Thursday, 20 July 2017

10 Ways That I Practice Self Care

Hey lovelies! I usually try to avoid starting posts off on a sad note, however right now I'm not feeling very good. Not long after I sat down to write up this post, I learnt the terrible news about Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington, and it was such a shock. During my teenage years, when I struggled with my depression in silence and felt truly alone, the words of Linkin Park's songs helped me through tough times and allowed me to process my emotions. They made me feel like I wasn't so alone in my feelings. These songs I loved so much have continued to help me throughout my life, the lyrics are tragically beautiful and really speak to me. So the news struck me hard. RIP Chester ♥ Self care feels more important than ever right now, and this post feels so appropriate today. I wanted to share with you all my favourite ways to provide myself with some care and to cheer myself up when I'm feeling gloomy. I hope that you dinf this post helpful. Enjoy! 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

The Importance of Self Care 

Self care basically means doing something that is beneficial to your mental well-being, something that makes you feel good, cheers you up when you're down, or that helps you relax when you're feeling stressed or tense, something that can calm you and help relieve any anxiety. There are so many different forms of self care that are practiced by lot of people to help them feel better. Here are the things that make me feel a little better on my dark days, things that help settle my nerves and ease any stress I might have....

1. Hot Bath, Pretty Colourful Bath Bombs & Sweet-Scented Candles 

I love a good bath; the hot water makes me feel relaxed and soothes the aches and pains that I experience as a result of my chronic pain conditions. However, because of my depression I find it difficult to motivate myself sometimes to have a bath. It makes me embarassed to admit it but I will avoid looking after myself when I'm having a hard time with my mental health, so I like to use candles and bath bombs to encourage myself to have a bath. I absolutely adore bath bombs... the fragrances, the colours, the sound of them fizzling away in the water and the way they swirl around the bath tub spreading colours as they go, the bath art that they create, the way they change the colour of the water and how they make my skin feel and smell afterwards. I also love to burn candles in the bathroom too, usually Yankee Candles because of how strong the scents are and also because they have so many wonderful kinds available. I put my music on, turn the light off, and once I'm in there, I never want to get out. It just feels really tranquil :) 

2. Listening to music

Music has always been important to me and I've forever found myself getting lost listening to the meaningful words, the instrumentals and the rhytms, and the way they make me feel. I prefer to listen to different genres and certain artists depending on how I'm feeling, but very often when I'm feeling frustrated or stressed, my go-to is loud, heavy music. It just makes me feel better, to channel my emotions and almost vent them. When my depression is making me feel down, I like to listen to 'sad songs', because they help me to feel like I'm not alone in what I'm feeling and also make me feel like I can get through whatever feelings I'm experiencing at the time. Other times when I'm feeling gloomy, I enjoy pulling on my musical soundtracks or disney songs, and singing along to them! They make me feel uplifted and cheer me right up! 
Ways That I Practice Self Care

 3. Relaxing in nature

Nature has always been a place of sanctuary to me. When I am surrounded by plants and trees and flowers and wildlife, I feel at home. I feel content and I get a feeling of inner place and it really helps me relax and escape from my worries and the stresses of life. There is so much beauty around me and so many little details to observe and explore, that I almost forget my troubles and just focus on the things around me. I like to the sounds of nature: the wind blowing through the branches making the leaves rustle, the tweeting and singing of the birds, the sound of squirrels and other forest-dwelling creatures scurrying through the leaves, the trickling of a stream, twigs crunching under my shoes... there's just so much activity. I love to lay on grass and look up at the sky and the trees, to feel the grass brush against my fingers. I like to watch insects flying from flower and flower. All of these different scensory elements just distract me and I always feel a little happier when I leave the natural space. 

4. Watching movies that make me laugh or cry

Depending on how I'm feeling, I like to watch movies that cause completely different reactions on me. Sometimes I want to watch an uplighting movie with a cheerful storyline, of romance and adventure and comedy, those with fairytale happy endings. I want to feel full of joy when I watch it, to feel inspired and motivated and ready to face whatever the world throws at me. Other times, I want to have a good cry, sometimes being able to let out all of my pent-up emotions really helps me feel better. Who else feels better after a good cry? I'll watch movies that I know have heart-wrenching scenes, usually Disney movies, or movies that are about heartbreak or hardship or that I can relate to when I'm feeling shit. Whenever the movie does, whether it makes me giggle or sob, they often help distract me from my internal thoughts and this makes me feel better for a while. Let me know in the comment which movies always make you laugh or cry. I'd love some recommendations!

5. Colouring in 

There are some really creative and beautifully illustrated 'colouring therapy' books available since adult colouring books became a thing. There is something to suit every taste, from wildlife, to mandalas, to fictional characters and colouring books based on popular movies and books, and even colouring books that are combined with puzzle books. I love all of them, but my favourites are the ones by artist Millie Marotta (check out a review I did about one of them here). She creates illustrations with so many little details to colour and as I've never been the best at keeping my colouring inside the lines, I find that I really have to concentrate as not to mess up. This helps me focus on what I'm doing rather than on my thoughts and so it can be really helpful for taking my mind off things for a while. It also makes me feel happy afterwards when I look at my completed picture and love what I've done :) 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

 6. Masturbation 

I wasn't sure about whether to include this in my post at first, but then I thought why the heck not? It is something that a lot of people do, even if they'd personally prefer to keep it private, and it is a massive stress-reliever. Last year, I shared a post for all about the pros of masturbation if you want to check it out. It is something that always makes me feel better afterwards, it relieves tension, improves my mood, and it feels great! It is the most natural type of self care there is. 

7. Binge-watching Cartoons

Sometimes being stressed can make us feel drained, and I know that when I'm feeling drained that my concentration is not at it's best and I cannot seem to focus much on anything. All I want to do is longue around and do something that doesn't require much thinking. This is when I find it fun to watch my favourite animated shows. They are easy to watch and make me laugh and I don't need to concentrate on complex storylines and characters. They are usually short episodes, too. I can watch them back to back for hours effortlessly, and this is perfect for me when I just want to lay in bed with some yummy food and snuggle up in my duvet :) 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

8. Getting Lost Within the Pages of a Book

If you enjoy reading then you'll know that there's nothing that takes you away from your everyday life and a overthinking brain quite like a good book. Whether you're re-reading one of your favourite books or discovering a new one, it can be so catharic to let your imagination run wild, to get lost in a book, especially if you can relate to the characters or the storyline is really captivating and interesting. Books are wonderful things!

9. Cuddling With My Pets

Animals have always been able to instantly cheer me up. Watching their little mannerisms and observing their behaviour makes me smile and laugh and feel so much love for them. Cuddling animals or stroking/petting them or feeding them or brushing them is really therapeutic, and my gorgeous pets always make me happy, especially when they show me love back. I love the way that my rabbits nudge me with their noses or hop over to be when I'm sitting in their rabbit runs with them and flop down next to me. I love watching them binky (this is that super cute behaviour that rabbits do when they jump in the air and then hop or run around afterwards). It makes me feel so loved when my sister's puppy Aurora gets excited to see me when I get up or whenever I've been out of the room for a long time. I love when she brings a toy to me because she wants to play, or like now for example when I'm sitting on the floor typing after on my laptop, she comes and lays down next to me. Animals are amazing. Who else has pets? I'd love to hear all about them :) If you don't have your own pet, you can always go to a friends who has one, or go to a petting zoo, or volunteer at a rescue centre. 

10. Photography

Practicing self care is doing anything that makes you feel good, that has a positive impact on your mental health and that brings you happiness. One of my hobbies that I enjoy the most is photography. It makes me feel focused when I'm trying to capture the beautiful things I see and this in turn keeps my thoughts occupied, meaning I've not analysing all of my anxiety thoughts or worrying about things. When I take a photography that I'm happy with, it makes me feel good about myself. I am really interested in wildlife and I enjoy the challenge of photographing insects, so whenever I manage to shot the 'perfect' photograph, it makes me feel so happy. I love flowers too, and I love documentating all of the cool flora that I see when I'm out and about. Looking through the photographs when I'm back home is something that I enjoy as well. All of these things make me feel contented and joyful so I really passionate about photography. 

So, those are all of the ways that I practice self care, depending on how I'm feeling or what it is that I'm having a hard time dealing with. I hope that this post has given you some ideas of self care to try for yourself, or that you can relate to some of the self care that I do. Right now, I'm in need of some self care so I'm going to cuddle Aurora and put on Bob's Burger :) 

Thankyou for reading! 


What are your go-to self care practices? 

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  1. I'm really sad about Chester Bennington too. I never went to a Linkin Park concert but I liked their music a lot and it's a terrible loss of life and talent. He must've been in so much mental anguish. These are great ways to practice self care and I do a lot of them too. Go you for including masturbation, it's a great way to make yourself feel good (or fall asleep!) xx

    1. It really was a shock to hear about it! :( It's so tragic *hugs*

      Thankyou lovely :) Definitely agree... the perfect 'cure' from insomnia? hahaha! x

  2. This is such a beautiful post. It's so important to look after ourselves, but I know I'm always putting it last. I love spending time in a good book. It's so relaxing to just focus on something else for a little while.

    Aycan - Little White Socks


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