The Ultimate Guide to Realistic Self-Care

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It’s World Mental Health Day! As mental health awareness is something I feel so strongly about, I thought it would be appropriate for me to re-visit the topic of mental health for a special and also important blog post.

“The overall number of people with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, but worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope. 

It appears that how people cope with mental health problems is getting worse as the number of people who self-harm or have suicidal thoughts is increasing” – Mind

I believe it is around one in four people who will suffer with a mental illness. It’s such a shocking statistic and makes you realise how much people will hide this. Even though mental health is talked about so much more than it used to, it is still very much a taboo. While I’ve made blog posts about my mental health story (and this is something I plan to update!), I’ve decided to create a little guide that will hopefully help you out if you’re ever feeling slightly overwhelmed.

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The act of ‘self-care’ is one which is totally personal to you. Self-care can mean something different to me, and something different to you. It is all about looking after yourself and rewarding yourself. I can say from personal experience, but suffering with mental illness can really, slowly, break you down. By giving yourself little rewards, by practising a little self care, you can help to build yourself back up again by making yourself aware of your self-worth. Here is a few, realistic things which you may want to consider adding into your daily/weekly/monthly routine.

  1. Give yourself those extra five minutes in bed.
    Now by this I don’t mean ‘make yourself late’. Go to bed earlier; even if you struggle to fall asleep. Spending that little bit of extra time getting cosy will be super valuable to your mind and soul. I read a great article about falling asleep at certain times which can help you wake at certain times. Check it out if you’re interested!

    If you love the feeling of looking at your alarm and realising you’ve got an extra half hour before you need to get out of bed; set your alarm for half an hour before you need to get up! In that way, you’ve got 30 minutes to scroll through the phone or simply lay back and relax before getting up to face the day.

  2. Wear your favourite item of clothing.
    If any of you are anything like me, if you feel you look good, you feel good. It could be anything from your comfiest pair of jeans, to a matching set of underwear. Even if it is wearing a matching set of socks! Anything!
  3. Do something to make someone else’s’ day.
    It could be holding the door open, letting that stranger on the bus before you, telling a friend you’re proud of them; anything. By spreading positivity onto someone else, it will rub off onto you.
  4. Take a bath or a shower.
    Even on the days when you don’t want to get out of bed at all, take a shower. I always find showers to be cleansing not only literally, but mentally. I like to think that I’m washing my worries away when I have a nice hot, shower.
  5. Keep your fluids up!
    “Staying hydrated by drinking enough water is one aspect of good physical, emotional, and mental health. We’re not one-dimensional and our approach to mental health shouldn’t be either.” – AIFC

    Taking a step back and having a sip of water is one of those things that can help you to calm down, especially if you’re panicked and breathing in an un-steady rate. Drinking water helps to keep you alert and keeps you focussed. It’s a small thing, but it is super beneficial for all aspects of your body.

  6.  Feeling happy? Take a selfie!
    If I’m having a great day, I love to capture the moment. If I feel great in myself, I like to take a selfie. If I’m having a lovely time out somewhere, I will photograph as much as I can as I LOVE to look back through my camera roll and be reminded of happy times when I’m struggling.

    7. Eat.
    Sometimes, your mind can be too pre-occupied to think about eating. Make sure you eat three meals a day and get some healthy stuff in there too if you can. If you find that you over-eat when you’re stressed, keep healthy snacks to hand – or even chewing gum.

    8. Have a chat.
    Chat with anyone about any worries you’ve had recently. It could be a parent, colleague, friend or even a pet! The process of vocalising your worries can be very therapeutic and refreshing for your mind. Even if nothing in your day has bothered you, try the same activity but re-capping all of the great aspects of your day.

    9. Organise your thoughts.
    Keep a diary or a list pad so that your thoughts don’t become lost in your head. Writing it down and getting it onto paper can be very rewarding, especially as you may want to tick things off a checklist, for example. Giving yourself that luxury of a clear schedule help you to organise any thoughts and worries you have surrounding upcoming events.

    If you like to get creative, why not try a bullet journal?

    10. Music
    Make yourself a playlist of songs that make you feel great. Listening to music and even singing/dancing along can really help to boost your spirits. We all have those guilty pleasures, in fact, I opened my Spotify in front of my boyfriend yesterday to reveal I was listening to the Hercules soundtrack…lol! Make those guilty pleasure songs ones to indulge in. Bring out the hair brush and have yourself a solo karaoke party.

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