Self-Care Yourself to Improved Mental Health

 

In our hectic and stressful lives it is easy to forget about ourselves and our basic human needs.  We all have other priorities: dinner, cleaning, work, families can all get in the way of us focusing on ourselves and meeting our own needs.

 

Stop!

 

Looking after ourselves above all else is the single most important thing we can do……

 

If we are not healthy both mentally and physically, how can we be there to support others or function to the best of our ability?

 

If we ignored the petrol gauge when it was low, what would happen to our cars?.......... Breakdown!

 

If you want to avoid ‘breakdown’ then start some simple self-care and learn to love yourself.

 

Explore what you like: What nourishes you?  If you are unsure, then it’s time to explore.

 

Think back to any past time when you felt taken care of, by yourself or others.  What activities bring you joy?

 

Get quiet: Take some time to sit quietly and just be with yourself. Allow yourself some time to sit with your thoughts, feelings and sensations and pay attention to what is going on inside your body and mind. 

 

Focus on your breathing……………relax.  The more frequently you get quiet, the more in tune with yourself you will become, there are some great mindfulness apps that you can download for free!

 

Have you have forgotten what brings you joy and what activities you love?  Maybe your focus has been so external that self-reflection feels tough?  That’s okay; it is a new way of thinking that takes time.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to take action. 

 

Write a list of all the activities that you can think of, then circle the ones you think may be doable for you.  Also consider how often you will implement self-care into your life.  Don’t give yourself a huge list and an impossible timeframe; unrealistic expectations will set you up to fail and give your inner-critic ammunition!

 

“I don’t have time”, I hear you cry………

 

There are 10,080 minutes in a week so 10 minutes per day, or even 5 is doable.  Self-care does not have to be something huge or elaborate, it is a gift to yourself because you are worth it, and important.

 

I have listed a few of my favourite self-care practices to help you get started:

  • Sitting quietly and noticing sensations/mindfulness.

  • Taking a hot bubbly bath with scented candles.

  • Reading a book.

  • Drinking water and eating healthily.

  • Meeting up with a friend for a catch up.

  • Leaving the housework for a while.

  • Saying NO! (to plans, chores, expectations/requests of others).

  • Cuddling pets.

  • Listening to music.

  • Cycling.

  • Walking.

  • Running.

  • Eating chocolate.

  • Drinking hot chocolate.

  • Taking a nap when tired.

  • Sitting in the sunshine.

  • Watching the sea.

  • Write a journal.

  • Get a massage/manicure/facial.

  • Turn off your phone.

  • Choose a new hobby.

 

COMMIT: Put it in your calendar! This makes sure that you don’t double book and that you remember; it is easy to forget about ourselves until we get in the swing of it.  Honor this commitment as you would a meeting.

 

Make the decision and start today!

 

Take care and love yourself!

Julie

Tranquil Minds Counselling

 

 

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