Kate Garraway is a fan of self care. The Good Morning Britain presenter has revealed that she makes time to give herself the "gift of doing something that only helps me".
Garraway, 56, has been caring for her husband Derek Draper since he developed a serious case of Covid in 2020 that resulted in lasting damage to his organs.
"I've been experimenting with ways to take control of my own happiness. I now deliberately carve out time to give myself the gift of doing something that only helps me," Garraway told Good Housekeeping.
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"It might be only 10 minutes of something physical, such as stretching, pottering in the garden with a mug of tea, or reading something not related to work and I’ve put some fun girls' nights in the diary with (GMB presenters) Charlotte Hawkins, Ranvir Singh and Susanna Reid."
What is self care?
Self care is common and you probably practice it without knowing. It can be the 15 minutes you take to read a book each night, or your weekly non-negotiable bubble bath or even your regular run.
"Self-care is a holistic approach to nurturing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being," resilience and well-being coach Tianne Croshaw says.
"It's about consciously investing time and effort in activities that recharge and revitalise you. Self-care isn't indulgence; it's a fundamental practice that empowers you to navigate life's challenges with resilience."
Self care looks different for everyone
While for one person (aka Garraway) self care may look like pottering in the garden, it may look like something completely different for someone else.
"Everyone has their own version of self-care," NLP practitioner Nicci Roscoe says.
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"Some may feel that maintaining a healthy balanced diet, going to the gym regularly, having a massage or pampering themselves at the beauty salon is the answer while others may think that taking time out going to the movies, having a holiday, going out for dinner with friends, dancing and in general going out having fun is giving them what they need away from their regular routine.
"Just putting your feet up with a cup of tea and watching your favourite soap may be your answer to self-care and time for you."
Self care can go much deeper than simply running a bubble bath, however, Croshaw advises seeking out activities that "rejuvenate your mind, body and soul".
"Self-care extends far beyond relaxation rituals," she adds. "While these activities can be part of self-care, it also encompasses emotional self-awareness, setting boundaries, nourishing your body with nutritious food, practicing mindfulness, and seeking support when needed."
The benefits of self care
Self care can help to reduce stress, enhance emotional resilience, improve focus, and boost overall mental health, Croshaw says.
"By prioritising self-care, you equip yourself to better manage life's pressures, promote a positive self-image, and cultivate emotional balance," she adds.
Roscoe says that self care can have a positive impact on your mental health.
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"By taking care of yourself and having regular ‘special quality time’, you can have a positive impact on your mental health," she explains.
"If you are in a situation that is surrounded by negativity and uncertainty, giving yourself just five or 10 minutes throughout your day to just breathe can change your perspective and help you manage challenging situations."
How to practice self care
Both Roscoe and Croshaw recommend finding daily pockets to practice self care, which can be as little as five minutes per day.
"The frequency of self-care practices can vary. Ideally, aim for daily mini-moments of self-care and weekly deeper dives into rejuvenation," Croshaw suggests.
"To carve out time, start by setting boundaries around your schedule, communicate your needs with loved ones, and treat self-care as a non-negotiable part of your routine. Remember, investing in your well-being is an investment in a healthier, happier you."