Self care techniques

Life can be overwhelming and there can be times when things feel like they’re all too much. There can be times where even getting out of bed can feel like the hardest thing in the world.

Maybe it’s because you’re battling depression, anxiety or another mental health issues or you’re going through a rough time in life. Maybe it’s because you’re heart broken or have been the victim of trauma. Maybe you’ve lost your job or felt like you’ve lost your way in life. Maybe there is no reason at all, and that is also okay. Whatever the reason is, it’s okay to be going through a tough time. This means you’re human.

If you’re going through a rough time, the most important thing you can do (and often most neglected) is focus on self-care. The following are self-care suggestions to help you or your loved ones get through a tough time. This isn’t an exhaustive list and the most important thing is to make sure you find whatever works best for you.

  1. Call someone you trust like a close friend or a family member to talk it out
  2. Put boundaries in place and work on saying “no”. Take on no extra obligations and say no to anything that takes away from your precious self-care time.
  3. Practice self compassion and dial down expectations of yourself during the difficult time.
  4. Wrap yourself in a blanket, doona or big jacket.
  5. Ask for help – it could be from anyone as long as they’re a trusted person.
  6. Practice breathing techniques. Breathe in to the count of 4, hold for the count of 3, breathe out to the count of 5.
  7. Meditate.
  8. See a doctor or a health professional to help you develop a nutrition and exercise plan.
  9. Listen to a playlist of new songs.
  10. Listen to a playlist of old songs that make you happy.
  11. Go for a walk.
  12. Do something spontaneous.
  13. Challenge negative thinking.
  14. Take your dog (or borrow a friend’s dog) for a walk.
  15. Practice grounding or relaxation techniques.
  16. Join a support group for people who are going through a similar thing to you.
  17. Develop a relaxing evening ritual.
  18. Volunteer at a local shelter. Practice helping others who might also be going through a tough time.
  19. Establish a routine and stick to it.
  20. Get up early and watch the sunrise.
  21. Make a list of self soothing techniques that work for you and put it up somewhere visible. Engaging as many of the senses as possible helps.
  22. Make your home or bedroom as comfy as possible.
  23. Watch comedy.
  24. Listen to a podcast.
  25. Get professional help when needed.
  26. Educate yourself about what you’re going through.
  27. If you want to stay in bed all day and watch Netflix, do it. Doona days are sometimes necessary.
  28. Head outdoors. The beach or a mountain. Anything that helps you feel calm and free.
  29. Allow yourself to feel and express any emotions. Don’t apologise for any feelings you might have.
  30. Read a good book.
  31. Get into some adult colouring.
  32. Revisit an old hobby.
  33. Join a sporting team.
  34. Indulge in fantasies about what you’re hoping or longing for. Use this to discover what you want and set goals.
  35. Eat your favourite, most comforting foods.
  36. If you can, spend a little money and treat yourself.
  37. Make art.
  38. Take a break from social media.
  39. Get on social media if youre feeling isolated from others.
  40. Pick a section of your house or bedroom to clean up.
  41. Light a nice smelling candle.
  42. Write out a list of 10 reasons why you’ll be okay.
  43. Turn music up really loudly and dance.
  44. Write a list of 10 things that make your life beautiful.
  45. Journal.
  46. Create a plan if you’re overwhelmed. Write down what you need to do and how you can go about doing it.
  47. Exhaust yourself physically.
  48. Engage your hands by activities such as knitting or baking.
  49. Take a bath or shower.
  50. Cuddle someone or something.
  51. Hydrate – make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
  52. Eat well.
  53. Sleep. Getting 7-9 hours per night is ideal.

Pick a couple of things off this list to try or make up a list of your own. Be mindful of how you feel afterwards and whether you notice any changes within yourself. If things don’t improve over time or you notice yourself feeling worse, it might be helpful to go seek help from a professional.

Lastly, please remember that feelings and emotioms, no matter how strong, are temporary. Think of them like waves, getting bigger then crashing. No matter how bad you’re feeling, it too shall pass. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Comment below the self care strategies that have been helpful for you!

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