I fell off the self care wagon towards the end of summer and I fell off it hard. Cut to quite a few weeks off work, a lot of crying and sleepness nights and a good few trips to the doctor.
A big trigger for me is getting out of a routine, things like drinking more than usual and not getting a good solid sleep in knock me and ultimately ended with me having a pretty bad episode of depression and anxiety. The one big takeaway that I got from this episode is that I need to look after myself because as a lovely friend said. How can I look after anyone else if I’m not looking after myself.
There have been a few new additions to my routine and a few things that I’ve readopted to help me feel calm and grounded. None of them are ground breaking because lets be honest, self care is simple steps that you can build into your routine in order to make things that little bit easier.
More self care: Judging self care habits
A friend recommended the Calm app to me which I downloaded and began using daily. The counseller I was speaking to had recommended I do bodyscans – at least 2 a day – and the app is great for this. With varying lengths you can get exactly what you need in the moment – if I’ve got a little more time then I will pop on the 20 minute scan but if I jsut want to have a quick check in before going out then the 5 minute scan works a treat. I am also loving the different 7 day courses from calming anxiety to self esteem and the bedtime stories.
As a child I loved having a tape on with a story while I drifted off to sleep and had forgotten how much I actually like it in the background. Step forward Calm app! There is a whole host of bedtime stories and soundscapes on there to help you drift off into a nice deep, relaxing sleep. There is a pay wall on the app which I ended up getting the yearly subscription for because I want full access and if you use it and feel the benefits then it is money well spent.
Go for a walk
A simple suggestion, yes but a beneficial one.
Pop on your cosiest coat, get an epsiode of your favourite podcast or audio book on the go and just go a stroll. It doesn’t need to be long or fast paced, wander to the park near you or go round the block. Generally I find a walk in a park or in the countryside more relaxing than pounding the pavements but work with what you have. Sometimes I even like to switch my phone to airplane mode so I can zone out and just take a moment.
Again, another simple suggestion but an early bed has so many benefits. When you are exhausted from over thinking, worrying and generally feeling a bit off, you need to give yourself a break and allow yourself to relax.
Have a nice hot bath, pop on some clean jammies and get into a cosy bed. Read, meditate or listen to an audio book before you drift off and get a solid, good sleep in.
I’m sure the majority of us love a wee G&T or glass of wine at the end of a shitty day but sometimes this is the worst thing we can do. Not only does it disrupt your sleep, you also won’t feel great about yourself the next morning. Limit your alcohol intake in times of feeling down and low, it will help.