News and opinion Opinion Let’s get back to basics - Self-care week 2020 Let’s get back to basics. #Selfcare isn’t just about doing a facemask and having a bath on a Sunday night. #Wellbeing is not just about taking a yoga class or doing meditation. Self-care is brushing your teeth before going to bed at midnight after two glasses of wine when you honestly just cannot be bothered. Looking after your wellbeing is having a shower and getting dressed in the morning when it would be so much easier to just stay in your pyjamas. It’s eating at least one vegetable a day, and three meals – one of which preferably does not contain bread, cheese, or pasta. I’m not saying that facemasks, baths, yoga, and meditation are not good activities for looking after yourself – quite the opposite actually. I’m saying that things are hard at the moment, and when life gets really difficult, on the days when even getting out of bed seems like a challenge, we need to take it back to basics. When I’m feeling crap, all I want to do is sit on the couch and stare at the telly, whilst eating a family sized bar of Dairy Milk. The idea of this seems great, but afterwards I feel 100 x worse and there’s now an unavoidable feeling of guilt hanging over me in addition to everything else. What actually helps is getting up, making my bed, opening the curtains, and getting dressed. “Making an effort” can literally feel like too much effort sometimes, but even putting on a favourite item of clothing and a bit of make-up can transform my mood. Cooking is something else that can sometimes feel entirely out of the question. To prepare for days like this, I recommend making double portions of recipes on days when you do have the energy and storing them in the fridge or freezer until you need them. Your mind and body will thank you for it, I promise. Jack Monroe has some brilliant recipes on her blog – available here – and they are all aimed at being healthy, easy to make, and budget friendly. To help you look after yourself, we have made this checklist for you to use. If you are finding that there are days when the world just seems too hard right now, I hope that you find this checklist helpful. Start just by doing one thing on the list, and then two, and work your way up to tackling the full list every day. Don’t forget that you can contact us to find out about support services that are available in your area.