Advice for self-care

I know it’s all everyone is talking about at the moment, but there is a lot going on in the world right now and so self-care is really important.

In all honesty, I am writing this for myself as much as for anyone else. A lot is going on around me and now that my university has closed one week early for Easter and has also announced that after Easter all teaching and assessments will be done online and not on campus, I am struggling to process everything and the constant changes that are happening. It feels as though I adjust to a piece of news and then suddenly the rug is pulled out from underneath me as something else changes.

I know that everyone is affected by what is happening, but I think we all face our own struggles and that is why self-care is so important.

I want to try to keep this post, and my blog, positive at this time, so today I am going to look at acts of self-care and things to do at this difficult time. Hopefully this post will serve as a reminder to myself, as well as give ideas to others.

Read a Book

Starting with an obvious choice for me. Reading is a great way to relax, escape what is going on around you, and do something enjoyable. I have seen some videos on YouTube with recommended reads for this time, so if you need some inspiration then videos like Claire Fenby‘s are a great place to start. Or, if you’re like me, you already have plenty of unread books sitting on your shelves that you can choose from.

Yoga

Yoga is something I want to do more of at the moment. I find it so relaxing and when you are doing less outdoor exercise, yoga is a great alternative. It is also really easy to get in to, so many places sell yoga mats and there are some good videos on YouTube to guide your session. I use videos by Yoga with Adriene and I highly recommend them.

Pampering

Pampering can include anything from skincare, to facemasks, nail painting, makeup, hair masks, anything you like. These are all things that I really enjoy and just because you aren’t going out as much, doesn’t mean you have to stop doing these things if they make you feel good.

Meditation / Mindfulness

There may be some people who see this and think, nope not for me, and that’s fine, but I think it is worth considering. I meditate every night before I go to bed, and I have found it helpful. Although I am certainly not the best at meditation or mindfulness, they are skills that I would really like to work on to help control my anxious thoughts and to learn to be more present. At a time when worries are high, I think this may be helpful for some people.

Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts have become really popular in the past few years and there are some great ones out there. I use Spotify and Google Podcasts to listen to mine, but there are a few options. I love podcasts because they’re an alternative to watching TV, and I find them great before bed or when walking / travelling somewhere. It sounds strange, but if I have to go somewhere alone, listening to a podcast helps make things less lonely and provides a nice distraction.

My podcast recommendations are:

  • Sh**ged Married Annoyed
  • Happy Mum, Happy Baby
  • Happy Place
  • Table Manners with Jessie Ware
  • David Tennant does a podcast with…

Keep in contact with people

Although events are being cancelled, and we are being advised not to go out socialising, it is still important to keep in contact with people. Luckily, we are surrounded by technology and ways to keep in contact without leaving our homes. Being able to support each other online will be really important for a lot of us, and calling and video calling will also be vital for contact and our social wellbeing. Even just dropping someone a message to check how they’re doing will be really appreciated.

Techniques for worry

This is probably one of the least enjoyable things on the list, but it is important. I was given a journal for Christmas that has exercises to help focus your mind, and a large part of this is dealing with worries to clear your head. There are some great exercises such as: brain dump, which is where you set a timer and just write down everything that is in your mind during that time, and, writing down what you are worried about in a list and then writing next to your worry what you are able to do about it. There are probably sites online that explain all of this much better than I can, and there are also journals and books too.

Don’t forget, help is available

If you are struggling with your mental health at this time, then please remember that help is out there. I have seen some good articles around from the BBC and Stylist magazine about how to protect your mental health at this time, and Mind also has some great resources. There are also books like ‘The Anxiety Solution’ that I recommend and have reviewed.

Here are some useful resources (UK only) if you feel that you need more help:

Samaritans: 116 123 / samaritans.org

Mind: 0300 123 3393 / mind.org.uk

Shout: text SHOUT to 85258 for free

Best wishes, G x

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