For me, self care is far more than slapping on a face mask and treating yourself to ice cream…. everything that’s going on around the world right now is so anxiety-inducing and if that’s something you already suffer from it can be hugely triggering, I know – so I’ve made a list of 5 things I find help me and have also helped people I’ve worked with in the past as a Therapist.
*If you are living with stress, depression or anxiety my top tip is to write that sh*t down! Get it out!
Writing things down has a similar effect as speaking to somebody, but you don’t have the pressure to – it helps your brain process whats going on and to relieve some of the build up of emotions in your mind.
It doesn’t have to be written neatly and doesn’t even have to make sense, just emptying your head and spewing stuff out onto paper can be so, so helpful.
If you want to keep a journal to look back on and write something everyday, brilliant…. if you want to rage on paper and then burn it, amazing – it’s up to you – but this is particularly helpful if you’re finding it difficult to sleep and writing down what you are scared of is sometimes alot easier to do than saying it out loud.
*Try not to self-isolate…. ironic right now …. but when you are feeling anxious or low it’s very easy to retreat and lock yourself away. I do this alot and I do it because I don’t want to have to talk about (admit) how I’m feeling and I don’t want to be a burden on other people – but actually, when I force myself to come out of my cave and share my worries or just have some general chitchat I always feel better afterwards and wonder why I was so reluctant to socialise.
So, if there is someone in your life you can WhatsApp or FaceTime with, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes, forcing yourself to have some human contact (even though we can’t go out and physically meet people) can be so beneficial.
*Meditation – hang on, you don’t have to sit cross-legged chanting “om” … but actually if you can find the right type of meditation that’s quick and simple to follow, you will be amazed by what it does!
By concentrating on the words you are listening to or picturing something specific as part of the meditation ritual, it effectively gives your brain a rest from all the anxious thoughts.
I struggled for years to find the right one and didn’t didn’t really get what it was all about – but eventually I found a great one on YouTube that’s only 15 minutes long and after the first time I listened to it I said I felt like my brain had been taken out and washed with cool water!
Please do give it a try if you haven’t – Here’s my fave
*Cooking! I find there’s something quite therapeutic about cooking and in times like these it’s very easy to not eat so great – to not eat enough or eat the wrong things.
Spending time cooking yourself something special that you’ve taken some extra time on, or something you wouldn’t normally eat, can feel like a real treat and its physically good for you as well.
It doesn’t have to be something full of expensive ingredients and I know it can be hard getting food at the moment, but maybe have a go at making a really gorgeous, authentic Italian pasta sauce, a healthy banana bread or a thick, warming soup that’s easy to digest if you find your stomach gets affected by stress.
If you’re really off your food, how about making some lovely hot, fresh lemon water with chunks of orange or lime and half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in it. Its soothing on the tummy and great for immunity.
*Get creative – maybe you fancy slapping some paint around on a little canvas, pour your emotions into the paint or now have the time to practice some photography around the house…. Or if not, how about creating a new board on Pinterest and start planning a room revamp?
If you have any artistic tendencies at all I really encourage you to try and spend a little time doing something creative because again, it gives your brain something to focus on, it gives you some inner peace in a similar way to meditation and perhaps you will create something pretty for your home that you will enjoy in the years to come!
*Learning something – again this goes back to having something new and positive to focus on, giving your brain a bit of a distraction for a while.
It doesn’t have to be something difficult like a foreign language, but if there’s a skill you would like to learn or something you would like to know more about – maybe you are interested in interior design or photography or web designing or even working towards a new career with an actual qualification… there are so many great online platforms for learning.
I personally love skillshare. There’s so much choice and the videos are pretty short so it doesn’t have to take a long time.
You don’t have to overwhelm your brain with a ton of new or difficult things but it can be really stimulating and uplifting to learn.
Masterclass 2 for 1 offer here
…. And yes of course, a face mask and icecream treat is lovely too!
Hopefully some of this was of help to you – I’m not claiming to know everything and these are just things that have worked for myself and clients in the past.
Whatever self care means to you, I hope you are doing plenty of it right now.
Right I’m off to try and follow some of my own advice!
Sending Love, Tiffany x
Black & White Image – Nick Chester