13 top tips for self care

Moving around a lot or working too hard without taking enough self care can be a one way ticket to burn out and depression.  Over the last year, I’ve dealt with the aftermath of being in a toxic work environment, moved what seems like a thousand times, undertaken many a long haul flight, planned a wedding from the opposite side of the world, become unemployed whilst saving up for said wedding and generally had a stressful year.  Self care is so important in keeping ones mind and body healthy and ensuring the optimum mental health.  Here’s my 13 top tips for self care:

 

Exercise regularly

We’ve heard it all before, but exercising regularly, releasing endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that makes you feel good.  It improves sleep, helps you de-stress and boosts overall mood. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, even a gentle walk can help.  My favourite exercise is trampoling, I find it fun, rather than tedious and it really gets my heart racing!

 

Eat healthily

Again another we should all know, but having a healthy balanced diet can work wonders for your mood.  Cut down on sugar, eat healthy fats, lots of fruit and vegetables, cut out processed foods and eat natural.  Beans, tomatoes, poultry, dark leafy greens, brazil nuts and walnuts have all been linked with mood boosting properties.  Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated helps get rid of those nasty toxins.

 

Avoid alcohol, drugs and caffeine

Most people enjoy a social drink, I certainly love the cocktails!  But alcohol is a depressant, caffeine can cause anxiety and drugs can mess with your mind.  Take a break once in a while to help your body and mind.

 

Get creative

Get arty, create a music playlist you love, get scribbling and colouring, or maybe repurposing your old stuff, or making clothes.  Maybe take up photography, create a photo collage of happy moments, or your trips abroad. Maybe expressive writing, experiment cooking up a storm in the kitchen or scrapbooking on Pinterest (go give me a follow!).

 

 

 

Spend time with friends and family

Spending quality time with friends and family can increase your mood, make greater bonds and make you feel connected.  Reconnect with your partner, snuggle and enjoy being close.  Detach yourself from toxic people.

 

Essential oils

Does a certain smell remind you of a certain time and place? You can use oils for different purposes.  Peppermint enhances mood, lavender enhances sleep quality and has shown to be effective for anxiety, jasmine increases alertness.  Bergamot has calming effects, neroli helps relieve stress and lemon balm helps sleep patterns.   Basil brings feelings of joy, eucalyptus increases optimism and ginger can relieve a tension headache and sweet orange can uplift your mood.

 

Enjoy time with a pet

Petting an animal makes us smile, which is an instant positive mood enhancer. Having a pet can help reduce loneliness, de-stress you and lower blood pressure.  Playing with a pet increases the serotonin and dopamine in your brain.  If you don’t have a pet, volunteer at a pet shelter, offer to take a friends dog for a walk or even sign up for housesitting.

 

Get outdoors

Get outside and get some vitamin D, yes the sun can make you happy!  How about some exploring your local area, take a hike somewhere you’ve never been before, hit the beach or have a BBQ.  Take a trip, go camping or road tripping and explore somewhere new.

 

Get enough sleep

Sleep is key to being healthy and feeling rested.  Stress and insomnia go hand in hand.  Limit caffeine after 2pm, stop screen time at least an hour before bed and keep the television out of the bedroom.

 

Do things you love

Whether that’s sitting watching a film with a tub of ice cream and a bucket of popcorn, going to a concert or festival, going out for a meal, taking a shopping trip or enjoying thrill rides at a theme park.  Doing things you love helps make you happy.

 

Make time for personal care

Whether that’s ensuring you take a shower and wash your hair, or take a trip to the hairdressers or go get your nails done, take time for yourself.  Keeping up your appearance can help you feel better.

 

Have some me time

Whether it’s taking a duvet day, enjoying a candlelit bath, chilling out with a good book, yoga or meditating, ensure you take time to just relax and focus on yourself.  Could it be time to explore something new like acupressure, aromatherapy or crystal healing?

 

Help others and practice compassion

Take a break from social media and spend some time helping others, how about helping out at an animal shelter, donate to a food bank, offer to babysit, volunteer at a soup shelter or homeless shelter.  Practice kindness, maybe organise a bake sale for charity or complete a sponsored run. Donate your old clothes, stop to help someone in need or donate your blood.  There is so much selfishness and greed in today’s world, practice compassion, complement someone on their outfit or hairstyle.  You never know when someone else needs a pick me up.

 

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

 

Whilst I was starting to write this blog post, a news report popped up on my phone about Kate Spade’s suicide.  The recent suicides of Avicii, Verne Troyer and Chester Bennington show that all the money in the world can’t make you happy, depression is a serious issue.  Mental health is so important, self care can assist to recharge your batteries.  But if you are feeling like hurting yourself or having suicidal thoughts, it is so important to speak out to someone you care about, your GP or a crisis line, such as the Samaritans on 116 123 or CALM for men on 0800 58 58 58.

 

Would love to know your top self care tips!  Post them in the comments.

 

 

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