Self-care: What you can do to protect your well-being
June 19, 2018
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water”
On a daily basis, you may feel like you are overwhelmed by the demands of the day. From being given one too many jobs to do at work, to the daily needs and wants of children, to too many appointments and jobs to do when there is just so little time to do it in. At times like these, when you’re most stressed, it’s the small things you do for yourself that become the most expendable, to the detriment of your own mental and physical well-being.
Self-care isn’t just important; it is crucial for your well-being. It is vital for us to do, not only because it gives us a reprieve from daily stressors, but also:
- Self-care prevents “burnout” – We have all been there. You push and push yourself to the point you can’t push any longer, and then you give up. Self-care is all about preventing getting to that point.
- Self-care reduces the negative affects of toxic stress – It is normal to have small amounts of stress. It is how we let the build up of numerous small stressors that negatively affect our lives, breaking down our mental and physical health. Self-care is about managing those stressors from taking over.
- Self-care helps to focus – We can sometimes treat self-care as a reward. We think, “I’m so tired and exhausted, but first I’m going to finish this and then I’ll give myself a break.” In actuality, this is a hindrance to us and makes our tasks more difficult.
- Self-care is not a reward; it is part of the process to success.
“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.”
Some ideas for self-care include:
- Going for a walk
- Listening to music
- Recreation leagues
Sometimes, identifying the need for and/or knowing how to ‘self-care’ can be challenging all by yourself. The following local resources are here to help!
Inform Alberta (211)
Dialing 211 will connect you to a full range of community, social and government services information. 211 is free, confidential, is available in many languages, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Guide to Indigenous Organizations and Services
Produced by the City of Calgary, this resource lists programs and services specific to the Indigenous community, as well as those that are open to the general population.
Calgary Public Library
Free library membership. Internet access is available at any branch.
The Women’s Centre
Assists women with accessing community supports and provides programming.
Calgary Community Services Guide
This guide is intended for low income and vulnerable individuals to find services that may help in difficult times.
My Best Friend’s Closet
Provides teenage girls from low income homes (age 12-18) with fashionable and functional clothing.
Once Upon a Child
Two locations in Calgary to find gently used baby and children’s clothing.
(403)262-5776 Ext. 1
Provides business attire to women facing financial barriers who want to join the workforce, return to school or engage in volunteer activities.
Women in Need Thrift Store
The website provides a list of locations in Calgary.
My Alberta Supports
Find and apply for services and benefits for work or training, low income, disabilities, personal safety, homelessness and more.
Family Supports for Children with Disabilities
Provides a wide range of family-centred supports and services to help strengthen families and encourage their child’s participation in activities at home and in the community.
SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL SERVICES
Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary offer various recreation programs.
Calgary Parks & Recreation
Fee assistance, subsidies for programs, pool, leisure centres and golf clubs are available.
Adventure and the outdoors combined with educational activities. Financial assistance is available.
ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AND COUNSELLING SERVICES
Access Mental Health
(403)943-1500 Ext. 2
Information about wait times, locations, service fees, etc. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 7:30am – 7:00pm. This is not a crisis service. Callers in crisis will be connected with a crisis service provider.
Calgary Counselling Centre
Offers affordable individual and group counselling.
Building strength in Calgary’s diverse population through counselling, collaboration, community development, homecare, and individual and family support.
Mental Health Help Line
1-877-303-2642; 24-Hour Crisis Line
A mental health crisis could arise from any number of issues, such as losing a job, financial difficulties, the death of a loved one or untreated mental health problems. Knowing what resources are in your area is crucial to helping yourself and those you care about.