As is often the case with a trend, self-care has become a cliché. But self-care isn’t all about pampering yourself as the media may suggest. In the real world, it’s as simple as the name suggests – taking the time to actually look after yourself. It’s far more important than positive mantras, bubble baths, and face masks. So, here’s 10 of our best self-care tips that will actually help your mental health – with no scented candles in sight!
Being physically active in any shape or form is one of the best forms of self-care, and has been shown to help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Focus on doing whatever works best for you... for some that might be running or yoga, but for others, it could just be a gentle stroll in the park.
Boring life-admin, such as doing your laundry or tidying your house, might not sound as appealing as a luxurious bubble bath, but on a tough day, these simple and necessary tasks can feel impossible. The act of cleaning and having your personal space in order can provide a much-needed sense of relief. Perhaps there’s some truth in the expression “tidy home, tidy mind” after all!
Self-care shouldn’t be complicated, it’s about taking things back to basics. We all know that water is absolutely essential for our health and making sure to remain hydrated will help you feel a little bit less, well, rubbish! When it comes to taking care of yourself, managing to get in 8 glasses of water is a really great place to start.
Fresh air is good for the soul. Even if you just escape for 10 minutes to make a trip to the shops, that small time spent outside will do you the world of good, especially on a crisp, sunny day. In our humble opinion, the feeling of the sun of your skin is ten times more soothing than a bubble bath.
When things aren’t going to plan, hitting the bar to forget about it can be us Brit's default coping mechanism. But whilst using alcohol to deal with tough feelings can seem like a good idea at the time, it’ll likely make you feel a lot worse in the long run.
Mindfulness & Journaling
It’s easy to let mentally beneficial practices slip when you’re not feeling your best. If you’re struggling to stick with traditional meditation or mindfulness techniques, try journaling instead. It’s a great exercise for sifting through your thoughts at the end of the day – the therapeutic power of getting it all out on paper is magic.
Eat Some Veg
Sometimes eating a healthy, wholesome diet is the last thing on our priority list. During bouts of lowness or depression, many end up living off convenience-focused comfort foods, or not eating at all. We get it, sometimes cooking a whole meal from scratch can feel like too much, so when this happens try to just cook some fresh veg to have on the side; it’ll have a massive impact on your overall wellbeing.
For someone who is really struggling, this can mean they stop doing the normal, everyday things that really need to be done. This can range from showering and brushing their teeth, to remembering to take their meds or turn up to doctors’ appointments. On days where getting out of bed feels like an impossible task, trying to complete these small, everyday tasks will give you the sense of achievement you need.
Put on Netflix
The problem with many self-care tips is that they're completely unrealistic. It can feel like you're adding more chores to your plate, not helping to ease the pressure. But you don’t need to read a book or go for a long walk to switch off your mind a little; watching some trashy tv is absolutely okay too. Give yourself permission to just fully zone out and let your mind rest.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is probably the most underrated thing you could do to benefit your physical and mental health. Just going to bed at a sensible hour and implementing some form of sleep routine is essential, as extreme tiredness is a massive trigger for poor mental wellbeing.