When things start to get busy or life gets tough self care seems to be the first thing to go. I’ve written this post, 25 self care ideas I have used, to hopefully help with that.
Self care for me was always seen as self indulgent and selfish. Why would I think it’s ok for me to relax or have some ‘me’ time if there are jobs to be done?!
Something about it just didn’t sit right with me and I do still struggle at times now. If I had the choice of working, doing housework or helping someone else vs self care, I would almost always chose to work.
Over the past few years I have been to hell and back and really have hit (and lived at) rock bottom. Self care is something I have had to learn – albeit very slowly – is an absolute necessity!
I really like the quote “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Which is so true. How can you expect to keep on giving and giving if you have nothing left in you!? You need time to recharge.
Self care for me started very very small. A cup of tea. sitting down for 5 minutes. Having a wash. It can honestly be that simple and sometimes in the beginning it needs to be. I found when I was very ill in hospital the staff would be suggesting self care ideas that were so far out of my reach at that point that I just gave up. It made me feel like even more of a failure! Don’t set yourself up to fail. Start small. As you begin to recover you can try more and more but it’s important to take things slowly to begin with.
Here is a list of 25 self care ideas that I have used and continue to use. Some are very small whilst others are little more adventurous.
- Have a drink. Water, tea, juice (try to avoid alcohol as it is a depressant)
- Have a shower/Brush your teeth
- Flick through a magazine
- Get dressed
- Read a few pages of a book
- Write, draw or colour
- Try mindfulness – even 2 minutes can make a huge difference.
- Put on your favourite music – dance to it if you can
- Light a scented candle
- Do crossword books or puzzles
- Snuggle on sofa and watch T.V with the kids – don’t feel guilty about this!
- List 5 things you like (don’t hate) about yourself
- Write a small gratitude list
- Read, save, screenshot inspirational quotes
- Take a nap
- Paint your nails
- Play with playdough
- Take a bubble bath
- Do origami
- Have a big cry. Let it all out!
- Take a social media break. I never realised how beneficial this was until I did it!
- Try yoga. Even just 5 minutes
- Talk to close friend or family member, someone you can trust.
- Start blogging
This list of 25 things, as I mentioned before is simply what has worked for me. There are so many other ideas that you can try depending on what stage you are at in your recovery.
Just remember not to push yourself too hard. Start small. Something is better than nothing. It’s taken me a long time to realise that.
If you are struggling and feel like you are headed for crisis then please get in contact with a professional, GP, CPN, Psychiatrist or charity and please don’t feel like this is you failing. It takes strength to ask for help.
Please do let me know if you have any other self care ideas that work for you.
Take care of yourselves and others.
Love Amy x