Health and Wellbeing

What is self-care?

You might all have heard that self-care is very important for our physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. Self-care means getting the sleep you need and knowing how to rest, eating well and preparing healthy options, doing fun activities you enjoy, taking time to get to know yourself better and your limits. We all sleep, eat, move, and manage with daily stress in a positive or negative way. Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, rather than something that just happens like watching Netflix to wind down; it is a more proactive response that requires you to process how you feel better. Self-care isn’t a selfish act, it is not only considering our needs, but also developing a plan to look after ourselves by creating a routine for diet, exercise, and sleep and creating the feeling of success for ourselves. This term I have been working with the Year 9’s in developing their own self-care plans. Over the next few weeks I will outline the steps and process that I have been using with the Year 9 students.

When developing a self-care plan, first we need to explore our needs by looking into our daily routine   to understand what we are doing, how it makes us feel and what the outcomes are.

Sleep is like food for our brain and it is essential for our body to repair itself, our brain to catalogue our day and produce the hormones to help us manage daily tasks. When we sleep well our body feels healthier, our mind is more focused, we feel more balanced and optimistic.  When we are going through a tough time, however, we might not be able to sleep or might often wake up feeling tired, irritable or might struggle to manage everyday tasks.

Being aware of your sleep patterns, identifying your sleep thieves and sleep allies can help you to develop sleep hygiene. Sleep thieves might be having too much coffee/tea/energy drinks, not being active enough during the day or being exposed to bright screens for a long time, or feeling stressed.

On the other hand, being active during the day, reducing the screen time, setting a  regular bedtime, eating well and doing some relaxation activities such as having a warm bath/shower, reading book or listening soothing might help you to get good sleep.

Sleep snapshot

  • On average, I get ______ hours of sleep per night.
  • I tend to go to bed at ______ and wake up at ______.
  • It usually takes me ______ to get to sleep.
  • On average, I wake up ______ times a night.

When I wake up, I usually feel _________.

Sleep plan

• Things I would like to stop or reduce are__________________________

• Things I would like to start or do more of are____________________________

Esra Turhan Herdem

School Counsellor


Beyond Blue, Why you should do something for yourself, retrieved from

Reach Out, Developing a self care plan, retrieved from

Orygen(2016), Brief Interventions in Youth Mental Health Toolkit, retrieved from