Although self care activities like ‘take a bath’ are fun and great to raise your spirits sometimes, surface level self care is not always the answer. When you are feeling low, it is already a lot of effort to decide to do some self care activities, so when the only potential activities you can find online are ‘take a bath’ or ‘do a face mask’, taking time to look after yourself becomes less attractive. Lets face it, the more effort looking after ourselves is, the less exciting it is, the less likely we are to do it. We need to make sure we are making self care as interesting as possible, we need to have a bank of ideas that are different and exciting, or at least spark more joy than just having a bath. Don’t get me wrong I love having a bath, and I love the thought of having one at the end of a long day, but sometimes you need something different to try to lift your mood. Today I’ve got 5 new self care ideas that can help take your mind of things, nurture your creativity and calm you down, I haven’t seen these discussed before but I’ve given them a go and they’ve helped get me back on track when I’ve needed them.
Write notes of appreciation to people in your life
I loved this one. Often self care is thought of as reflecting inwards but this is an example of something you can do to reflect outwards on your life, whilst creating feelings of gratitude within. Depending on the time you are allowing for this, pick 3+ people in your life that you really , and starting writing. These can be notes you will show them, or notes you won’t, but try and let all your feelings out, writing about what they do for you, how they make you feel, and how grateful you are for having them in your life. Try and cultivate a happy, grateful feeling within yourself, feelings of gratitude are some of the strongest and most powerful tools to increase happiness- which is always needed when you’re down.
Do a DIY project
When you’re feeling down you often feel lost and demotivated, and the thought of doing anything but being in bed can often be an unplesant thought. But, saying that, whenever I do make myself do something, I definitely feel much better. A DIY project may seem intimidating, but think more LaurDIY than building a table haha! An example of this would be maybe making some clay models, like a trinket dish or maybe trying something like crochet. Anything that gets you off netflix and into a creative mode is great for boosting your feeling and looking after yourself.
Take a journey with yourself
Go and do something alone! We are so set on what people think of us, many of us won’t walk around alone without headphones or looking down at our phones as we don’t want to look alone. For this one, take yourself out on a coffee date, try traveling there and back with no headphones, disconnect from your phone and live in the moment. You’d be surprised as to how meditative it can be to spend dedicated time with yourself, time with yourself WITHOUT any distractions.
I know I said I wasn’t going to suggest doing a face mask but hear me out. Creating your own face masks and hair masks can be theraputic, it feels natural. Even just a simple honey and yoghurt face/hair mask can feel fun and is a nice way to pass time and take your mind off everything. You can find tons of recipes online with household ingredients. A good ingredient to buy is castor oil as this is a key ingredient in many hair masks, it’s also great for growing eyelashes.
Watch something funny
Sounds obvious but essential! We often forget this when we are down as we don’t feel like we can laugh, but laughing is one of the things that is an important part of self care, that’s why you’ll often hear friendship and connection discussed in relation to mental health. Something funny could be an old tv show you love that makes you laugh, for me that would be friends. It could be a funny book that makes you feel good or maybe a youtube video, anything that makes you smile is great.
So that was my 5 self care activities for you to try out, I thought it would be helpful to offer up some slightly different ones for you to try, because one quick search will bring up 100’s of posts with the same ‘self care’ rituals over and over. I think it is important to suggest some slightly different ideas because in my opinion the whole stigma around self care pushes people away from it. On social media it is presented as quite superficial, quite appearance and pampering based, I think this is what causes people to view it as just a myth, a money making industry. But to me, real self care is activities that promote growth, like spending deliberate time alone like I mentioned earlier, and doing things that refresh you and your body, as well as your mind. To me it is about cultivating feelings of gratitude and calmness, and in turn creating a sort of peace within yourself, that internal peace I’m referring to comes with time and with self love, but that’s a whole separate topic to discuss. So next time you’re feeling down, give some of these a go. None of them are particularly overwhelming, but feel free to adjust to suit yourself. You are in charge of your own self care.