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Looking After Yourself - Why It’s Important & Where to Get Help

Learning how to look after yourself well is one of the most important life skills that you can have.

February 16 2023 - 3 min read

When you know how to look after yourself, you know what you need to do to keep yourself healthy, mentally well, strong, and able to do the things that you need or want to do each day.

Don’t worry if you are not sure where to start with looking after yourself. If nobody has ever shown you how to look after yourself properly, or you haven’t had any good examples in your life so far of people who look after themselves well, then it’s normal that you might not be sure what it looks like or why it’s important. Keep reading to find out more about what looking after yourself looks like, why it’s important, and where you can get help to learn.

What Is Looking After Yourself?

Looking after yourself means doing the best things for you. This might look like eating a balanced diet with lots of healthy foods to make sure that your body is getting the right nutrients like vitamins. Drinking plenty of water every day to make sure that you stay hydrated is looking after yourself to make sure that your body gets what it needs. Exercising regularly, such as going for a walk, swim or bike ride is another way to look after yourself, as physical activity will help both your body and your mind.

There are lots of things you can do on a regular basis to look after yourself. And they are easy things we can do each day that makes a real difference. When you brush your teeth every day, for example, this is looking after yourself to keep your teeth healthy and strong. You’re looking after yourself by simply keeping yourself clean when you take a shower or bath to wash your body. Making sure that you go to bed at a reasonable time and get enough sleep each night is another way that you might look after yourself.

Different Types of Looking After Yourself

There are two main types of looking after yourself. These are looking after yourself physically, such as doing the things that are mentioned above. This is anything that involves looking after your body like eating healthy food, brushing your teeth regularly, sleeping well, and getting exercise.

But it’s also important to look after yourself mentally. This means doing things that are good for your mental health and mood. Unlike physical care in which we all need pretty much the same thing, looking after our mental health can be different for us all. Our background, life experience, and current daily challenges all have a bearing on our mental health and what steps we might need to take to help us feel and remain healthy. Some people may need to speak to a therapist or counsellor about how they are feeling, this isn’t unusual for young people in foster care, as your lives haven’t been straightforward and you’ve had challenges to overcome. But also talking to your foster parent or social worker about your feelings can help too. There are many other simple steps we can take to improve our mental health too, which put us in charge of ourselves. Setting healthy boundaries is one such step. This means being clear about what you won’t accept from other people, like name-calling, being shouted at or even being undermined. This includes social media too, walking away from these situations can help you to look after yourself mentally.

Be open to the impact social media may be having on your mental health, if you are feeling more down after scrolling your feed than you were before, it might be better for your health to use it less, and always remember that photos, reels and stories are just that – they are rarely anyone's real life, more the highlights or even the fake bits.

Why Is Looking After Yourself Important?

Looking after yourself is important for keeping yourself healthy and well. As you grow up, you are going to be relying on yourself more and more often. Learning how to look after yourself now is a skill that you can keep with you and use all the way throughout your life, including when you are a grown-up and are living on your own or even with your own family.

Looking after yourself physically keeps your body healthy. It helps you make sure that you are fit, healthy and strong. When you look after yourself physically with a balanced diet and exercise, you will help your body avoid getting sick, and make sure that you have enough energy to do the things that you need to do each day, like going to school.

Looking after yourself mentally will help you feel better. When you look after yourself mentally, you know that you don’t have to stay in any situations that make you feel uncomfortable or scared. You put yourself first and listen to yourself. Looking after yourself mentally also includes asking for help and support if you need it.

Where You Can Get Help

If you want to start looking after yourself better but are not sure where to start, then you’re not alone. There are people who care about you and are there to help you learn these skills so that you can feel more confident when it comes to looking after yourself and making the best choices for your life.

  • Foster Parents

    If you are in foster care, then your foster parents are there to help and support you. They are providing you with a home, but they are also there to help you learn skills that you might not have had a chance to learn yet, including better ways to look after yourself. Don’t be scared or ashamed to ask them to teach you something that you are not sure about or don’t know. They won’t judge you for not knowing, as it’s their job to help you learn.

  • Social Workers

    Your social worker is there to ensure you are well, if you don’t want to talk to your foster parent’s they are there to listen to you and will be able to offer you advice and support. As too is your foster parent’s Supervising Social Worker from Fostering People; they will be very happy to talk to you and offer advice on any aspect of your wellbeing.

  • Teachers

    Teachers at school are not just there to teach you about your subjects. You can also ask a teacher about other things, like looking after yourself. You might have classes at school to teach you about life skills like cooking or looking after your health. This is a great way to learn more about looking after yourself.

Looking after yourself is important to keep yourself healthy and well. You can look after yourself physically and mentally. Your foster parent, teachers, or a social worker can help if you are not sure where to start.