For the days of struggle… 10 tips to take care of yourself!
Despite the last few exciting posts about fun holidays, life isn’t always rosy all of the time. I wanted to write about this in a more balanced way to show that there are flip sides to the coin for everyone. So, in times of change where it can all seem a struggle, this post is a very quick blog about the importance of self-care in times of uncertainty and stress. So often we can get bogged down in daily life and end up feeling stuck and worn out. I know: I’m there this week! I’ve been stuck in my own thoughts all week since returning from Thailand, noticing the difference between space and busi-ness as I adapt back into the pace. With the help of a wonderful life coach and some friends, and a little focus on my wellbeing, I have managed to settle back into being ‘me’ and begin to be living more in the moment again – though I appreciate it’s not as easy as it sounds.
One thing that is important to remember when you’re in this situation is that it’s crucial to allow yourself self-care as you process. So, here are some handy hints for handling that ‘sinking feeling’ when you need to:
1) Make some space! It’s ok to cancel your plans. It’s ok to do absolutely nothing when you feel like doing just that. You are worthy.
2) Just breathe! Make yourself a cup of tea (or whatever you fancy – coffee or fruit tea!) and just sit and be still. Notice your breathing and just focus on it for 10 minutes, perhaps elongating the exhale as you breathe away any thoughts that arise. Notice what the thoughts are – they might not be true, no matter how it feels. Journal – explore your emotions, be introspective. Know that this moment is changeable and won’t last forever.
3) Follow your heart – what does your body, mind or soul need in this moment? Listen to yourself. Mine, for example, needed a good episode of Made in Chelsea and to read a good book!! Anything goes. Some days you want to dance, some days you want to rest. And this doesn’t just go for in the moment – if you’re regularly feeling the strain, notice if there’s something you might like to change. It doesn’t mean you have to change it right now, but it reminds you that you are always only one thought away from a different life – and knowing that you’re in control of your life can be reassuring enough in itself.
4) Burn some essential oils to help you relax. My absolute favourite blend for relaxing is Rose, Ylang Ylang and Sweet Orange. It smells divine, but also helps balance emotions and calm the nervous system because essential oils have therapeutic effects.
5) Be kind to yourself. Sometimes, you may feel like doing some yoga, or exercise to lift you – that’s ok too, but don’t pressurise yourself! Do what you feel you need, don’t put yourself under pressure to do more.
6) Try some gratitude – make a list of everything you are grateful for. You can also write one thing every day you are grateful for and put it in a little jar so you can re-read what a great week you have had – even if it is something small you have gratitude for.
7) Laugh – watch a good film or maybe even try some laughter yoga – whatever works for you to lift your spirits!
8) Try something new; be creative. Or at least make a list of some new things you’d like to do. Sometimes we can get so bogged down in routine we forget we have a whole world to explore. There’s a great book by Julia Cameron called ‘The Artists’ Way’ – buy it and work your way through. You might just find a new piece of you to enjoy.
9) Pamper yourself. Whatever that means to you, whether cooking yourself a really nice meal or booking a treatment – just do it without justification for why! You might want to try treating yourself to a facial or a massage – or you could combine the two and create a pamper session for yourself at home with a face mask. Use ingredients you have in the fridge – try mashing up a banana or avocado, mixing it with some aloe vera gel or Apricot Kernal oil, add a bit of French clay and pop 1 drop of essential oil into 5ml of the mixture and you’ve got yourself a lovely natural mask – and what fun making it too! I love Neroli essential oil in a facemask like this.
10) Call a friend. Just chatting about whatever is going on for you will help – and they won’t mind you reaching out, even if it sometimes feels that way!
These are just some of my handy hints for making sure you take care of your wellbeing on days when you really don’t feel you want to! Self-care is so important, so make sure you follow your heart when you’re feeling the struggle.
Nicole Barton – Wellbeing Writer