Depression and anxiety feel different for each of us, we are all affected in our own way, and I’m very conscious that there is not a one size fits all cure, we are all unique. For this reason I’m really keen not to post lists and tips telling anyone reading how to live their life or get over depression. However I think it is useful to share the tools we all use for self care. So today I’m writing about the tools I use for self care when I feel low….
Sleep… different things trigger depression and anxiety in each of us, for me a huge trigger is rest, if my life is out of balance then my head gets fuzzy and warning a go off, and if I don’t manage to get some serious sleep in I turn into my own worst enemy. When that happens I really need to stop and check in with myself.
Call in sick…I mean, not all the time, but if I had the flu or threw up I’d call in sick, so when I’m run down, feeling really low and need time to get back to myself, yeah, I call in sick. Looking after your mind is every bit as important as looking after your body
Dance…Dance therapy has been used for centuries to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, it might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re low but it puts an instant smile on my face, and the best bit is you can do it at home, in your pajamas, I normally stick some music on in my kitchen, sing along and dance around whilst I’m tidying – no matter how miserable I feel it always makes me feel better.
Take a bath…There is nothing that soothes my mind better then a nice long soak in the tub with your favourite bath products, click here to read about mine.
Walk my dog… Getting out in the fresh air always improves my mood, no matter what the weather is, but when I’m at my lowest I find it hard to get motivated, my boy follows me around wagging his tail which forces me out, when we’re out I try and really take in my surroundings and remember how beautiful our world really is, and watching my pup run around like a loon can’t fail to put a smile on my face.
Swim…its well known that exercise is a great way to combat depression and I love swimming because it’s quite a gentle form of all over exercise.
Yoga and meditation…yoga is a lovely way to exercise. It helps with relaxation and to focus and calm the mind. Both meditation and yoga use breathing techniques to bring calm and focus to the centre. I don’t often go to classes but can practice at home. I struggle to switch off so prefer the help of guided meditations, and these are both great tools for the good and bad days
Write… I always talk about my blog being therapeutic for me but I write lots of things that I don’t post as well. Happy lists, gratitude lists, stories, journals, rants, writing is one of my best mediums for getting things off my chest
Pamper myself… sometimes I just need some me time. Once I’ve had lots of sleep and a nice bath I find the doing my hair, painting my nails, giving myself a face mask really helps. If I feel too low for that I always make sure I brush my teeth, wash my hair and cleanse my face. It’s amazing how much better it can make you feel
Watch Buffy… When I was a teenager I used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer religiously, it may sound stupid to some but Buffy was a huge female role model and watching that show was really helpful to me at that age and sometimes when I feel crap I still turn back to good old Buffy, watching a few episodes can help remind me of who I am.
Reiki…concentrates on the flow of energy through your chakra system and I find it the best way to regain clarity in my life. If I go without it for too long I can realise lose my way and my mental health suffers. I try and go for Reiki at least once a month, sometimes once a fortnight. It’s not cheap but I find it much more helpful to me then a new pair of shoes. (I also love retail therapy but that’s not helpful to my bank balance and for a different post!)
So these are my top self care tools. If someone finds these helpful then great, please do feel free to add your best tools for self care in the comments…..