Self care is important whether you suffer from mental illness or not. Self care can be something as small as lighting your favourite candle or having a drink of water or as big as taking a solo road trip or buying a new pair of shoes. Personally, when I feel anxious or depressed, I find that distracting myself and trying to be productive can often ease the symptoms. This could be anything from re-reading my favourite books or sitting in bed to listen to my favourite playlist. Writing my thoughts and feelings down (even if nobody is going to read them) often helps me feel like they’re being lifted off my chest. Getting creative is helpful too. There are so many ways to cope. So many in fact, that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming and difficult to know where to start!
Lucky for you, you have me, and I have CB and CB has this blog 🙂
Here are a few of my favorite forms of self care to help maintain mental wellness:
- painting (you don’t have to be the next Van Gogh to enjoy painting, and you might end up liking what you create so it’s definitely a win win!)
- writing poetry that reflects how I feel
- colouring (Colour therapy book, I am a warrior, not a worrier, You got this: a mantra colouring book )
- sewing/embroidery (Succulent embroidery for beginners)
- baking – (my favourite is Tanya Burr’s cookie recipe)
- breathing exercises – (4-7-8 strategy , NHS breathing guide)
These are all ways of finding an activity that makes me feel at peace with myself and often makes me feel good about what I’ve accomplished. These activities are also great to do in groups, which is a perfect way of making new friends or reconnecting with old ones!
Sometimes, though, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Depression and anxiety affect my concentration and ability to sit still long enough to complete one task. Sometimes even reading or watching a show/movie is nearly impossible. There’s also nothing wrong with letting yourself feel things and doing the gross part of self care like having a nap or letting yourself cry. On days like these I try to clean. When I first started therapy, my therapist told me that I should start with cleaning the mirror in my bedroom, and then as I’m already cleaning I’ll feel obligated to clean other things too. I understand that for a lot of people, myself included, these tasks can be difficult. Starting small can help, because small steps forward are still steps forward, and steps forward are something to be proud of and celebrated!
What are some ways you deal/practice self care?
Tell us in the comments!
love, Lucy xo
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