Sometimes you can be all give and no take, burning the candle at both ends trying to juggle your job, social life, finances and health regime. A lot can be said for pausing all of that for a moment to really concentrate on giving yourself a bit of TLC.
If you don’t take time out for yourself, it can all build up and get a bit too much, ending in perhaps an exhausted cry, a stressful bout of binge eating or general sense of not knowing what’s going on in your head. All things that shouldn’t be part of the self care routine. No wonder we find it hard to switch off when we’re in a world of constant pace, pressure and expectation. The stressful ways of life nowadays can lead to a number of mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety, eating and panic disorders, substance abuse and schizophrenia. The most common in Britain being anxiety and depression with 7.8% of the population meeting criteria for diagnosis, with these also estimated to be the cause of a fifth of days lost from work.*
Things need to change. We need to take control of our wellbeing and be more proactive in making ourselves healthier and happier in body and mind. Both your body and mind need time to rest, to switch off and not be in overdrive. There are so many ways to do this so I thought I’d do a little manual full of things that I think we should take more time to do (and no this isn’t just aimed at the girls!).
Stay In Bed
Sleep is reaaaaaally important. If I don’t get my 7-8 hours in the week, I’m a right crabby arse and for good reason. Lack of sleep makes it harder for you to concentrate, causes bad moods and can even lead to weight gain. Get those hours in people! It helps.
I always have to have a book on the go as it helps me to retreat from my own life for a while and I get completely lost in someone elses. Reading a few chapters really relaxes me and helps my brain keep ticking. Studies have shown that reading increases our emotional intelligence and mental stimulation which helps to keep our brains healthy and even delay the onsets of dementia! Pass me a novel pronto!
Whether this be a bit of retail therapy or a really delicious dessert, there are always our ‘go to’ treats that give us that boost and make us that little bit happier. Treating yourself should be done often. Book a spontaneous trip. Buy the shoes. Eat that burger. Why the hell not.
This may not be for everyone but exercise releases endorphins – the happy hormone – and leaves us feeling refreshed, invigorated and de-stressed. It’s always good to get the heart pumping and challenge our bodies.
Whether this be getting a new hair cut, painting your nails or just having a bath and curling up in your pjs, it’s important to have that time to make ourselves feel good. That massage you’ve wanted for a while? Book it. That outfit you want? Buy it. If it rejuvenates you and leaves you feeling great, it can only be a winner.
As much as I love a bit of chocolate, eating well makes me feel good from the inside. Getting your nutrients feeds the body and brain all they need to function properly. Look after your diet, look after you body and your brain will thank you for it too.
Well I had to mention this somewhere didn’t I?! Backpacking, holidays and weekends give me LIFE! When you’re in a different city or another country away from home, you can leave all your responsibilities behind even if it’s only for the day. It’s great to just be able to explore or relax without thinking of home for a while.
Look after yourself, be selfish every so often and be kind to your soul. It’s the only one you have after all.
With lots and lots of self love,
*Stats from mentalhealth.org.uk