!
3. Practise your breathing
Antonia Harman recommends breathing in for 7 seconds, hold for 5, then breathe out for 7 and hold for 5, then repeat. Once you've mastered this then try extending the seconds.
4. Try meditating
Meditation is brilliant for improving mental clarity. If you would rather have a guided meditations there's loads of videos online. if you have a Spotify student account, you can download the Headspace app for free as part of your subscription. Headspace has a whole meditation sections with loads of different videos and topics, as well as 'sleep', 'move' and 'focus' videos!
5. Practise daily gratitude
Practising gratitude is a really important part of maintaining a positive mindset. Keep a notebook, and write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. It could be anything, from the sun is shining to the love of your family. It's a great way to start re-wiring your brain to focus on the positive.
These are just a few ideas but there's loads more things you can do, from film nights to making sure you're drinking 2 litres of water a day! You can find lots of ideas and inspiration online and tailor your self care experience to you. You can also join our Self Care Society at LAU! Remember to be kind to yourself, and if you are ever feeling overwhelmed you can always talk to us in the Student Union and Student Welfare.
Don't forget to tag @leedsartsunion in all your Welfare Week activities to be entered into our pamper hamper draw! Check out the What's On calendar for even more events here: https://www.leedsartsunion.org.uk/whats-on