I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
Today, I thought I would share some self care ideas for the winter. It is very easy to forget about self care and looking after yourself during the colder season. You just want to stay in, watch TV and stay warm all the time. Yes, these are all forms of self care in itself. However, I hope this list will give you a few more ideas and motivation!
Buy yourself a nice warm and soft blanket, jacket, hat, pair of gloves, socks. Anything. You will feel so happy and cosy!
This is one of my favourite forms of self care. Although I understand you may be put off doing this whilst it’s cold. You don’t have to go too far. Just wrap up warm and treat yourself to a hot drink on the way!
I absolutely love hot chocolate so it had to be included on this list. Make sure you go all out, put in some big marshmallows, squirty cream and even chocolate sprinkles. Treat yourself once in a while and enjoy it by the fire.
Spend some time baking and making some festive cupcakes, cookies or gingerbread men. There are lots of recipes online to follow. I always find baking and decorating the cake (to give it a festive theme) extremely relaxing.
There are so many great tunes out there for the holiday season. You will not find it difficult to create a feel good playlist to put on in the background whenever you want to chill.
Invest in incense sticks or a candle with a festive scent. Put them all around the house and enjoy! I especially recommend a gingerbread smell.
It is really important to look after your skin during the winter. Your skin can get really dried up in the temperature. Go out and invest in some lip balm and a good moisturiser. Korean skincare is definitely the best in my opinion. You will feel refreshed and amazing after using it.
There is nothing nicer than taking a warm shower after a long day. Especially when it’s really cold in the middle of winter. The only downside is, you won’t want to get out!
I know it is difficult to stay away from sugar and chocolate during the holiday season. It is the only time of year when you can get away with eating lots of it. However, you need to remember to still be healthy. Make sure you have your 5 day and you drink plenty of water.
Seasonal depression is very real, and affects many people! I highly recommend starting a journal if you haven’t already. There is nothing worse than keeping all your thoughts and feelings bottled up. So, get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper every single day. You will feel so much better afterwards and like a heavy weight has been lifted from your mind.
I hope you liked some of these self care methods and it gave you some good ideas. You need to remember to look after yourself during all times of the year. Always put some time aside every single day to practise a few of these methods. You won’t regret it.
Ruth (ColourfulHope) xoxo
Ruth is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity who has previously written about dealing with stress and the holidays from December 18th 2019. You can find her contact info there along with other ways to find her and follow on social media.
“The most wonderful time of the year” is fast approaching. Although it doesn’t always feel that way. Especially when you struggle with depression. I know first hand how it feels to be in a really dark place around this time of year and it drains you. Having to deal with your mental health and the stresses of preparing for the festivities can get too much.
That is why I thought I would share a few techniques that I use to deal with this. Seeing all the happiness around during this time of year can be intimidating. However, these following techniques help to lift my spirits an awful lot.
Do Not Avoid Friends and Family
Around this time of year, you will start being invited to gatherings with friends, families or colleagues more and more. I know how difficult this is to agree too when you have depression but you need to try. Trust me, if you don’t show up to a gathering, you will only feel worse in the long run. You will feel guilty that you didn’t go especially during the holiday season. It is a time for friends and family. Spend time with them.
Let Them Support You
Do not hide your feelings just because “it’s meant to be a happy time of year”. Be completely open and honest about your depression with the people that you love. You will not be a burden and then they may be even more understanding when you don’t seem as happy as they feel like you should be.
Don’t Forget Self Care
During this hectic time of year, I know how difficult it can be to focus on looking after yourself. You are constantly thinking about others, and what perfect gift to get them for example. As a retail worker too, it is so hard to fit in self care when it is so busy!
Spend any days when you have absolutely no commitments, focusing on you. You need to find a healthy balance between not isolating yourself and finding the time to practise self care.
Personal Winter Self Care Methods
Whenever you get some free time, do something that you genuinely enjoy doing! Or even look up “Winter Self Care Tips” on Pinterest and try some out. I thought I would mention a few of my favourite Winter Self Care methods:
Get Thoughtful Gifts
There is one thing that is guaranteed to make me happy over the holidays. Buying gifts for others. It’s more the reaction from them that makes me happy. This is why I always put a lot of thought and plan into my presents and what I get for each person. It is definitely worth it.
If your budget is tight, you don’t even have to spend money. You can make or draw them something if you are creative in some way. You can just leave them a heartfelt note inside a card. Do this for your support system. Let them know how much you appreciate them and make THEM feel happy.
There are so many events going on over the holiday season. This sense of community and togetherness can really heighten your mood. Attend a Carol Service, a Christmas Market etc. Anything specifically on over the holidays that attracts your attention since I know my suggestions may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But it’s not even about joining in. For me, it’s about being in an environment filled with happy people.
Take the opportunity to absorb all of the positive energy around you. Treat yourself to as much of it as possible! You will be so focused on that and having a great time that you won’t have time to be depressed.
A Final Word
Do you have any ways to deal with depression over the holiday season? Feel free to message me on any of my social media. I’d love to get to know you!
About the author: Hello! My name is Ruth, I am 22 years old and I live in the “always sunny” United Kingdom. My main goal in life is to help as many people as possible with their mental health struggles and give hope for a happier future. My hobbies include; Blogging, listening to music, spending time with my lovely cat and so much more! You can find me on other parts of the internet here: Blog Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram
Hello my Unsanity readers and friends. This year has had MANY ups down lefts and rights for myself and my loved ones. How did I cope? Through you guys and blogging mostly! Even if it was just networking and working with all of you to get your stories shared and published, you made it all happen. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and for attempting to keep me sane through the rough last half of this year. 2019 is definitely a year I won’t forget, that’s for sure. So let’s go out with a bang!
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), the defining feature of social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.
In today’s post, I will be outlining some clinical insight on managing, reversing, and becoming resilient to your socially anxious thoughts, behaviors, and tendencies.
Practice mindfulness meditation and practice breathing techniques.
When you’re anxious, you might feel physical changes in your body that make you feel pain or discomfort — it can manifest in shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, feverish feelings, tension, dizziness, nausea, or in the sensation of suffocation.
Managing your anxiety through meditation and breathing techniques can be very grounding and can assist you in adjusting misaligned and irrational thoughts to positive, and rational schemas. With proper therapeutic breathing techniques and meditation, you can soothe your nervous system and calm your heart rate.
My Calm-Down-Anxiety-Breathing Technique
Slowing your breathing can help you relax and regain your sense of equillibrium.
Try exercises that reduce your anxiety.
Exercise is closely linked to mental health, because your mind feels better and more “awake” when your body is moving. This is because your body produces endorphins when you exercise, which gives your mood a boost, almost like a natural “high”.
Hate traditional working out or the idea of going to a gym? Try these: Swimming, dance class, yoga, rowing, hiking, going for a walk, running, spinning, biking, skiing, skating
If you incorporate physical exercise into your routine on a regular basis, you will feel much better!
Prepare accordingly for socially anxious situations.
Give yourself a pep talk and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay. If you know that large crowds overwhelm you, ask a buddy to stick by your side throughout the night.
Truth is, no one is going to pay as much attention to you as you think they will. And I know, your brain tells you otherwise and you feel panicked. Your feelings are valid.
But, your perception of reality might be warped. In order to assist you, have a friend “coach” you through socially difficult situations (whether it’s talking to your crush, talking to your professor, standing up to your parents, or asking for a raise at work), and if you see a counselor for your anxiety, I recommend working on your anxiety with him/her.
Implement self-compassion practices.
Journal about good days. Forgive yourself for bad days.
Challenge negative thoughts with the talk-back technique.
The purpose of this exercise is to identify the ugly, inner critic inside your head, and challenge those negative notions with a rational and positive voice.
Write down all the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Unleash your inner critic.
Your list can look like…
Now, think about it, are these facts really true? Embody the most rational voice you have (maybe impersonate the most practical, logical person you know) and talk back.
Your talk-back statements may look like…
Point is, the rational voice is right. It is not there to sugarcoat anything or baby you. But it is there to put things into proper perspective so you can see yourself and your problems with a realistic lens. Using this technique, you take control of your schemas.
Hello everyone, you know the deal by now – here is my next guest blogger as promised. I do hope you are enjoying these as much as everyone who is submitting posts for me seems to be having! Our next one comes from Sharleen Fenn and you can check out her blog here.
Launched in 2018 as a resource for discovering a simpler (more country) way of doing things. An expat Kiwi living in the SF Bay Area, growing vegetables in the back yard, finding local resources and ways to eat healthy(er), a passion for all things camping and outdoors. A love of made from scratch meals, diy, and card making, and overcoming challenges in day-to-day life. Sign up, join in, collaborate… Keep it simple!
Depression and anxiety are roadblocks to engagement in life. Everything is overwhelming, and often the sheer will to live recedes. Every single aspect of your life is impacted. There are several strategies to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety. Understanding your diagnosis, the medications you are on, where to find support, and how to incorporate coping skills into your daily routine puts control firmly back in your hands. You can bring your life back into focus.
You feel as if you have lost control over your life. You feel like things are happening to you, instead of because of you. Not being able to fully engage in daily tasks, or take care of your responsibilities, contributes to the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. The roller coaster of depression and anxiety is exhausting. Give yourself permission to accept each day, hour, moment, or second as being exactly the way it is supposed to be. Accept that developing coping skills is going to take time.
STAY IN THE MOMENT
Stop trying to predict the future or ruminate on the past. Focus on the now. Ask yourself what you need for this moment. What will make you feel better? Focus on what you CAN do and not on what you can’t do. Start with small tasks that give you a sense of accomplishment. Stop beating yourself up for not meeting the expectations of your well self. Each day is a new day, stop worrying about things that you cannot control.
CHEMISTRY GONE AWRY
Body chemistry changes over time. It can be episodic or longer term. If your body is not producing or absorbing certain neuro transmitter chemicals, symptoms can emerge. When chemistry changes enough, medication may be necessary. After a diagnosis, ask questions, do research, and keep an open mind. If medication is necessary, give it the prescribed time interval to work. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that you cannot live with. Keep trying; there will be a solution for you.
Build a support system. Talk to other people who suffer from the same ailment. Hearing how they cope will boost your spirits. Identify someone who has what you want, has a great attitude, has a great story to share, and buddy up with them. Share your hopes and fears. Let the support system be your sounding board and sanity check. These people will hold you up when you cannot quite get there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Others started right where you are.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are better than that. Continue to act wounded and people will begin to treat you differently, not in a good way. You matter. You are a bright, wonderful, contributing human being who suffers from a condition that makes it difficult to get through the day. Stop acting how you feel, and start acting how you WANT to feel. After a while, your positive attitude will shine.
Living on junk food and reruns on Netflix is not a solution. Sunshine, fresh air, exercise…you need it. You have to keep moving. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to be well. Sunshine has vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption, contributing to bone health. Minimize foods full of sugar, salt, additives, colorants, and preservatives. Incorporate more plant based foods into your diet. If you are not sleeping or sleeping too much, take action.
You need to take care of you. What are your favorite things? Pamper yourself. Meditate, listen to encouraging, uplifting podcasts, or watch TED talks. Shower, brush your hair and change your clothes. Continue to do the things you love. Instead of attempting a big project, break it down into small tasks, and tackle one of those. Personal accomplishment is encouraging.
THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Did you know that the way you think, affects the way you feel, which affects the way you act? That is part of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Practice thinking positive outcomes. Think solutions, not problems. Think empathy, not anger. Think success, not failure. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole. Be aware that negative self-talk is defeating. Be the winner you are.
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED
Bottom line is you have a mental health condition that is treatable. Be patient. It takes time to learn new coping skills. Accepting your condition, your capabilities, staying in the now, taking care of yourself, developing a support system, and changing a few habits will have you on the mend. If you don’t take action, nothing will change. Take charge now. YOU are so worth it.
National (US) Helplines and mental health resources:
Kat is the creator of Indierella: a blog about music and living life as creatively as possible. She is a wearer of large headphones, teller of stories, and a listener of good music that nobody knows. You can find her on her blog (www.indierella.com) as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Mental Health Awareness Month means something different to me since I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
Last fall, several things happened. I wasn’t taking care of my body, I was taking a heavy workload of classes, I was back on campus after spending a year abroad, and I wasn’t being honest with myself or with the people around me. A stupid conflict led to a panic attack that lasted several days where I barely ate or left my room, and at my lowest point I called the National Suicide Hotline because I needed to talk to someone, anyone, because I felt so alone, isolated, and helpless. I was taken to the ER and given a diagnosis.
My mom drove down to my school and I got to stay with her for the weekend as I ended relationships with friends, forced myself to eat, and spent a lot of time in counseling. It wasn’t pretty or romantic or graceful, and I sure didn’t deal with it in the most martyred or selfless ways. In short: I screwed up with people. But I refuse to let go of the fact that I crawled my way out of a darkness and fought my way back.
And in the months that followed, I have been blessed by so much. I was able to learn coping techniques and how to take my medication when I have a panic attack, I became closer to God, I made new friends, I fell in love with a wonderful man who makes me feel loved and beautiful and special, I got a 3.82 GPA that semester, finished my senior thesis, started this blog, and realized I have to respect and take care of myself instead of hoping that someone else would.
For years I ignored my panic attacks and fears because they “weren’t that bad.” I put other people’s expectations before my own. I didn’t seek help because I didn’t want to put pressure or be a burden on anyone else. But, at the end of the day, I don’t really regret anything. I learned that I was harboring so much guilt about hurting people that I wasn’t letting myself heal. I learned all the ways that my physical health affects my mental health. I learned to love myself. And I’m still learning how to take care of myself whenever things aren’t perfect.
Writing this post wasn’t easy. Living day-to-day isn’t always easy when I let doubt and fear creep into my mind. But at the end of the day, I’m the first person that needs to fight for my well-being. I have to be my own champion.
So for Mental Health Awareness Month, remind yourself to be your own hero. Fight for your happiness, fight your demons and fight to recognize your own mental health. I’ll be fighting with you.
But before you go, here is one last thing I have to share with you. I made this playlist when I was suffering and lonely, when walking across campus or eating in the cafeteria was hardest. At first I only had about five songs on it. Five songs that could calm me down in my state of panic. Five songs that I could listen to and not feel like I was spiraling out of control. Then, as things got better, I added more songs, and each one has a special meaning to me. Together, this playlist doesn’t remind me of the hard times, but it reminds me that things got better and they will keep getting better.
Big thank you to Kat for letting me share this post of hers on my site. We kind of did a playlist swap and I gave her my Sunday Morning Classic Rock playlist to share on here with a bit of my back story. Check out her blog and see when it’s posted!
Another week and another guest blog time! Huge shoutout to this beauty and her willingness to help out with my blog relaunch as I help with hers. October 1 was Mallory’s Thoughts blog relaunch and she decided she wanted to blog and really try and make an impact on others’ lives. We’re here to make that happen. Check out her guest spot below that she wrote and remember to check out her blog as well here.
Hi everyone! Let me introduce myself to you. I’m Mallory and I’m 28. I was born and raised in sunny but hot Florida! I battle with Depression, Anxiety and PTSD. I was diagnosed when I was 16. I haven’t had the easiest life, but it’s made me who I am. My mission in life is to inspire others to stay strong and not to give up. I hope one day to really help someone.
It has taken me 28 years to learn that happiness comes from within. Others always told me that you can’t rely on others to make you happy, that true happiness comes from within yourself. I never believed them until I decided to make this year 2018 MY year and it completely opened my eyes. Below, I’m going to share with you 5 ways I learned how to become truly h a p p y .
1. Let go of your past: Over the years I kept my struggles to myself. I had a mindset that I could over come anything by myself. All I was doing was breaking myself. Last year I went and talked to a therapist and completely unloaded everything to her that I’ve been through. Talked about my depression, my anxiety, PTSD. I told her my experiences that I never told anyone else before. In doing so I FREED myself from the chains of my past that was holding me back. From there, I was able to accepted that I was a “Survivor” and capable of so much. I began to really love myself from there because I knew I could conquer anything. I felt like I had been reborn and that I had this new life ahead of me. I was so happy to be free, it was a whole new level of happiness.
2. Reevaluate your life: I decided to re-evaluated my life and to see who or what was hindering my happiness. I had to say goodbye to some people who meant so much to me but in reality they were just holding me back. Do I miss them? More than you could imagine but it was doing more harm than good to have them in my life. But the happiness I have felt from getting rid of those toxic people is much greater than how much I miss them. I know I’ve made the right call. I’ve re-evaluated my habits and the things I do. I’ve changed around some things to just make my life flow easier. I no longer put up with negative things. I use to give chances out like they were candy, but now I just don’t put up with it.
3. Stop making excuses: I have always wanted to do a 5k. For YEARS I’ve wanted to but for some reason I never did. So last December I finally did one. I had challenges along the way that tried to stop me, but I kept pushing forward and did it. It felt so good. It showed me if you stop making excuses for yourself and do what you want to do it will bring you so much happiness. I have now done 2 5ks and in a week, I’ll be doing my 3rd. I’ve stopped making excuses for myself and if there is something I want to do, I’ll do whatever I need to do to make it happen. I won’t rely on anyone else to do those things for me. If I have to do it alone then so be it. At least I won’t have any regrets.
4. Take control of your life: Before I had the habit of letting people’s opinions of me control my life. I cared way to much about what others thought about me that I stopped going after my goals/dreams. Even though that’s a battle I’m still working on, I have turned down the volume to those voices and raised the volume of my goals/dreams. I can honestly whole heartily say that 2018 has been the greatest year of my life. I have done more for MYSELF and I have chased my goals and completed some of them for the first time in my life. I took control of my life and I’ve been so happy. I have a new fire in me to continue to keep going and make my dreams come true. Again, no one else will do it for me.
5. Make yourself a priority: One of the hardest things I had to do was make myself the first priority. But I did. I put myself first and took care of myself. With that comes the importance of Self Love & Self Care. I learned to listen to my body and not to over do it. If there was something I didn’t want to do, well I didn’t do it. I needed to please myself first and not do things to please others. I took time out each day to do things to take care of myself. For years I always pleased others first and then took care of myself. I needed to change that because I was losing myself. It’s perfectly okay to be selfish from time to time. Make yourself a priority. I can’t stress that enough. Take care of yourself first. It’s really the key to happiness.