Being kind to yourself and putting your needs first isn’t selfish. If you’re not well you cannot look after or help anyone else. Self care should be a priority when you’re not feeling quite yourself.
Sometimes you need to stop and think about what you need to feel better. Myself and Hannah both live with mental health illnesses and we have learnt to include self care into our daily and weekly routines. We are pleased to say that its quite easy to do. So here are our top self care suggestions. What are yours?
It’s oh so easy to slink out of your bed in your pj’s and sink into the sofa (bypassing the shower). I (Cara) used to be a bugger for this. But getting into a warm shower (even better if someone can run it for you!) using an uplifting shower gel and washing the night away really makes a a positive difference to how to start your day.
Eating a nutritious breakfast (even if it is nearly noon) is important, especially of you’re a binge eater like myself as it will help prevent you from wanting to binge later on in the day. I nearly always have porridge with fruit as it fills me up until my next meal but other good ideas are yoghurt and fruit, wholegrain cereals or toast with nut butter. We’re not just looking after the mind we are looking after the body as well.
I know. I know. The last thing you want to do is go outside but trust me on this one, this makes the biggest, most positive difference. Spending time in nature, being exposed to sunlight and enjoying a view can help to lift your spirits. Taking a walk with a friend is even more beneficial! I promise you, you’ll feel energised and will hopefully be experiencing more positive thinking.
If I’m on my own I like to craft, mainly crochet. Its rhythmic movements help to calm my brain and stabilise my state of mind. I quite often sit happily and crochet for a couple of hours totally engrossed. You might prefer something else such as cleaning or reading or another craft, as long as it’s something you want to do! If you’ve got children in the house it can be a little tricky. Sometimes I whack on Paw Patrol for my little boy so I can sit and crochet, and I don’t feel guilty about it.
5. Drink plenty
It’s important to keep well hydrated. Try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water makes your mind feel good and it supplies your body with energy and as a consequence you’ll experience more feel good hormones which should improve your overall mood. Keep a bottle handy and sip regularly.
Stay away from sugary, fatty snacks, these will only make you feel worse and try to chose a healthier alternative. Nuts and seeds, fruit, oatcakes with nut butter, vegetables and hummus and yoghurt are all quick to prepare and good for you. You’ll feel much better for staying in control and choosing better.
A good night sleep is vital so try if you can to get to bed early. If you find it hard to drift off try a warm drink and some relaxation (there are some great free apps available) or breathing techniques. Make sure the room is as dark as it can be and that you have the window open. A good night sleep will make all the difference tomorrow.
We completely understand how hard it can be when your having an off, down, not quite yourself day buts it’s important to look after yourself. We hope this information has or will be useful to you.
Cara and Hannah x