Quarantine can = increased anxiety. Here’s how you can calm your fears with a healthy dose of self-care…
Looking after our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important than during these turbulent times. Long, dark days and cold weather mean we’re stuck indoors much more than the summer lockdown with fewer options to pass the time and it’s putting our mental health to the test.
There’s no quick fix for lockdown worries and anxieties but we can practise self-care to protect and nurture our mental health. Looking after ourselves and being sensitive and kind to our own wants and needs isn’t selfish – it’s crucial.
So, what is self-care? Put simply, it’s focussing on positive actions and thoughts to look after your own physical and mental health. Self-care is as individual as you are. You might find a bubble bath with your favourite bath bomb helps to relax you when you’re feeling anxious, others may like to go for a run or do a workout. Self-care activities make you feel calm and give you a boost.
Even something as simple as just getting up in the morning and having a shower can help to boost your mood. Popping on your favourite music is another easy way to inject some feel-good vibes into your day. The key to self-care is to find what works for you and to identify those moments when you need it most.
Try self-care if you’re feeling:
Stuck for self-care inspiration? Take a look at our suggestions below or do a quick search online to find lots of brilliant ideas. There are also free calendars available to download online for a whole month of self-care suggestions!
Ways To Self-care
- Read a book. Take break from the schoolbooks and pick up something you really enjoy reading. Graphic novel, fiction or fact – it doesn’t matter! Let yourself get lost in the pages.
- FaceTime a friend for a chat. Catching up with friends is a brilliant way to boost your mood and distract you from anxious thoughts. Friends can also be a great support and a sympathetic ear when you need it most.
- Colour or doodle. There are lots of great mindfulness colouring sheets available online to download for free. Colouring is a good way to get creative and calm the mind.
- Go outdoors. Take the dog for a walk or just sit in the garden and watch the world go by. Fresh air and a change of scene can go a long way to refocusing thoughts.
- Take a break from social media. It doesn’t have to be forever, or even for a whole day. Aim to give yourself a couple of hours away from your phone or tablet.
- Start a positivity journal. Jot down quotes and positive thoughts to look at when you’re feeling blue. Fill it with everything that makes you happy – you could add some photos of friends and family or doodle sketches of your favourite things on the pages inside. www.happyselfjournal.com have a great range of daily journals for under £20.
- Have a clear-out. Tidying up your room or sorting through your make-up clutter can make you feel more organised and ready to face the day.
Self-care is an important tool we can all use to treat our own mental health, but you may need additional help and support if you’re suffering from severe anxiety or depression. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell an adult if you feel as if things have gotten on top of you. You can also speak in confidence to a trained counsellor at Childline here or call 0800 11 11.