Sometimes we are so busy looking after other people and getting on with our busy lives, that we can forget to take care of ourselves.
Self care is taking time out for yourselves. Doing activities or things that you enjoy.
Here are a few ideas of self care:
- Watching your favourite program or film
- Having a sit down with a cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine.
- A bath
- Writing a list of positive things in your life
- Practicing mindfulness or yoga
- Going out with your friends
- Spending time with family
- Taking your dog for a walk
- Checking in with your emotions
- A spa day
Self care is all about you and taking the time out for yourself. Find activities or things that you will enjoy to help destress and make you feel more relaxed.
Life can be a busy place so try to set a time in your diary for ‘me time’
Sometimes is easy to forget ourselves in this world, but we can’t help other unless we help ourselves.
Life throws us lots of changes, which sometimes we can find difficult to deal with. There are always going to be positive and negative changes.
What tools do you need to cope with changes?
- Improve your emotional awareness. Think about why you are feeling the way your are. Take the time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
- Try to relax, the less stress the better.
- Think things through and think ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ we are often scared of changes in our lives because of the unknown.
- Get enough sleep, try to relax before bed so you get a good night’s sleep.
- Seek support from family and friends.
- Find things you enjoy doing.
- Think positive thoughts, try to find some positive things about the change in your life.
- There are always support lines open 24 hrs if you feel you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling.
Changes are a massive part of our life and we can’t go through life without changes. Some are good and some are bad. It is a scary thing to think of the unknown and can be a stressful time. If you’re struggling find ways to help you cope with the change. There will always be people there to support you through difficult times.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease and worry. It can be mild or severe. It’s normal for everyone to experience anxiety at some point in their life for example sitting an exam or going for a job interview. Severe anxiety can be when it’s affecting your life and its playing a big part in your life.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Fear, panic and feeling of unease.
- Tingling in your hands
- Sleep problems
- Not being able to stay calm or stay still
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
Anxiety is a mental condition and can be a struggle to deal with.
Some strategies to help prevent it include:
- Breathing slowly and deeply, anxiety can make you breathe very deeply so try to concentrate on your breathing and slow it down
- Think positively, try and change your focus onto something positive
- Find someone you can talk to, if nobody is around call a friend or family member who you can confide in
- Try to relax and stay calm- watch your favourite tv program, do some exercise, read a book.
Anxiety can also lead to panic attacks from a sudden urge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you feel like you can’t breathe which then leads to a panic attack.
Here are some ways to prevents panic attacks:
- Doing breathing exercises every day to prevent attacks from happening.
- Regular exercise to release tension and manage stress levels.
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and smoking which can make attacks worse.
Social anxiety is the fear of social activities, such as being in class at school, being out in a crowd in public. It can be a fear of being judged negatively. For example, if you had to do a presentation in front of a group you may feel anxious about a large group focusing on yourself.
If you feel you may be suffering with anxiety, you could visit to your local GP who can help you deal with it. They may give you medication to help you deal with you or refer you to counselling where you can explore your feelings and thoughts.
Finding motivation to do things, can be really hard at times.
Putting things off is the easy part, it’s going out there and doing it what can be really challenging at times.
It may be get movivated to start a course, finding a new job, starting a hobby, going to the gym, loosing weight or learning a new skill.
In order to get motivated to do these things, you need to:
- Do something/find something you would find of an interest or enjoy.
- Feel positive and excited about it, that will then give you even more motivation.
- Set goals daily/weekly and review them- If you haven’t achieved them then try again.
- Be proud of your achievements.
- Do it for yourself, nobody else will achieve your dreams except you.
Keep your motivation going and always review what you have achieved so far and never give up.
Depression! Even the word makes it worse.
Not one of my favourite things to talk about but maybe the most important.
- Statistics show that as many as one in two people are estimated to experience depression some point in there life.
Symptoms can include:
- Feeling down
- Lack of energy
- Being tired all the time
- Hopelessness about the future
- Lost interest and enjoyment in doing things
- Poor appetitite or more of an appetitite
- Anxious thoughts and feelings
- The feeling of dread in the morning
Looking at what fuels depression
- Rumination– Getting hooked into a repetive cycle- Going over problems in the past
- Negative thinking– your negative thoughts are often based on beliefs that you’re hopeless and worthless
- Inactivity– feeling like you can’t be bothered with day to day life, not having the enjoyment like you use to
- Social withdrawal– avoiding seeing family and friends, not interacting with people around you
- Procrastination– avoiding tasks because you think they’re too scary or differcult to confront
- Shame– feeling ashamed about your depression, telling and thinking to yourself that other people will judge you
- Guilt– feeling guilty about your depression
- Hopelessness– thinking it will never get better or improve
Dealing with the here and now
Define your problem
- At the top of a sheet of paper write down things you are struggling with
- Brainstorm solutions to your problems e.g how did you deal with past problems? How have other people coped with similar problems? How could you deal with the problem if you weren’t depressed?
There is always help out there for you… What resources do you have?
- Volunteer services
- Support groups
- At the end, review your progress and see how far you have come
You’re never alone. It may feeling like the loneliest place at times, but there will always be someone there to help you.
Life can be a stressful place at times. Whether its work or your personal life getting in the way, here are some top tips to help you cope with the feelings of stress.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alchohol- Stress can make you turn to all of these things, but try not to give in to temptation.
- Get more sleep- Sleep is very important, feeling tired and miserable can trigger your stress more.
- Do some excercise.
- Try relaxation techniques.
- Talk to someone- A family member, friend or professional.
- Keep a stress diary- Find out what are the triggers to your stress.
- Take control of the situation- Don’t let it get the better of you, write the problem down and come up with some positive solutions.
- Manage your time- write a list of all the things you need to do and priorities them.
- Learn to say no- Don’t try to please everyone, remember to take time out and look after yourself.
Easier said than done! After a long week of work i thought this post would be a good one for the weekend and the next week ahead.
Sleep is an important part of life… To recharge and feel fresh. Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning with low energy and dreading the day ahead and counting down the hours until you can get back into bed.
Here are a few top tips that may help you get more sleep
- Relaxion Excercise- Yoga can help relax the muscles. Don’t over excerise as it can have the opposite effect.
- Schedele a routine- Bath, bed, relax, sleep. Try not using your phone or tablet late at night as this can make your brain active and it can be hard to switch off.
- Avoid lying in bed awake- Get up, go downstairs, read a book, get some water. Your bed should be a place where you sleep.
- Watching your intake of caffeine- avoid any caffeine from mid- late afternoon.
Make your bedroom sleep friendly
Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment and your bed should just be a place where you sleep.
Certain things can weaken that assosiation and make it harder to sleep. Such as phones, TVs, light and noises.
Your bedroom needs to be a dark and quiet place with a temperature between 18C and 24C.
Get into a routine
Routine is a really important part in helping you get a better nights sleep.
Keep a regular sleeping hours, this will then program the brain and body clock into a set routine.
It is recommended to get at least 8 hours sleep a night. By working out the time you need to get up, you can then set up a regular bedtime routine.
If you want to make changes within your life,make goals and try to achieve them.
- Motivating yourself
- Recording your progress
- Define your goals for emotional and behavioural change
Setting goals in relation to your current problems.
- Making a statement, setting a time frame e.g. a week. Within a week try to reach that goal
Maximising your motivation! It’s hard to get movivated sometimes, think or write down all the postive things that could come out of reaching your goal.
Focusing on the benefit of change. Change is a scary thing, life is always changing whether we like it or not. Focus on the postivity that could come from a change in your life.
Recording your progress. Keeping a record of your progress and acheievements can help you stay motivated. If your motivation is low or you haven’t achieved a goal, set new goals! There are no rules on how many goal you can have.
Define your goals and rate your progress towards achieving it. Do this at regular intervals, such as every week or two.
Review your goals and see what you have achieved.
We all suffer from bad thoughts right?
The way you think affects the way you feel. Changing your unhealthful and unwanted thoughts is the key to feeling better.
Heres some tips on what to do:
Writing down your thoughts and feelings. Emotions you could feel:
This could then lead on to how you acted:
- Being aggressive
- Avoiding something or someone
- Withdrawal, isolating or inactive
- Binge-eating or restricting food intake
- Taking drugs or drinking alcohol
Write down what triggered your thoughts.
Triggers can include:
- Something happening right now
- Something that occurred in the past
- Something that you’re anticipating in the future
- Something on your mind (an image or memory)
- A physical sensation (increased heart rate, headache, feeling tired)
- Your own emotions and behaviours
From writing things down you are faced with the reality of how you acted due to your feelings and the triggers that got you there in the first place. By writing feelings down you are learning more about yourself and what may affect you.