Self-care has been huge during 2019 – people realising that they deserve to look after themselves, realising that their mental health is more important than things they’ve been prioritising…
Back on Tralisty, I was completely honest with my struggles with mental health, from calling the Samaritans to my history of eating disorders, so I decided that it’s time to share some real self-care tips on how to look after yourself when you’re feeling really low.
Be Kind To Yourself
This is the most important (and the hardest!) thing that you need to do when you’re struggling with your mental health.
It might seem difficult when you have those thoughts running through your mind, but being kind to yourself is the first thing you need to try and do. During my Intro to CBT sessions, we were encouraged to set aside Worry Time. When you find yourself worrying about something, jot it down (maybe in your bullet journal), then set aside 10 minutes to worry about the things that are written down.
It’s not needless worrying though, try and work out what you can do about it right now. If it’s something that is happening in the future and there’s nothing you can do, leave it until there is something you can do.
Having a shower or bath is probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s a really easy way to wash away the cobwebs.
Showers don’t fix everything but life feels a little better when you allow yourself to just exist in water. Feeling the water washing shampoo out of your hair, or feeling your arms float in the bath just gives you a sense that you’re going to be ok. Maybe even give yourself a little face mask.
When you get out of the shower, change your pjs and tie your hair up. It’s a new start when you’re a clean human.
This is a real self-care tip and one that always helps me. I turn on the fire, get a cuppa and snuggle under a blanket. There’s something about soft blankets that makes you feel safe, so find a really soft blanket and make it your self-care blanket.
For my birthday in 2019, my mum bought me a snuggly blanket with a hood and mittens attached so I can wrap myself up and give myself a cuddle at the same time. I have it in bed with me so I can have my hands on something soft if I’m struggling to sleep.
I know that a lot of people put this on their lists, but you need to give yourself something that takes the pressure off you.
Netflix has something for everyone. From tear-jerkers like The Notebook, girl power ones like How To Be Single and some real laugh-out-loud films like Hitch, all you need to do is wrap yourself up and enjoy.
I’m not saying that you should shove cake in your face all day (as tempting as that might be…) but you should let yourself eat what your body wants to eat. If you really love grapes, then get the whole punnet and eat away; if you really love Strawbs, then get yourself a bag.
This can be tricky if you live on your own and a down day has hit out of the blue. Make yourself some pancakes with this super easy recipe from the BBC (my favourite recipe) but make sure you half the recipe or you’ll be eating pancakes for a week!
Oh, and don’t forget to drink water!! Your brain needs water to function so grab yourself a funky bottle like this one from Amazon and make sure you drink after every Netflix episode.
What are your top tips for looking after yourself when you’re feeling down? What do you do for real self-care?