I’ve been keep setting time to write another post this past two weeks but every time i get around to it i keep saying actually i’m gonna do some yoga, or actually i’m gonna read a book or go for a walk and have some me time. It’s about time i practiced a little self care.
Thats when i thought that would be perfect for me to write a post about.. self care. It’s something that never came naturally to me and i was never really aware of it being an issue until last year. I was always taught to put other peoples needs and care ahead of my own and that my needs should come last. I always felt like i had to be doing something productive like at the gym, writing, working, studying, always on the go but never really taking time for me. It wasn’t until i ran myself deep into the ground and ended up in counselling due to depression and anxiety that i realised sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.
I don’t usually make new years resolutions but i did this year, it was to take more time to do things that make ME happy and to not be so hard on my self. Learn to relax, you know?
I’m happy to say i have stuck to this resolution and theres definitely no going back now i have realised how important it is. Self care is not some big fancy thing, it is lots of small things. Most people practice self care anyway, but for some of us it is not something we were ever taught or learned how to do.
I remember sitting in counselling last year and shes asking me ”when was the last time you ever just went home from work climbed in to bed and watched a movie Kirsty?” My answer? I don’t watch movies i don’t have time for that, i don’t get home till 10pm each night after work and the gym and my walk and then i have to do this this and this, i haven’t watched a movie in years. To me this sounded completely normal. It wasn’t until she sat and made me realise that this wasn’t a healthy way to live and that it’s ok to just chill sometimes that i started learning self care.
Now i’m going to give you a list of ideas to practice self care. I actually compiled a list last year when i was in a bad place, of things i could do when i needed comforting or needed me time or was feeling bad, so these are a few things from that list. For a lot of people reading they might laugh at some of these such as ‘wash your hair’ or ‘take a shower’ and think thats not self care thats just basic human hygeine you should be doing that anyway. Your right, but don’t ever laugh. Because sometimes when people are really suffering we can be so far inside our thoughts and so overwhelmed just from getting out of bed in the morning that we might forget to do these things, or even worse we just don’t care anymore. I personally have been in that place and by writing a list and looking at it on days when i was so depressed i couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed i managed to somehow keep myself going and look after and comfort myself.
It’s kind of hard for me writing this as i am in such a good place in my life right now that rememberong back to being at rock bottom last year and times when i couldn’t even bring myself to shower or tidy my room is very scarey and painful to remember. But in another way it makes me feel strong to know that i somehow got through that and have come full circle. The battle is definitely not over but i won this fight and thats what i’m going to hold on to.
Heres just a few things from my list, if anyone else has any good ones to add feel free to comment or leave a message !
1. Have a shower, wash your hair.
2. Wash and iron some clothes and pick out a nice outfit.
3. Put some make up on and style your hair, make a little bit of effort today.
4. Cook yourself a nice meal. Who cares if its only for one? Your special so make something special!
5. Have a nice hot bath with some bath salts and bubbles, put some music on in there and just chill.
6. Go for a walk in nature, walking has been proven to boost endorphins and nature has such a calming effect.
7. Talk to somebody you trust. If you don’t trust anybody? Talk to a counsellor. It’s hard to take that first step but remember counsellors are fixers at heart, thats why they pursued this profession. It helps i promise.
8. Write a journal. Ok so if you insist on not talking about it (i know i did for a long time), write. You need to get it out somehow so just keep on writing until the headache stops and the thoughts slow down, even if that means writing every day for months and months, just get it all out.
9. Make a hot chocolate, wrap yourself up in the duvet like a burrito, hold on to your favourite squishy and watch a movie. I recommend disney movies, it’s nice to feel like a child for a while, i know i definitely grew up to fast i missed a lot of that.
10. Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. Need i say more ?
11. Watch funny videos and have a real belly laugh. I would recommend funny animal videos, even better right?
12. Spend time with some animals. If you have a dog take it on a long walk or play with it. If you have a cat just play with it or let it lie on your lap and stroke him. Animals make me so happy just to be around. I actually joined the dogs trust last year to walk their dogs since i don’t have one of my own and had so much fun meeting and walking all of the dogs there so if you don’t have your own you could always try that.
13. Tidy your house / room. Doesn’t sound very fun i know, but a cluttered house is a cluttered mind and doesn’t it feel great to climb into clean fresh sheets after tidying and cleaning everywhere spotless?
14. Read a book. Maybe even read that book from your childhood that you used to get lost in amd take yourself back to that for a short while. (We’re all thinking Harry Potter here).
15. Sing and dance. Put some music on, turn the volume up full, open the windows and curtains to let some light and air in.. now shake your booty and sing your heart out into a hairbrush as if your 12 again.
16. Date yourself. Take yourself out and treat yourself. Buy yourself flowers or those expensive chocolates or wine. Get dressed up nice and take yourself that place you’ve been wanting to go but never got around to.
17. Smile. Just for the sake of it, smile at everybody you walk past today and watch them smile back. Smile while your walking or sitting on the bus or waiting in line. Just smile.
18. Turn your phone off for a few hours. Ignore everybody else and just focus on you. You can get back to them later, if it was very urgent they know where to find you.
19. Exercise. I know for me i exercise 4-5 days a week anyway but for some people who don’t exercise as regularly or sometimes struggle to this is a great one to have on the list. Getting to the gym can be a struggle but nobody ever feels bad about themselves after a workout. Even a short exercise can boost endorphins and boost our motivation and self esteem.
20. Plan a trip or an event. Book a little spa day or weekend, book that concert you were thinking of going to, that play, that festival. Whatever it is just do it, you deserve it.