Self-Care Tips for Your Mental Health
First of all, I have literally nothing against an air pocket shower.
Making time for yourself is important, and a bath can give you that time. But self-care specifically is more about why you’re having a bubble bath, not the action of having it.
For most, having a bubble bath is easy. If we have time. You simply put on the taps, hold up a little and sit. Wash. Get out. I’ve never been someone who spends hours in the bath and for me it’s purely for a purpose, so I’ve often found myself thinking, is it actually relaxing?
To me, self-care isn’t just about relaxing. And baths are commonly associated with the term self-care. So it’s my kind of metaphor for the idea of not just having a bubble bath “because self-care,” but also understanding you deserve to look after yourself, along with actually wanting to do it.
It’s quite a hard thing to think about. Do you believe you deserve to feel good?
Whether you do or don’t right now, here are some self-care ideas which I believe make a deeper and longer-term impact. They can be gradually introduced into your life or thought processes to help you build yourself up.
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Here I am again banging on about meditation. If you think it sounds like a load of old shit, don’t worry – I did too. Until I tried it, and now I’ve meditated most nights for the last like three years.
I like it because it encourages me to try and clear my head, and to try and learn to experience anxiety without instinctively pushing it aside or forgetting about it.
It makes me more capable of managing my emotions and sitting in uncomfortable situations, or tuning into my body to understand it better which is think is really important.
A big part of complex post-traumatic stress disorder is being able to understand and manage what’s beneath your triggers, which is really difficult. But meditating makes me more comfortable with listening to what my body is telling me without pushing it away because it’s not nice.
2. Implement Boundaries and Try to Stick With Them
Get to know what you need. Make an effort to understand yourself and find a balance between what you need to do and what you want to do. We sometimes have to do things we don’t want to because that’s how life works – we have jobs, families, relationships and children – but I do think a middle ground is important.
Don’t say yes to things when you don’t mean yes, and try not to feel guilty about it. The whole point is understanding your needs are important and wanting to meet them.
3. Appreciate Your Body and What It Is Capable Of
Remain with me – this has literally nothing to do with appearance. The appearance of your body has nothing to do with whether it deserves to be looked after. Instead think about what your body has achieved and what it is capable of. Try to see your body in this way and don’t punish it. Give it fuel without feeling guilty and look after it – it’s your home!
4. Give Yourself Time to Think
I don’t know about you, but I tend to experience two extremes. One is either going to bed with a brain trying to tell me a hundred things at once and lying awake thinking about it all, or going to bed completely mindlessly without having even given a single thought to the day that’s just happened.
I think the reason for both these occurrences can sometimes be due to not giving myself time each day to just think about what’s going on. What happened today? That’s another reason I like meditation – it gives me an opportunity to check in with myself. You need to give yourself an opportunity to process.
5. Social Media for Better
I am in no position to tell people not to use social media and that absolutely isn’t my intention. I’m more interested in focusing on how I use it and trying to make my time on social media more purposeful or positive.
A few months ago, I decided to start posting things I find helpful or inspirational – usually having to do with mental health – and to follow accounts providing something educational, inspirational or supportive.
I really don’t care anymore about famous people posting their latest luxury items or thinking about how active other bloggers are online when I’m all out of ideas. Instead, I started following more accounts dedicated to PTSD support or mental health awareness campaigns.