Self care has become a bit of a buzz word recently. There are probably loads of different definitions of self-care, but in my words, it is a practical way of taking care of yourself, your mind and your mental wellbeing. Recently I have learnt a lot of ways in which you can practice this and it can be really effective if you suffer from a mental health disorder like depression and anxiety. However this would also work is you’re just generally stressed and overwhelmed. Self care makes you pause, recalibrate and relax.
One of the most important things I have learnt is the significance of a routine. A cluttered, chaotic or inconsistent routine will reflect itself in your mindset. If possible create a routine for yourself, reset your sleeping pattern if needs be, wake up at the same time each day, eat at the same time each day and have a bedtime schedule. Set yourself working hours, and set some time solely for yourself. Whether this be ten minutes in the morning to practice mindfulness or half an hour before bed to read, give yourself a time slot in the day, every day. As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for a couple of years now, I cannot speak highly enough of how having a routine has changed my mindset and how the order in my day has allowed some order in my mind. It sounds like something that’s really simple and often overlooked, but a routine will prove invaluable to your wellbeing.
If you’ve read a lot on the topic of mental wellbeing and self-care, then you will know that they will often highlight the importance of creativity. Creativity can be achieved through so many different avenues, whether that be cooking or baking, colouring, journaling, painting, writing… the list goes on. I guess the idea behind this is, that a task which requires your concentration, your physical involvement and one which leads to the creation of something will nourish your self-confidence and also allow you to zone out from the world around you as your immerse yourself in your activity.
If journaling and organizing sounds up your alley check out bullet journals. There are tons of tutorials and inspiration on YouTube and Instagram. The idea behind bullet journals is to allow you to combine creativity with the therapeutic nature of keeping a journal with the arguably equally as therapeutic art of organisation. The setup of bullet journals will also enable you to track your mood, your sleep, your food, your fitness, basically you can track any and all of your habits and visibly see where you are doing well and where you need to improve.
For someone who is in need of creative activities with minimal effort, how about stocking up your kitchen cupboards with cake mixes, ready to use when you’re feeling like crap and craving sugar. You get to have the satisfaction of baking and creating something with none of the effort. Another lazy girl or guy alternative might be to just sit and colour.
Leave The House
When your brain isn’t being as cooperative as you would like, the idea of getting out and about sounds like A LOT of effort. It sounds daunting and tiring and pointless. But if that’s you, if that sounds familiar, then get out dude, get out. Go for a walk in nature, in the local park, go at sunset and take some pictures, or go in the rain if that’s more your style. Just chuck a coat on top of your pyjamas and get out. Fresh air and moving your legs will do you and your brain the world of good.
If you have already mastered this, then you can move on to level 2, socializing. Again as much effort as this may sound, doing something simple like having coffee with your friends, talking about how you’ve been feeling recently, catching up on their lives, can leave you feeling refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated. And I’ll be honest here, sometimes you will leave the house see your friends and spend the whole entire time wishing you were in bed and feel like you’ve completed wasted your time, but there will be days where they remind you what it feels like to be yourself again, they will remind you of what it feels like to laugh at stupid things and they will remind you that this feeling will last.
I could add more to this list, reading, watching films, exercising, doing your make up, having a bath, meditating, praying, listening to podcasts, there’s a million ways you can practice self-care, you just have to learn what works for you and incorporate it into your routine. Just like you would brush your teeth in the morning, get dressed and go to work or school, start coming home in the evenings and give yourself some time to concentrate on yourself and your wellbeing. And if you question the importance of self care and feel like you’re being selfish with your time, just remember you cannot pour from an empty pot. You cannot power with an empty battery. You can’t help the plant grow if you don’t nourish the soil…. Okay I’ve run out, but you get it right! I think if you master self-care, it enables you to become more successful in your career, your studies and your relationships as well as all the other aspects of life which I cannot think of right now.
Let us know if you practice any of these and if you have any self care tips of your own.
This article is written by Sabrina Begum.