You see a lot of videos on self-care filled with face masks and baths! All in the name of mental wellbeing. However, the question remains whether these videos are teaching us something detrimental to our mental health. Is it making decent mental health harder to maintain?
Here’s our guide to making self-care work for you!
Have depression clothes ready
Now technically, self-care is meant to be the stuff you do to stop depression from getting to a debilitating level. But we all know that’s not how depression or self-care works in reality! When you are in a good headspace, go into your closet, pick out some clothes, and separate them from your regular clothes. Have enough outfits for a week. And when the depression gets bad enough, you don’t want to keep your hygiene up. You have something fresh to change to feel better in your appearance in a small but accessible way.
I’m providing this tip as when someones depression spirals, they don’t want to keep their hygiene up nor wish to change clothes. It’s that draining they can’t get out of bed, and if they do anything, it has to be quick. So you keep clean pairs of spare clothes ready. So you can quickly and easily change when a nasty bout of depression occurs, and you can stay clean and feel fresh.
Cook for yourself
Now self-care isn’t just the metal stuff. It can also be physical. There are many tips to improve your diet by eating more healthily. But everyone and their mother knows that! Sometimes I think a diet goes further than the fact it gives you nutrients. Sometimes it goes down to the emotional connection with what we eat.
First things first to improve that relationship is for us to cook it! Not a ready meal, but us going through a step by step recipe so you can enjoy the process.
Another thing is to cook what you want. Whilst it should be healthy sometimes in self-care, we want something messy and unhealthy above all else! So if it’s your mum’s mac and cheese recipe with thirty types of cheese, then cook it. Just enjoy the process and the meal. And feel free to change the portion size and try to make it something you can eat for leftovers.
As I said, self-care focuses on physical health too. One of the vital things we have to do to remain physically healthy is exercise. If your mental health hasn’t gone downhill, then you may be more willing to exercise outside. This is the point where the article usually says do gentle exercises like yoga. However, if you don’t enjoy exercising like that, there’s no point. As the point of training is to find something you want and stay healthy.
If the exercise you want to do is intensive but keeps you stress-free, then keep doing it. And if you feel a terrible mental health episode will creep up, feel free to change it. Just make sure you enjoy it, and it’s working in keeping you calm and healthy!
Let it change
Now, if you’ve watched all these self-care routines on Youtube, you could be under the impression that a self-care routine can’t change. However, throughout our lives, our bodies change, our minds change. We grow and evolve, we get injured, and there will be moments in life where our routine doesn’t work. Do not be afraid to change what works for you. The point of one of these routines is that it helps the body function well. And if it doesn’t, something needs to change!
You might not think sleep is essential. However, getting a decent night’s sleep is vital as it regulates our stress, ability to concentrate, and ability to move. If your sleep schedule is out of whack, use the time to get it back to normal, as it can help you recoup. Plus, it will make you feel better generally!
Many of us have to take medication. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, sometimes we miss a dose or need it changed but never get the time. Use some part of your routine to get your medication back on track, whether making an appointment to correct dosage. Or reincorporating them back into the routine, using the time to do it as the drug is in the system as it’s meant to be, will help with various things.
On top of that also enable time to recover from side effects to it being back in your routine. One example is antidepressants being back in the system and how they’ll cause drowsiness. Allow yourself that time to recover and have a nap if needed!
I hope this more accurate representation of self-care is helpful. And that using this wellbeing tool will be more practical for your way of living!
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