With World Mental Health Day approaching, our Digital Marketing associtate, Gina, shares her top tips on how to recharge and take care of yourself. Gina is not a mental health expert, but wanted to share some of her favourite self-care tips.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re being pulled in all directions. We often think of other people’s needs first, and tend to put ourself last.
But, it’s not selfish to put yourself first, and spend some time doing what you enjoy. In fact, it’s so important: you can’t pour from an empty cup, and you if you're not feeling 100% you, it can be difficult to see how best to help yourself and others.
So this month, make some time doing things for you, whether you enjoy a cuppa in your favourite spot, take 10 minutes to breathe in some fresh air at lunchtime, or have a self-care evening relaxing in the tub.
Here are some of my favourite self-care tips:
In this information age we can easily become overloaded with daily news, picture perfect social media posts and messages which we feel may need replying to instantly - spoiler: most of the time, they don’t!
Sometimes, it can all become a bit much and this constant connection can often be making us feel more alone. So take a breather, turn off your phone and make the time to break away from screens. Enjoy some quiet activities on your own, or with a friend or neighbour: how about reading a book, doing a jigsaw puzzle or getting creative?
Getting active increases our feelings of happiness and boosts our mental health. Are you sat down for long periods of time? Make the time to stretch regularly and get your blood flowing.
Can you get out for a walk around your neighbourhood? Maybe there's a local walking group that you can meet up with? Why not make this a part of your daily routine? Or perhaps even join an exercise class, where you can meet new people and learn something new!
Are you taking care of yourself physically? Our bodies do so much for us, we have to look after them too! Make sure you drink water regularly, nourish your body with good food and get enough rest.
Sometimes we feel as though this is impossible! But, take it step by step: why does this feel like such an enormous task? Can anyone help you? There’s no shame in reaching out to others, whether they’re family, friends of neighbours – they may be going through the same experience, or they may be pleased you felt comfortable enough with them to reach out. You’ll never know until you ask!
Baking or making, creating something makes us feel good and realise what we can achieve! Are you a Star Baker? Or a Blue Peter fanatic? Maybe you’re not either, but everyone’s got to start somewhere! So try something new and check out our favourite craft activities and recipes to get started.
Connect to your senses and feel part of the world. We are a part of an incredible planet bursting with natural life around every corner. So get your walking shoes on and head to the local park, river, woodlands or coast. Can you hear any birds? Feel the texture of bark on a tree? Look up, what’s above you? What can you smell? Go foraging and taste native treats, this time of the year is perfect for blackberries!
Exploring somewhere new can make us feel alive! Even if you can’t get away for a break, is there somewhere nearby that you’ve always wanted to visit? Maybe you’ll find an unexplored spot in your local area and have an adventure right on your doorstep.
7. Inner child
What was your favourite thing as a child? Did you love eating cookies, kicking a football around, or did you have your nose in a particular book? Even as adults, we get comfort from childhood loves. Look after your inner child and treat yourself to that warming familiarity.
After a busy day, week or month, you need time to process what has happened. Everyone is different, and something that might work for you, might not work for someone else.
But here’s a few simple ways to decompress: enjoy a candlelit bubble bath, write in a journal, dance like nobody’s watching, take five minutes to meditate, relax with a colouring book, or (my favourite!) look at cute animal pictures or videos!
9. Positive vibes only
Keep a note of compliments, praise or happy words from people in an email folder, notebook or on slips of paper in a 'positivity jar'. When you’re feeling low, it’s a great reminder of how amazing you are.
10. Self-care basket
Fill a box or basket with things to treat yourself so you have something ready for when you need a little extra love. It could be your favourite sweet treat, scented candles, books, hot chocolate, treasured photos or a comfy blanket.
Stepping outdoors, relaxing in the tub, getting creative or taking time to meditate - whatever floats your boat, weave it into your daily routine and make time for you!
And if you need to reach out, connect with others and become part of something bigger, join The Network to surround yourself with like-minded people who just 'get it'.