Saturday, 19 March 2016

20 ways to look after yourself a little better: self care basics

Lately it seems people are talking a little more about self care and mental health on the Internet, which is so great. It's definitely a conversation which has been overdue. 

However "self care" isn't always cute and fluffy. It's not all about £20 candles and lush bath bombs. Not that there's anything wrong with £20 candles per se, hey, I would if I could. (Also lush baths are definitely the best thing ever).

But there's some more basic stuff before that- the most important type of "self care"- and I thought I'd elaborate a little on that today. Some of it might seem basic, but if this kind of stuff gets out of control, your life feels so much more out of control.


1// Cleaning


Keeping your space clean makes you feel better  (although it depends how you like it, but there is definitely a difference between "creative clutter" and "things are rotting in a corner and I don't have any clean dishes left").

2//Bill paying

Seriously, no one wants to be without heat or electricity, or -heaven forbid- internet, but this can happen easily if you don't keep on top of bills.

3// Sort deadlines

If you're at school, uni or work, and you're not feeling great, it's easy to get yourself into a mess with multiple looming deadlines. Go to a tutor or superior, explain your situation and try and negotiate an extension.

4// Leave the house at least once a day

Go for a walk, pick up groceries, anything. Just get some exercise and sunlight.

5// Eat well

If you like cooking, great, cook yourself a good meal. Even if you don't, good nutrition can help your mood, so go cook yourself a meal.

6// Exercise

Exercise has been proven to lift your mood. Science, people. Try and see if you can borrow a neighbour's dog and take it for a walk- you never know, you could really help someone out.

7//Sleep 

8 hours of sleep is recommended. Sleep is one of the easiest things to neglect, but it's so important!

8//Budget

If you can get a sense of control back, you might feel a lot better.

9// Listen to Music

10// Do something small and productive 

Even cleaning a small area of your house, posting that letter you've been meaning to or simply making the bed can start a positive spiral.

11// Do things you really enjoy

When I was especially anxious, I stopped listening to music almost entirely, didn't have the confidence to go to any gigs and was seriously considering dying my hair back to brown. Basically I'd stopped doing the things that made me the most happy 


12// Try writing a Gratitude Journal

Super cheesy, but science has proved this to work. Write down the good things that happen to you each day.

13// Don't pressure yourself so much 

14// Try not to compare yourself so much to others

It's the easiest thing to do, but it's poison.

15// Know your limits

It's good to push yourself and try and do things, but if it's something that's truly too much, knowing when to quit is important too.

16//Arrange to meet up with a friend or family

It doesn't have to be anything major, but sometimes when you're down you can get a little isolated. Try and talk to people. (Avoid people you know leave you feeling drained though).

17// Keep busy! 

Even on days at home, keep your mind occupied with more than just social media-  you don't want to be stewing in your own horrible thoughts all the time. Do something creative- guitar, blog, colouring, dye your hair.

18// Get a hug from someone 

19// Try and help someone else out

Even if it's only a small thing, this might make you feel way better.


*Lastly, a side note- of course, I'm not a doctor, these are just ideas I think everyone could benefit from. Definitely when I have these 'basics' down, my general mood and wellbeing improves. But there are some things that no one can cope with alone, if you think you are suffering with something, please

20// Get professional help

It's ok not to be ok, and there's so much less stigma these days around seeing a councillor so if you can, definitely consider it. Even if you think you're 'not ill enough'. Talk to your doctor or search online and see what services are in your area. Call a helpline if things are super rough.

I love you all, look after yourself, ok?
Thanks for reading!
-Amy xoxo

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