Self care is a phrase that we see quite a bit lately. This Psychology Today article defines it simply as you taking care of you. But why is it so important? Mental health charity Mind says that self care techniques, along with general lifestyle changes can help us to manage mental health problems and the symptoms that come along with it. Even if you don’t suffer with a mental illness, practising self care is a great way of de-stressing and recharging.
Self care generally isn’t something that comes easy to me. My view is that I have too many things that I should be doing as opposed to taking some time out for myself. I’ve read a few bits about self care tips, and there’s a huge amount of suggestions out there, with everything from taking a bubble bath to taking a few days off work. It appears to be very subjective. I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to get better when it comes to taking a little time out for myself, and very slowly, I seem to be doing that every now and again. Which is why today I’ve decided to share 5 self care tips that I’ve found work for me, and hopefully, maybe they’ll work for you.
Keeping a journal isn’t just for your angsty teenage years. I’ve found that over the last few years, journalling can be really helpful. Even if you don’t want to physically talk to someone, the simple act of getting it all out and saying exactly how you feel can be really therapeutic. Don’t overthink it too much – you don’t have to worry about fancy layouts and keeping any kind of structure. It can literally be a complete brain dump if you want to. One thing I’ve started doing more often is writing about whatever’s getting to me from two perspectives. I’ll write about how I feel and what my worry is, and then I’ll write what I think a person without my issues would do/say/feel. It helps clarify my thoughts and give me a bit more rationality, even just for a few minutes. On a slightly lighter note, you can buy yourself a gorgeous notebook to put it all in.
I have a whole bank of self care TV shows that I’ll put on if I need some cheering up. it’s amazing what a few episodes of your favourite show can do. It’s not just TV either, just anything to make you laugh is one of the best self care essentials. Whether it’s stand up comedy, a Disney movie or a crappy film that just makes you chuckle, find what works for you and settle in with some snacks!
When it comes to self care, exercise is a great way of taking care of yourself and finding some time just for you. I’ve found it’s a really good way to relieve stress if you’ve had a bad day. Plus, the accomplishment you feel after you’ve finished a workout is one of the best feelings. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy if you’re not feeling it. Just have to find something that works for you. Discovering pilates was something I never thought I’d do, but it’s worked wonders for my anxiety and improving my confidence.
Okay, so it’s not the most fun task to do. However, I’ve found that tidying and doing a general declutter of your space can work wonders for clearing your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete blitz of your house, just something as small as clearing out a drawer or tidying up your coffee table is a start. I usually find the smallest tasks spur me on to do more each time. Before you know it, I’ve got a nice tidy room, and I’m feeling more organised and as though I’ve accomplished something. Self care AND a nice tidy room? It’s a win win.
For the record, I’m not saying to go out and splurge on a load of stuff you don’t need. But once in a while, buy yourself a nice bottle of wine or something you’ve had your eye on for a while. Spend an evening reading a good book rather than sitting on your phone, do your nails, indulge in a hobby you’ve stopped doing – whatever you fancy! Doing something just for you is one of the very best acts of self care.
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