12 Self Care Ideas To Help Your Anxiety
Self care was never of great importance to me. I would get through the demands of life and just scrape through the day. By the time I had seen to everyone else’s needs, I was exhausted and there was very little time for myself before I woke up and did it all again. After the break-up of my first marriage, I started to develop this weird heavy feeling in my chest, it was always there and it seemed to be getting worse. Along with this heaviness in my chest, I always had this feeling of urgency, I was always stressed and worried, even if there was no reason for feeling like that! My partner would ask me, what are you anxious about, and I would normally reply with “I don’t even know!”. He eventually convinced me to make an appointment with my GP to see what she thought was going on, and after some brief tests and a very thorough conversation, she told me that my symptoms could be anxiety.
In any one year, over 2 million Australian adults have anxiety.recent Statistics from beyondblue.org.au
Mental health problems do run in my family, and I’ve always been accused of having this “rushing woman syndrome” so I could easily make the connections of why this might be happening to me. Whilst knowing that I suffered from this illness helped me to acknowledge the feelings I was having, it didn’t make it any easier to manage it. According to an article from Beyond Blue, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, over 2 million Australian adults have anxiety!
Six years later and I am still fighting this demon everyday, but it is getting better as I learn ways to manage it. Just knowing that I am not the only one who’s dealing with does it make me feel less weird. Today I’m sharing my own personal tips and tricks that you might like to try in order to take better care of your mental health, and start living your fullest life!
What is Self Care? And Why is it Important?
There are certain fundamental things that a human requires in order to take care of one’s self such as air, food, water, a balance between rest and activity, time alone and time with others. Whilst these tasks seem like pretty straightforward concepts, we can sometimes over look them without even realising, this can often lead to mood swings and irritability. These feelings and emotions do nothing good for our mental, emotional, or physical health. This is where self care comes in, self care is when we deliberately participate in an activity in order to take care of ourselves.
Put an oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on others.
I often battle that self-care isn’t selfish and that I have to make time for it, it doesn’t matter if the house is a huge mess, or I’ve not accomplished everything I wanted to in that one day. Think of what you get taught when flying on an aeroplane, “always put an oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on others”. I know… that’s super hard for some of us, but when we practice self care, it can enhance energy levels, restores health and reduces stress, I think everyone deserves that don’t you?
Ohh and it’s not just for people with loads of money either, I’m not talking about jet-setting to a luxury holiday in Bali, or spending every weekend at a spa (would be nice but not practical really), most of my self care ideas are free or very inexpensive, some activities only require a short drive or walk, some you don’t even have to get out of your pj’s for. Let’s dive in shall we?
12 Easy Habits To Get You Started
Lets take a look at these 12 easy ways you can kickstart your own self-care plan:
- Have a Coffee: Naturally this is at the top of my list! I’m just going to put this out there, coffee is self care. Well it is for me anyway, it’s my one guilty pleasure that makes me sooooo happy, like I’ll do a little jiggle at just the thought of a warm frothy mocha each morning. Treat yo-self to some well-deserved ‘me time‘ by sitting down while you have your self-care coffee, perhaps in cozy corner table in a coffee shop, or with a friend or two.
- Light a Candle: Self care doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Candles are an inexpensive way to treat ourselves, have one close by as you take time to read, knit, crochet, paint or bathe. Scented candles such as lavender or clary-sage can support those struggling with anxiety or stress.
- Take a Bath: Lock yourself in the bathroom, start running the bath water and get ready to bathe like Queen Cleopatra! A warm bath with therapeutic herbs, rose petals, essential oils, mineral salts, honey, or milk is a ritual like no other and will make you feel like a goddess. Try my easy Calendula and Pink Himalayan Salt bath salts recipe here.
- Take a Nap: I’ve always felt guilty for having day naps, especially because I know I actually have shit to do! However research has shown that naps improve reaction time, logical reasoning, math skills, mood, and even help with fatigue. In addition, napping is great for the heart, weight management, blood pressure regulation, and stress, alertness and more.
- Go For a Walk: Monday to Friday I am normally stuck indoors in the aircon behind me screen and it can be really draining and uninspiring. So I like to go for a brisk walk on the beach or in the forest and soak up all that fresh air and vitamin D on the weekends. Going for a 30min walk can improve self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, it can even reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
- Edit Your Social Media: This is a good one, and one that some people not think of! Ever be scrolling through Instgram and seeing peoples “best lives” and instantly comparing it to the mess all around you and wonder how they seem to have it all together? Yup same, all the time. But remember that’s a quick snap shot of a very particular moment in their lives, no one’s life is instagram worthy 24/7, so go ahead and remove anyone, or anything that doesn’t make you feel good.
- Have a Spa Day: You could pay for this services, but if you’re not in a position to do that, then do it in your own home! Create a relaxing space by diffusing some your favourite essential oils or lighting a scented candle, then allow yourself a decent amount of time to give yourself a facial (try these simple face mask ideas here), paint your nails, wash your hair or shave your legs. Taking time out to pamper yourself will lift your self-esteem, relax you and help you to get a better nights sleep.
- Brain Dump: The world is filled with great things to do, make, and accomplish, but not with a lot of time. I really struggle with this! I’ve so many ideas and dreams filling up my head space, that sometimes I cant see the woods for the trees! So I will often sit down with a pen and paper and just write down everything that springs to mind, it doesn’t have to be organised or make any sense to anyone else, but it gives me the opportunity to get everything out thats cluttering up my head space. I’ll normally select like the top 5 and act on those so I can cross them off my list, then come back to anything else at a later stage. After my dump (sounds terrible doesn’t it!) I feel less stressed and anxious about all the tasks I need to complete, and helps me to centre my focus on whats really important.
- Declutter: K, I’ll be honest, I’m really bad at this! Sometimes I can’t think for all the stuff and mess that’s around me. The environment that we find ourselves in can undoubtedly affect our mood, but I don’t have enough motivation in me to clean my house top to bottom everyday however, (weird I know) so in order to feel some sort of self-achievement I take it in bite sizes. One day I will tackle my office, then the next I might go through the kids drawers and purge anything they don’t need anymore. Reducing the ‘clutter’ in our lives allows us tackle our stressors head-on, which in turn will benefit our mental health.
- Netflix and Chill: I don’t do this that often as we’re lucky to live in a part of the country that has fab weather almost all year round, so we do a lot outside in the evenings, but I do like to treat myself to a Nexflix marathon every once in awhile (anyone else a Stranger Things of Vikings fan?). Or maybe you need to get out the house, why not ring up some friends that you’ve been meaning to catch up with and head to the movies, or ring a baby sitter and take your hubby.
- Go For A Drive: Jump in the car and drive somewhere where you can sit and enjoy the magical moment of a sunset or sunrise. I recently saw the moon rise over the ocean here in Western Australia and it was just spectacular, it was so peaceful and awe inspiring. Don’t take any pictures or post about it on social media. Just watch and be still.
- Dance: Like there’s no one watching baby! Create a playlist of songs you like to listen too and just move your body. You don’t have to be professionally trained or even “good” at dancing it to reap the benefits, dancing can be an enjoyable way to be more physically active for those of us who don’t enjoy sports or fitness. I like doing this with my kids, it helps me to unwind and release tense muscles, and makes them tired before bed, YUS! #winning
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Self Care Is For Everyone
Self care can help anyone in any stage of life, it’s not just for people who suffer from a mental illness either, we all need to take time out of our busy lives to stop and reenergise. So this is your reminder to slow down, treat yourself to some well-deserved me time. Let me know what self care activities you implement below in the comments section, I would love to hear your ideas!
Go ahead and forward this onto a friend who needs a gentle self care reminder, or pin it to come back to later!