This is a bit of a personal post for me, I hope you enjoy reading, please be kind. I am so glad that self care and mental health is being discussed more openly, its such a great, liberating thing. I suffer from anxiety, mostly social, it comes on suddenly and I struggle at times to manage and get through it, but with massive support from my fiancé (he needs a medal) and starting my Beauty (which is my passion) blog I feel like I am slowly getting myself together. I was also diagnosed with stress related IBS last year (just to add to it!) so I am always down for news ways to reduce stress, at the moment my IBS hasn’t flared up for a while, which is always good sign that I am doing sometime right.
I’ve learnt that I can beat my anxiety and I will not let it define me, even if most people dont understand it, or the way I act in some situations. I do tend to let small (may seem insignificant) things gets to me and I severely overthink situations, even for days after they have happened and when this happens I like to practice a few things to help me get back into a good place.
Everyone needs to look after themselves in a personal way, to take time out, chill and recharge the brain. I practice a variety of things to help me unwind and keep my mental health in a good place. Everyone’s idea of self care is different, but I wanted to share some ways that I practice self care and really hope some of these tips can help you.
This is something I really want to do more this year, I have some many books on our bookcase, just asking to be read, I just need to take the time out and sit down and get into one. I love to read real crime books, I have a bit of a weird fascination with serial killers (I guess its not that weird really, alot of people are) which is also the part of the reason why I chose to study my psychology degree.
// Listening to Music
Music is so important to me, I listen to a variety of genres from heavy death metal and punk 🤟🏻 to Beyoncé. Depending on what mood I’m in reflects what genre I fancy. Ok so something that helps me prepare for work, (as I always get anxious before leaving for work, as I never really know what my day is going to be like when I arrive) is having a playlist of happy songs on Spotify which I try to play daily whilst getting ready for work, gets me in a good mood, you know! These are all up beat and cheerful songs.
Here is a little snapshot of my playlist…. don’t judge!!! Yes Bieber is on there!
// Candles & Incense
Candles always calm my mood, I choose very calming fragrances to burn, such as jasmine or lavender. i am an absolute incense hoarder, I buy huge amounts each month, as I am continuously lighting them, I feel most relaxed when I have incense on in every room, I just love it! Something very zen about it, dont you think?
// Have a Bath
Oh how I love a good bath, a bubble bath at that, I rarely ever have a bath without full bubbles or a lush bath bomb, this is one of, if not my ultimate favourite ways to relax, I shut the bathroom door, light some candles, pop on my favourite podcast and just try to not think about anything and just enjoy the space and time.
I have tried meditation a few times, and its not about sitting on the floor knees crossed and saying mmmmmm, although you can do it that way if you wish, its about taking your mind away from what is around you and focusing on your breathing. for example you can just sit for 10 minutes, turn off all noise (TV, radio etc) and just focus on the sounds outside and breathing deeply, this is easily done anywhere. I have also used the headspace app in the past, which is amazing for helping you switch off for a few minutes, as the app speaks to you and helps with your breathing patterns, those minutes go by so quick, its so odd when you are focusing on just the noises around you, its so relaxing. I believe that everyone should try this at least once, it doesn’t take long and you can do it anywhere.
// Sort out my makeup/clothes
I love doing this every so often, I find its a great way to focus your mind on something else and make a little extra money at the same time. I tend to do this once a week, look through my makeup collection and see if there is anything I can part with and same with clothes & shoes. You should try it.
// Taking a break from social media
This is a big one, I myself an admit that I do spend ALOT (too much) of time on Twitter, Faced, Instagram etc, and it can be exhausting keeping up with everything. I don’t realise how long I’ve been spending on these sites until my phone starts burning up or inevitably runs out from the constant liking and scrolling. I just feel I could be doing something more productive sometimes, so it’s nice to pop my phone in another room and just not think about it for a while. Obviously I do have a to spend time online due to my blog, which I love, but a break is good and clears the mind. Do you ever take a break from social media? Do you feel you spend too much time online?
// Take blog photos
I’ve just brought a ton of blog props, as I have changed my blog theme, so I have been spending alot of time organising flatlays and playing around with lighting, this always takes sometime and is a fantastic way to e productive and take my mind of overthinking anything, as trust me this happens alot, I am already worrying about going back to work after a week off, I always feel so anxious when I have been on holiday and focusing on my photography and improving it takes my mind of these little worries.
// Watch Netflix/Amazon/Series
This always relaxes me, getting stuck right into a new series or documentary. I actually downloaded about 8 today, I have watched 3 already, mainly on crime, as that is a subject I am really fascinated by. I love just gett snuggled on the sofa with our cat and switching off.
// Speak to someone
If you are struggling with your mental health and and feel that you are at the point where you feel trapped and need to speak to someone, you can always speak to you GP or MIND, there are also online counselling resources such as relate where you can anonymously chat to a counsellor online. I find talking through how you are feeling is a huge help i you are feeling down or anxious, but I understand that for some people it not so easy to open up,. When I bottle up my feelings, they either get the better of me and i cry and explode, or I just try to mask them, which is very unhealthy. I am all too guilty of the latter. You dont ever need to feel alone, trapped, ashamed or embarrassed about talking to someone about your metal health. There is always someone available to listen, if you are ready to talk.
How do you practice self care? Let me know in the comments below! I would love more things to try.
P.S if you liked this blog post, you might like my other MakeupSkincareHaircare and Lifestyle reviews. Please Contact me to let me know if there are any products you would like to see me review or subjects you would like me to discuss.