Things have been a little on the stressful side recently, and those who follow the blog regularly may notice that I haven’t posted much of my own content. With wedding planning, a biopsy followed by stitches (everything is fine and all-clear thank goodness, but it was a little worrying at the time), a truly horrific day of supply teaching (without being melodramatic, I think it was the worst day in over eleven years of working in schools that I’ve ever had) and the general daily tasks that needed completing there has been more than a few occasions where I have found myself a little overwhelmed.
In an attempt to try and overcome the anxiety and general cloudiness that fills me whenever I reach certain panic levels, I have actively indulged in self care – any voluntary activity that helps to maintain my mental, physical and emotional health. This isn’t just ‘hygge’ – they have involved numerous things that I enjoy simply because they make me feel better and I have taken the time to be mindful of them as I am doing it.
Here’s a list of self care ideas that can help when things get tough (or you just want to boost your spirits and motivation):
1. Commit some time, however small, to ‘me time.’
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Get creative. For me, it has been producing flat lay photographs, one of which you can see as the image for this post. I had lots of fun planning out and buying inexpensive props, designing different themes and layouts and then trying out different angles and lightning to see what was effective. However, it doesn’t have to be photography – draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, create a mood board, colour in an adult colouring book – anything that fills your creative soul…
4. Start the day with positive affirmations.
5. Have a long hot soak in the bath. Use bubble bath, face mask, hair mask, relaxing music.
6. Read a book. I have a list of go-to books that I’ve read so many times that the spines are falling apart, and I read them again because I enjoy them. Some make me smile, some are motivational and some are just beautifully written.
7. Exercise. My stitches prevented me from moving as much as I would have liked, but now I can move again I am going to get back to The Fitness Marshall’s exercise videos on YouTube. The Bloke and I went for a walk the other evening, and did a lengthy walk round town last weekend. Run, walk, hike, cycle, swim, go to the gym, do some yoga – anything to get the heart pumping.
8. Write. Write a blog post, send a card or letter. Create a bullet journal.
9. Take a nap. An hour’s sleep has been instrumental at times for my motivation later in the day.
10. Ring someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
11. Meet a friend for a drink/lunch/chat. I did all three, and it was nice to catch up.
12. Watch an uplifting film or TV show.
13. Go to a cafe with your favourite book or magazine. Order your favourite beverage and relax.
14. Spend some time playing with your pet – good for them and good for you too!
15. Create a playlist of your favourite music.
16. Plan and cook a healthy meal.
17. Plan a date night for you and your partner. This doesn’t have to be expensive – here is a list of ideas for interesting date night ideas.
18. Do some gardening. Plant a tree. Start a vegetable patch or grow some window boxes. Create a spot for local wildlife.
19. Focus on your spirituality. Meditate. Relax and focus on your breathing. Pray. Go to church.
20. On a beautiful day get some fresh air. Go to the park, take a blanket and just sit. People watch. Take a small picnic.
21. Declutter. I’m a huge hoarder at times and I love to organise things, give to charity and throw things away.
22. Indulge in some beauty pampering. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Try out some new make-up techniques by watching some fabulous YouTube tutorials: Nikkie Tutorials is my favourite.
23. Create a bucket list.
24. Stay in your PJ’s… all day!
25. Be a tourist in your own town or nearest city. Visit an art gallery, museum, explore the shops that you’ve never been to before.
26. Go to your local library (if you’re lucky enough to still have one).
27. Sing and/or dance. Go to karaoke or attend dance lessons. Or, just do it when you’re on your own at home.
28. Tidy up a safe space, grab a comfortable blanket, light a scented candle and put on some fluffy socks.
29. Put away the technology (including your phone), even if it is just for an hour.
30. Create a collection of your favourite inspirational quotes.
31. Treat yourself to a luxury chocolate bar – dark chocolate is usually better for your health.
32. Cry. A good cry always makes me feel better.
33. Travel. Visit the beach, or go camping. Research the best deals on a small city break.
34. Do something good for someone else. Donate things to charity shops or give food to a food bank. Volunteer your time at an animal shelter.
35. Create care packages for the homeless.
36. Invite your favourite people round for the evening. Host a barbecue or informal dinner party. Play board or card games.
37. Call a therapist. I have. It helps.
38. Actively be nice to everyone you meet, even if they don’t reciprocate. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it.
39. Watch your favourite YouTube videos. I often find myself watching inspiring videos from Ellen, or proposal or pregnancy announcement videos. Of course, that always leads to funny cat videos too.
40. Organise. Organise your finances, or create a meal plan. Organise your paperwork, or delete your emails. I often find therapy in organising my digital photographs into folders.
41. Indulge in some Hygge. It’s one of my favourite ways to spend the day.
42. Learn something new.
43. Bake. Make a beautiful cake, loaf of bread, brownies or cupcakes. My favourite recipe is the one I use for Nutella Brownie Cake. Yum.
44. Buy a beautiful bunch of flowers for your favourite room.
45. Make a list of things to do and tick them off when you have completed them.
What about you guys? What are your favourite ways to practice self care when you’re feeling low?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks
Being stressed is not fun. I hope you are starting to feel better. Taking ‘me time’ is the key for me!
Absolutely! Feeling much better now thanks!
Utterly amazing thoughts, one should follow all. I strongly believe in 1 to 10 & 31, 32, 33, & 42.
Thank you! Really pleased you liked it!
Urgh. It is rubbish when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. I hope these have made you feel better!
What on earth happened for the nightmare cover day? Or would you prefer just to forget it?
I can’t go into detail about it as the school is aware of my blog and some of the staff read it so wouldn’t want to get myself into trouble, but let’s just say it isn’t a day I would ever want to relive!
You poor thing!
It’s a while ago now, so hopefully you’re feeling a bit better, but I’m sending virtual wine!!
I’m sorry you’ve had a rough time, Suzie.
All great ideas Suzanne x
Thank you lovely!
Great ideas. 31 works for me every time, so does cranking up the music really loud and dancing in the lounge room. 😊
Ooooh I love that! What’s your favourite music?
Depends on my mood. Love anything up tempo, dance, a bit of Enrique but I also enjoy lay back music Ed Sheeran, Josh Groban …. my tastes are varied 😊 And you?
80’s Power Ballads all the way haha!
Can’t beat a bit of Journey when things are down haha!
Suzie!!! I freaking love this post. ❤ So wonderful!
I watch cooking receipies on youtube,it really helps.
Ooh me too!
Some very good tips here. Need to indulge in a few myself. It’s been so crazy lately with tons going on. Shall be pinching some ideas where and when I can!
Glad you’re able to get about more now 😊
Thanks lovely! What are your favourite things to do?
I like this list, there are a fair few in here I practice. The one I would love more if is ‘me time’ which includes blogging time, but I have to get through the huge to do list first lol
Hahah! It doesn’t matter how much we do or don’t do, there’s never enough time…
What a nice List!
I am glad that everything went ok after the biopsy Suzie! I am loving your flat lay photos, they really are effective. 🙂
A super list of things to do, most of which I need to try! Thanks Suzie!
What a fabulous list and I’m a great believer in self care. I will certainly be ticking a few off your list during the month. Thanks!
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
Thanks lovely – let me know how you get on!
That’s a good list. Hope your me-time helped you.
It certainly did! Thank you!
There are some great ideas here Suzie. Hope things are looking up for you now.
Thanks lovely! Much better now!
Hey, definitely agree with most of your list here, except maybe a few of the more girly ones…not that I don’t agree, just don’t do I guess. Listening to music and looking through old pictures/reading old cards that I’ve kept are also other things that help me take a breath from life sometimes.
Ooh I love doing that – I’ve kept every birthday card from my family and The Bloke and sometimes it is nice to sit down and look through them…
Self care is so important! I love these ideas! I never realized how little time I committed to self care until I became a stay at home mom and slowed down a bit!
It isn’t something that anyone thinks about until they take a step back!
I need to get doing some of these!
Let me know how you get on!
That’s motivation to do some! X
Personally I read and write.. or go get my nails done!
I’ve had one manicure in my entire life. One. I think I need to step it up haha!
Lol! It is my 2-3 weekly thing, to get my nails done!!!
Starting the day with positive affirmation is a MUST for me..Somehow everyother thing just fall in place.. These are very helpful tips and it’s nice you’re back and definitely better…
I find these difficult sometimes – I find it tough to take myself seriously when I say them…
Awesome list Suzie! My general ways to mind myself are reading, writing, sleeping and pj’s days (sometimes you need a break from getting dressed and the rat race!)
Ooh I love that!
These days, I’m playing Soda Crush. Concentrating on saving the bears and eating all the chocolate so that I can get to the next level, helps me forget whatever might be dampening my mood. 😀
Ooh Soda Crush – don’t even get me started! I have to actively stay away from it or I will be on there for hours!
I am definitely making that cake!
I think you should make me one too
It’s so important to just take time for yourself sometimes and there are some great ideas here. When I get the chance I like to have a day/evening of total selfishness. Read a book, watch TV, have a bath and do absolutely nothing that I’m “supposed” to do. Although, ironically I did once write post all about how much I suck at self-care. It’s certainly not one of my strong points!
It is certainly something that takes practice. How silly is that – we need to practice to look after ourselves…
This is a great list, thank you. Some good ideas to try and I like the sound of the brownie cake! X
The brownie cake rocks! My baking skills aren’t brilliant, but this recipe works every time!
I love this, thanks so much. Lots of great tips. My personal favourite is incorporating Hygge and just ensuring I’m cosy. It’s so comforting, especially after things have been stressful.
I only discovered Hygge last year and I’m so glad that I did! It’s a brilliant stress-reliever!
Love these tips! I’m currently doing a 30-day self care challenge on my blog and I can see myself incorporating some of what you have here.
Thanks Karina! Hope it’s useful to you!
Wow! Those are some really good ideas… 🙂
Very well written. We must take care of ourselves. Because if not us, then who? 🙂
Thank you – I couldn’t agree more!
This is a wonderful list. I’ve pinned it so I can come back it. As a busy mama I need this in my life right now. Thanks so much.
Thanks Helen! Really pleased you like it!
Hi Suzy Yesterday I had my third treatment and am begining to see that day3 is a good clear head day. So I have planned to meet a good pal, to watch a horror movie ( her fav) at the cinema. This is to thank her for her wonderful support and have some girly fun before and after. I usually fall asleep at movies… but maybe ‘IT’ will be different. Now thanks to you I have a great go to list to use in the coming months. X i pinned for future useage. 🤑
Sorry about the late reply Ellen. Glad you had a good day – how was the cinema?
Oh Suzie I was disapointed, the children in fact most of it was so good only to be spoilt for me by the actual ‘IT’ The stupid teeth not in any way believable it didn’t scare me it almost had me leaving. The children being bullied and the abuse of the main female character were where the fear was for me.
It’s amazing how different people take different things from a film, or a song etc, and there are different triggers for everyone. I wouldn’t see IT because I don’t like clowns of any sort…
You’re not missing much. But I never have bee scared by pseudo horror, but psychological thrillers based in truth … terrified. Have a great week.
I hate all horror movies haha! The last one was The Ring and i will never watch another one again! You too!
I believe I paid my dues what a waste of £20… No more
For the cinema?
And a pack of m n m’s disgraceful they only cost a pound in Tesco! 😲
Tell me about it. I buy them in advance and then hide them in my pocket…
Contraban! I like that.
Hahah! Me too!
These are things we all need to do from time to time and I am so glad you are better and that biopsy was the all-clear signal you’d have wanted! The flat lay is a good idea! I’m not a photographer but like you say, I can sing or read or listen to music to unwind. Definitely makes for a mood booster.
Absolutely! I’m not particularly good with a lot of photography styles but I find flat lays really fun!
I am in my PJs right now actually as I have been feeling pretty stressed this week. I find blogging helps as well, and going to the gym (I never thought I would say that, but it helped me, yesterday)!
That’s brilliant! Huge congrats on the exercise- I need to start doing that more too!
I am not doing as much as I should, but it’s start 🙂
Anything is better than nothing!
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