One of the key things when it comes to mental health is being able to practice self care – even when you don’t want to. And I get it, most of the time you won’t want to. But the key thing here is that it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture of love. I’m not asking you to love yourself – if you do, great, you’re doing brilliantly – but if you don’t, I know how hard it is. So these are my more simple ways of being kind to myself when I really don’t want to be. If I can do it, you can do it.
It doesn’t have to be big
We all need self care. This means very different things for different people – for some it may be brushing their hair or eating breakfast. These things, although perceived as small or ordinary, can be so important during mental health recovery. There are many ways that we can practice self care realistically whilst struggling. It doesn’t have to be big.
• Drink some water
• Brush your hair
• Have something to eat – if you can’t, consider a smoothie?
• Try to get enough sleep
• Watch a movie
• Read a book
• Have a bath / shower
Sometimes even just the idea of leaving the house can be overwhelming. I get that.
• Bath salts – I got some L:A BRUKET bath salts from Rooi Home last month (pictured) and I find that they make me feel more calm. Candles may also be a good idea if you fancy it. I particularly like this one, also from Rooi.
• Meditation – if you have trouble sleeping I would strongly recommend meditation. It takes no energy and doesn’t really require much to take part. Not only does it help me sleep, it fends of panic attacks on a regular basis for me.
• If you feel that you can, go for a walk – it doesn’t have to be long, it can be two minutes if you like. Even if you step outside of the house and think nope (we’ve all been there) that’s fine. As cringe as it sounds, nature can be pretty powerful when you’re struggling – I distinctly remember crying in the park because the views were beautiful and I felt like sh*t (maybe that’s why I like the floral bath salts?)
The bottom line is, find what works for you and try to do it. Regularly. It might be a glass of water, it might be sitting in the garden, it might be crying in the park. Whatever it is, you can do it.