Resolutions and anxiety – 7 self-care ideas

I’m a bit late with this post, I know. In fairness, I started writing it just after Christmas, and January seems to have gone by in a hazy mish-mash of ‘Thank God that’s over’ and ‘shit, I’m poor.’

I find New Year quite overwhelming (now there’s a surprise!) There seems to be this overbearing expectation to turn into some sort of upgraded version of yourself. A whole new person who has their shit together; looks amazing and carefully considers everything they put into their body. (I’m not giving up Gin…. okay!? Actually, that’s not true as I’ve given up alcohol for Lent.)

As someone who, in all honesty, has had a ‘shit year’, mentally, I find this really difficult. My anxiety already kicking up a gear; making me consider all the things I’m not. All the things I do ‘wrong’; all the things I’m shit at. All the things I feel I’m lacking and feeling like a failure because I’m still not slim & beautiful, organised or conquering the world as the clock strikes midnight on NYE.

Realistically and logically, I can’t control the future any more than I can change the past. If only’s and fretting about what has happened or might happen won’t change anything. I know it, but anxiety doesn’t allow me to move forward with this mindset.

I only know this for certain: I don’t want to endure another year like the last one, so the only part of my life I resolve to improve this year is self-care.

I don’t mean that in a selfish way, not completely anyway. I am a mother and a wife and my family’s well-being will always come first but I’m going to make more of an effort to look after myself too.

Self-care ideas for those who struggle with their mental health

In truth, everyone should practice self-care/mindfulness. It’s a healthy way of life in my opinion, yet one I neglect far too often. It’s easy to forget yourself when you care for others; when you’re too busy to eat properly and trying to do it all.

The following will feel like a fraud to me because I doubt that I will practice what I preach. But it’s true, so believe it.

Self-care is vital and that’s something I have to keep reminding myself of like many other people do too. There’s only one you. And whether you believe it or not YOU ARE IMPORTANT.

I’d also like to point out that these are based on my own experiences, and not everything will appeal to or work for everyone. But in any case, I think it’s important that we each find something that helps us look after our own selves. I hope you find this helpful in some way.

Take time out for you

Yes, I know. I raised my own eyebrows, but you know what? There are 24 hours in a day, everyone can spare at least half of one for themselves.

Take some time out just for you, whether that’s after the kids have gone to bed of an evening; after you’ve dropped everyone at school or even during your lunch break at work.

Spend this time doing something you WANT to do, not something you need to do. Whether that’s pampering yourself, watching whatever Netflix show you’re into until your eyes hurt, spend some time working on a project or enjoying a hobby.

Personally, I will catch up on the soaps, binge watch YouTube videos, do my makeup or give myself a mini facial, paint my nails, draw/paint… or even just lay on the bed and try to sleep. The latter doesn’t always work depending on how I am, I need distraction and I’ve never been good at sleeping during the day. I will occasionally take myself off to bed early though, depending on whether the kids are asleep already and what shift my hubby is on.

Get outside

Now, this is a tricky one for many but if you are okay with going outside, do it… as often as you can! Recently I’ve been quite anxious if I have to go out alone but fortunately, this isn’t something I HAVE to do often. I usually have someone as company.

Anxiety aside, I adore the outdoors and feel free when I’m surrounded by nature. I love birds and trees and the rain. I feel quite at home with a camera snapping away at all the beautiful things I see.

Get active if you’re able. I used to find running was great for the mind as well as the body, but alas due to pain, I’m restricted to indoor treadmills rather than hard terrain. There’s also walking, cycling, even tennis if you’re a fan!

While I have my ‘advice’ head on, I believe that everyone should find something that takes then make to their ‘happy place’ and then make it part of your everyday essential routine, without fail. It’s all about loving yourself enough to ensure you are happy and realising that life is short and in the long run, it doesn’t matter how successful you are at work or how much you ticked off your list every day if, at the end of your journey, you never enjoyed it. You never took the time to visit the beautiful garden; never read that book, never danced in the rain; never went out in what you like to wear, never took that risk, never loved like you’ve never been hurt… never made your dreams come true.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Whether that is practically or mentally, if you need support, please ask for it. This is not anywhere near as simple to do as that was to type, believe me, I know, but if you can, do. Even if it’s to ask a loved one or friend to give you a hand with the housework because everything feels too hard, or finding a support group locally or online. There are people out there to help you. Don’t ever think otherwise. You are not alone and nobody expects you to do it all.

My biggest saviour is having someone I trust implicitly to confide in. Someone I know will always be there for me even through the rough times. I am extremely lucky that I am able to have this support but even if you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone close to you, there are organisations such as The Samaritans who run helplines where you can talk to someone in confidence.

Create routines

If routines keep you feeling together and secure, then have some for you too. Maybe a new skincare/shower routine to ensure you are looking after yourself each morning. Or a simple bedtime routine; gentle exercise, maybe a twilight walk, a milky drink, a warm bath, read a chapter of a book, paint your nails, pick out an outfit for tomorrow. Then listen to soothing sounds or a podcast just before you try and fall asleep. It doesn’t have to be set in stone or something you have to do every day without fail, but sometimes something to look forward to can help focus and relax the mind a little.

Say No

Another one I find difficult to do in practice. I have this thing where I automatically feel a ridiculous amount of guilt unless I accept everything asked of me. I used to think it was selfish not to, I mean it wouldn’t hurt me, would it? Only it can. My responsibility lies in making sure my family are happy, healthy, loved and well looked after. Beyond that, sometimes I need to use any energy that I have left for me. And as selfish as that sounds, it absolutely isn’t. We all deserve to put ourselves high on the priority list, and do you know why? Because none of us are any use to anyone else if we are ill. If we are so burnt out that we can barely function; if our stress levels are so high we lose focus on what is important. Learn to say no. It’s not selfish, it just means you are taking control of you and prioritising what is actually important.

Stop being hard on yourself

This one is the hardest one for me. I have a tendency to blame myself for everything and I’m my own worst critic like many other people are too.

I get things wrong, I run out of time, I procrastinate, I lose my shit when I should just breathe. But that’s okay. It’s called being human, and I need to remember that.

Nobody and I mean NOBODY is perfect. You are enough, you are loved, you deserve good things and you are only human.

Write to yourself

This might sound strange but it’s a great way to learn to be kind to yourself. I listened to a podcast a few months ago that encouraged listeners to take a moment and imagine themselves as a small child (or your best friend if that feels better to you). Think about how you feel about yourself, your worries, things you want to do differently, things you might feel ashamed or angry about and respond as if you were a young child.

How differently; how more kindly would you respond?

This is how you should treat yourself. Gently, kindly; with compassion, with a soothing, comforting word. No judgement, no punishment. I think it’s nice to write this down so that you can re-read it when you need to. Trust me, it was a eye-opener for me and really makes you realise how hard you can be on yourself.

I think being kind to ourselves, putting ourselves first from time to time and allowing ourselves to take a step back and notice the little things in life, is a healthy way to live.

Just remember, you are worth the time.

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A turning point

… Well I hope so anyway. As regular readers will know, I suffer with anxiety and depression, both of which have hit me like a truck in the past 14 months or so and I’ve found life pretty challenging to put it mildly.

I’ve been trying so damn hard to help myself recently and I’ve done a lot of soul searching as well as trying various techniques to attempt to get myself out of this negative cycle that I seem to have become trapped into.

I was cleaning the bathroom earlier and thinking that I actually felt ok today. I actually felt happiness. Something I genuinely had forgotten how to feel, and I don’t mean that I don’t love or care, because I do. Far too much; I just mean I’d forgotten how to recognise anything other than worry or panic or despair. Anyway, I digress. Today I felt like I could do it. I could laugh, and be productive, and enjoy things. I could succeed.

And then it came to me. I need to look forward, not back.

The future is unknown. Which is terrifying; especially for an anxious person, but it is also absolutely anything I want it to be. I have the power to make my future, and my loved ones future, a happy one. Obviously I can’t control everything but I can dream and I can hope. I can choose happy.

Like my husband said to me a few weeks ago, I need to stop living in the past. No matter how much heartache I put on myself, fretting and dwelling on the bad times, I can’t change it. It’s done. It’s gone.

The only thing any of us can do is look forward with open minds, and open hearts and dream. Dream of happy times, healthy, joyous, fulfilling, exciting times that are full of love and kindness.

Bad things happen, that’s just life, but we can overcome the negativity they bring and remember that life is short, too bloody short. So no more hanging on to what ifs and if onlys. No more dissecting the past and punishing ourselves for not being good enough. Only look to the future, grab life by the wonderful and DREAM – we deserve that, don’t we?!

Now I just need to keep this mindset. I’m not naive enough to believe that I’m going to suddenly get better, but having a more positive outlook can only help me. I’ve had a blip already tonight, but I’m dusting myself off and I’m hopeful for a better day tomorrow.

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How I unwind

I feel like a bit of a fraud writing this as I don’t allow myself ‘me time’ anywhere near often enough, but after chatting to my hubby recently where he pointed out that I don’t prioritise myself in my day to day schedule, and I absolutely should for my own well-being.

How right he is and so I decided that it was time to make time for myself. Even if it’s 10 minutes here and there. It’s just so tempting to try and cram everything I need to get done into the few child-free hours I have on a school day.

I came to realise that actually, I should be scheduling my ‘me time’ into those child-free hours instead of trying claw extra time at the end of the day when all I want to do is sleep but can’t.

So here are some things that I do that helps me to unwind or try and forget about the day’s stresses.

Music

I have music on in the background most of the time as I feel better with background noise (plus I can’t hear noise from outside, which believe me, is a blessing) I wrote a post about music as therapy, previously.

Hot bath

Yes, boring but it’s unusual for me to have a looooong soak without someone hammering on the door needing to poop or needing mummy to catch the spider/ check for monsters/ break up world war three that started over who wanted which quilt. Bath oils/ Lush products and candles preferred but not essential; silence is usually sufficient! 😉

Go for a walk or run

Plantar fasciitis allowing, I love running. Although I’m usually limited to a treadmill these days, it sure just helps to burn off excess energy/negativity.

I love going for long walks whatever the weather. Autumn is my absolute favourite time to be. Outdoors. The crisp leaves, the birds, atmosphere and a perfect temperature; chilly but not cold. The kids love being outdoors too, so everyone’s a winner.

Laptop Time

I have not been very well recently, so I can’t lay all the blame on having a family or piss-poor planning, HOWEVER, I worked out that up until approximately 10 days ago, I hadn’t used the laptop/PC in over 4 months!! 4 months!!! How ridiculous is that?! What on Earth was I thinking? It’s not even like my house suddenly became a pristine show home so what the f*ck was I doing with my life? Oh yeah… existing 🙁 I use my phone. Everyday. It’s like it’s been surgically attached to my hand but it’s not quite the same as curling up all cosy with the laptop and a never-ending supply of hot drinks.

Bullet Journaling

I am completely freaking rubbish at this but I love it! I’ve always wanted to be an illustrator and I’ve been a doodler since I could hold a pencil so ‘permission’ to fanny about with fine liners and markers in the name of ‘organisation’ gets my vote! 😉 Joking aside though, the art of bullet journaling is pure genius so if you want to get all your stuff in one place whilst becoming super organised, productive and creative, then give it a go.

Blogging

Sometimes and then not really at times because myself and blogging have a love/hate relationship depending on my current state of mind. But when I’m in a mood like I am tonight, I could write for hours and hours (and I have done just that tonight). Other times I can’t bring myself to even log in, but I’ve learned that that’s absolutely okay.

Watch a movie 

Again it depends on my mood but I love watching movies of all genres. I’m a huge horror fan but I equally enjoy comedies, love stories, action movies, sci-fi, family films…. you name it.

Catching up with TV

I am a soap junkie; my guilty pleasure. I have an eclectic taste in most things and TV is no exception. I love period dramas like Victoria, Real life/reality shows, comedy shows and I am a big fan of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Lucifer, House – to name a few.

I also love to watch hospital shows, real life or not… I just love them. I didn’t care that One Born might scare the shit out of me when I was 8 months pregnant, I just had to watch. I also like parenting/lifestyle shows like Supernanny, the 3 day Nanny, obsessive-compulsive cleaners – probably because I’m so bloody nosy!

If anyone has recommendations for new things to watch please let me know!

YouTube

Similarly to TV, I subscribe to hundreds of channels covering all sorts. Beauty, parenting, food, tech, people who make me smile, weep or laugh….you name it. I’ll write a post on my favourite YouTubers as there are soooo many that I love to watch.

Snuggle up with my hubby and or children

I have come to realise that there is absolutely no shame in bundling into the ‘big bed’ in the middle of the afternoon for a nap or to lay together watching movies. In actual fact, I think it’s an occasional necessity.

How do you unwind?

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Rays of light through the darkest clouds

I feel like I should apologise for the radio silence recently. I had the Summer ‘off’ so I could concentrate on my family, but since then I’ve been going through some hard times mentally speaking. I won’t go into a long dramatic post about it all but I felt compelled to write in celebration of the good bits.

I honestly started to think that his was just ‘me’ now and feeling like this was just going to be my life, with regular panic attacks thrown in for good measure. I think I’ve forgotten how to see the positive things day-to-day, or perhaps I see them but I just don’t notice them.

On Monday I decided a bit of retail therapy would do me good. Fresh air, away from the same four walls and the negativity that fuels the storm in my head. I had a really nice time on my own. I bought myself some bargain clothes in the sale and pottered around, looking for ideas for Christmas presents.

On the way home, I felt a bounce in my step and an unfamilar warmth. It felt good and as I sat down on the bus, I realised that I. Was. Actually. Smiling. Not a fake smile to be polite and pretend, but a genuine life-is-good, happy grin.

I had noticed the little things around me. A robin dancing across the fences, a couple holding hands, a little girl skipping along; the sun shining even though the clouds where grey and threatening rain. I suppose it was a mini epiphany – it’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it?

I almost felt like the old me again.  Just for a little while.

Let me be clear. I am not saying that a shopping spree ‘cured’ me, because oh my God, I am nowhere near it. But I just think that it’s important to focus on the positive, no matter how small and insignificant it might seem. Can’t even believe I’ve typed that sentence, to be honest.

Life came tumbling back down to Earth with a bump when I returned to familiar surroundings, passing the ‘negativity in my life’ as I went. It was an unwelcome reminder of the darkness I often feel but I was determined that it wasn’t going to rain on my parade.

Monday was a good day. And I’ll take that.

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Walking is good for my soul…

.....But not so much for my sole! *badum tish* Stay with me.... I'll get to the point :lol:

Apparently it’s Walk To Work Month… who knew?

Do you walk a lot? I don’t drive so I tend to walk everywhere anyway.  On an average day I probably walk about 8 miles outside of the house. I’ve always walked everywhere, even as a teenager – I love it.

Obviously, it’s good for you. The fresh air (sort of), the exercise, the surroundings – nature and the outdoors definitely does wonders for my state of mind. I find it relaxing yet exhilarating (except when it’s blowing a gale – I hate windy weather… rain, storms – no problem, but wind? Just NO!)

Most of my photography is taken outside – the World is a beautiful place and we’d notice it more if we were to Just. Slow. Down.

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

Love being outdoors, especially this time of year. So beautiful #woods #nature🍃 #ukblogger

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

When my children were younger I’d scoop them up into their wrap, and wear them on family walks…the wonder in their eyes was magical to see, there’s nothing quite like it. I really miss babywearing! The kids have always walked to school, whatever the weather. I think it’s good for them too and they’ve never questioned it as they’ve always done it.

We love to go for long walks in the woods too – so much to see and experience. Much needed time away from screens and the internet could not be better spent if you ask me. If I could do it every day, I would.

Unfortunately, all this lovely walking has its downside. Especially when you run as well. Over the past 8 years or so I’ve suffered from occasional Plantar fasciitis; or thickening/inflammation of the plantar fascia. However for the past 2 months, it’s become chronic pain that lasts all day. It’s just not feasable for me to rest, so the ligament struggles to heal, resulting in me hobbling about like Hopalong Cassidy. By the time the day is over, I can be found practically crawling around on my hands and knees. It also caused me to have Sciatica which I believe was due to the way I had to walk/limp. Not nice at all.

I have a night brace (which has to be the most uncomfortable thing to try to sleep in) which stretches out the plantar fascia overnight. I also have the most fantastic foot wrap that supports my arch and the plantar fascia as I walk; coupled with a memory foam heel wedge that I wear in my shoe. A great big pain in the…..well, foot. But it does seem to be allowing the ligament to heal again. Thank the Lord! I’m not the best patient…. not because I’m a wimp or whine a lot, but because I just don’t have flipping time to be injured! 😆 I’m sure most of you are with me on that one!

So, if you are ever unfortunate to suffer from this painful condition, I highly recommend a foot wrap that is designed to support the plantar fascia –  it’s literally changed my life! (yes, slightly dramatic, but it has!)

Do you or have you suffered from foot pain of any kind? What helped you?

This is my post for Day 3 of #BEDM. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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