I will admit I’m an anxious person prone to bouts of stress, depression and self-doubt. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to do too many things at once, cramming as much as I possibly can in to an already very packed schedule. It can be really difficult for me to sit still and just relax. This means I’m not always the best at self care or looking after my own mental health. I have come to realise though that it’s so very important to take time out for yourself to relax and de-stress.
Sundays are usually the day I reserve for self care and here are a few things I like to do to chill out and get my mind ready for the week ahead.
Towards the end of December I started going to the gym and ever since I’ve been going three times a week. Whilst the aim was to lose weight I have other noticed other health benefits. Exercising helps me to manage my anxiety and gives me a goal to focus on. It always lifts my spirits too and I feel so much better in myself after a good workout. I can totally understand if exercise isn’t for you however; I was always the kid who shied away from the action in P.E much preferring sedentary pursuits such as reading and writing. However, exercise doesn’t have to be sweating it out at the gym, getting outside for a walk can do much to boost your spirits, no matter how tough it can be to get those trainers on initially.
There’s nothing more relaxing for me than a bubble bath. I like to make mine extra special with lovely bath bombs and lay back in the warm soapy suds; Lush is my go to shop for all things bath related. Bubble baths help to relax your muscles so they are really good for unwinding and de-stressing your body physically. I find I tense up a lot when I’m anxious, so a nice bubble bath helps to relieve the aches. Sometimes I will light some scented candles as these can make bath time even more special.
I find that the simple act of pampering yourself can do much to lift your spirits. Face masks are a great way to achieve that pampered feeling without spending a whole lot of money or going to a whole lot of effort. When I’m stressed my skin tends to breakout in spots pretty badly too so a good face mask helps to clear it up – two birds, one stone.
My favourite face masks are Montagne Jeunesse. They come in a huge range of scents and styles. I love the peel-off ones for that pore-cleaning effect but the mud packs feel luxurious and leave you with lovely soft skin.
A Good Book
I’ve always been a big book worm but, for the longest time I was unable to read anything at all. I became so stressed out and unwell that I found I couldn’t concentrate for long enough to even get through a page. That was until I tried a whole new genre to me; crime and thriller. After that I got my mojo back and devoured my way through book after book. I find that reading is an amazing way to take you out of your own troubles/stresses for a little while and transport you somewhere else completely. If you find you don’t have time to read I strongly suggest you make time! And if like me you find it hard to concentrate on what you’re reading, a good idea is to switch it up a little and try a new genre. I love to have a warm cup of tea when I’m reading as it ups the comfort factor.
I love to have fresh flowers in the house; I’m not fussy about what type or where they come from (if I buy them or my boyfriend does) it just cheers me up so much to have them around. If I’m feeling really blue it always boosts my mood to be gifted them or to buy them for myself. Of course I don’t buy fresh flowers every weekend although if I could afford to I definitely would!
The Colombia Road Flower Market in London is held on Sundays and is a great place to buy beautiful flowers. I haven’t made it yet (as I tend to avoid London at the weekend) but if you live in the East London area I think it’s definitely worth a visit.
Playing with Pets
I keep birds (lots of birds) and a grumpy little hedgehog called Nibbles. When I feel down, simply spending time with my pets can really make me appreciate what I have. Sometimes I like to sit in my bird room, load up Youtube and sing along loudly and badly to an audience of finches! I also love to just watch my quails as they bumble around the house. They are such funny and curious creatures; always getting up to something and making me laugh. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have pets of their own. But if you can, make friends with the neighbourhood cats and sneak in a few strokes here and there- animals are good for the soul!
These are just some of the things I like to do to help me chill out and relax. It’s worth trying out different things to see what works best for you. How do you like to self care?