We asked visitors of Counselling Directory these hard-hitting questions in our recent self-care survey for Mental Health Awareness Week.
Everyone is different and we were keen to see what happiness looks like to other people and whether or not there were any themes in what we would change about ourselves to improve well-being. Here are the results:
Where and when are you happiest?
“Outside at night looking at the stars.”
“With like-minded friends who have a positive effect on me. I can feel uplifted and a meet-up with them can give me a boost.”
“Walking my dog, yoga and trips to the sea!”
“Alone listening to music.”
“Swimming in open water.”
We’ve spotted a couple of themes in our responses; alone time, time in nature and time with loved ones (including pets!). Think about where and when you feel most happy and consider if you’re getting enough of this time – do you need to make some changes?
If you could change one thing about yourself to improve your well-being, what would it be?
“More time to prioritise self-care.”
“To not be so hard on myself. Understanding how far I’ve come and not accepting other people’s judgements. They are not living my experience.”
“To be kinder to myself and give myself the care and attention I give others.”
“Put myself first more without feeling guilty.”
“I would be less harsh on myself. I would pat myself on the back for daily achievements. I would treat myself as well as I do my friends.”
A lot of our responses had an overriding theme – being kinder to ourselves and prioritising self-care. Learning to take care of ourselves without feeling guilty isn’t always easy, but try to keep this in mind – you can’t pour from an empty cup. You cannot help and support others if you are struggling, so try to remember self-care isn’t selfish.
To help with this we asked our members what steps they would suggest to those looking to improve their self-care practice. Here are some of our favourite responses.
How can I improve my self-care?
“Speak to family, friends and colleagues about what they do, perhaps get some ideas of what might work/not work for you.”
“Try different things, be curious and open-minded.”
“Be kind to yourself, it’s not always easy. You will gain a lot of personal insight along the way, which is invaluable.”
“Put boundaries in between work and home/social time and monitor your self-care regularly.”
“Think back to whatever made you feel good as a child, or something that you have always wanted to do. Try not to think about what other people might think.”
“Add yourself to the list of people you love and care for.”