Sunday, 19 March 2017

Self care: building yourself back up again

When things become overwhelming, whether it be family issues, work related stress, or even small, daily struggles it is so easy to let them consume you.
It's easier said than done to simply shrug it off, and I have to say that doing so does. not. work. Attempting to ignore your feelings can result in a backlash that is ten times as worse. I am definitely one of those people that tends to bottle up their feelings, and I find it very difficult to openly speak about how I'm feeling as I hate to be a burden to others.

For example, I have faced many obstacles over the past few years and have realised that when it is an issue that effects anyone else i.e another family member, I cannot bring myself to show emotion or be upset as I feel as though there is always someone that feels worse, and I can't help but consider their feelings first. However it is crucial to remember yourself.

In the words of good old Aibleen 'You is kind, you is smart, you is important'. 

I had a bit of a meltdown the other week, due to the build up of various different thoughts and feelings that I had previously tried to contain (as well as feeling unwell). Something as small as feeling under the weather, and being completely overtired resulted in me experiencing a surge of emotions, that I didn't quite know how to handle. I also suffered from a panic attack (something I luckily don't regularly go through) and I just could not stop crying. This is really unlike me, but after a good, hard cry, a restful few hours sleep, and a huge hug off my Mum; I eventually felt relieved.

This brought me to thinking about the best ways to pick yourself back up when you have a rough patch like this, and what simple yet effective steps you can take to refresh yourself, in order to feel better.

Cry, as much as you need to and get it all out of your system, it honestly does help and it's human! Even if it is something that seems silly or small, when you're faced with stress crying is a natural reaction and it seriously isn't something to be embarrassed about.

Rest and listen to your body, don't feel guilty for having a nap, or simply slumping on the sofa with a hot drink when things seem a bit too much to handle, it is so important to look after yourself. Take a few minutes out to just breathe without worrying too much about what everyone around you is doing.

Exercise really isn't my best friend, and when I mention the dreaded E word, it doesn't instantly mean go to the gym or have an intensive work out but go for a long walk, or go for a swim, it will really help invigorate you and even better; it releases hormones that uplift you instantly. As much as I sometimes don't want to work out, once I do I never regret it.

Pamper yourself, enlist a few products, and maybe put together a box of go to beauty items for when you're feeling like you desperately need some TLC. A few of my favourite tips are to have a long soak in the bath with some candles on, do a hair mask, go makeup free for a day (honestly you will feel fab for it) and also - look after your skin. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, I'm all for skincare. Stick to the basics when it comes to looking after yourself, cleanse, moisturise, maybe do a face mask and don't forget to take care of your body too.

When I am run down or upset, I tend to get extremely puffy, swollen eyes that can feel sore and I also suffer from headaches. When I feel like this, my cooling eye mask is a miracle worker. I simply pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes and lay on my bed in darkness wearing this, it feels like heaven! It definitely helps and is yet another way to help me relax and calm down.

I have recently bought a new Clarins Body Balm, which smells incredible; it is exactly like the products used in a spa and has a slightly menthol effect, that cools and tingles on your skin once applied. I gently massaged this in after a bath, and it was so calming and made me feel super refreshed and soothed. You can't go wrong with a good old lip balm, the rose tinted Vaseline is one of my favourites as I find it to be simple and affordable yet so effective. I slathered some of this on after I had cleansed my face.

Treat yourself, whether it is something insignificant or something more pricey, you deserve it! My go to treat is more often than not makeup, however I find that even buying yourself flowers, or your favourite food/drink is such a small gesture, yet it goes a long way. I'm lucky I have a fab family that treated me to all these things post meltdown, however doing so yourself is just as rewarding.

The power of a good cup of tea is so underrated, they seriously do seem to solve many problems. For those extra anxious times, try a cup of Chamomile tea, it really helps to calm any worries and is perfect for sipping straight before bed as it clears your mind, and enables you to drift off easily. This was my go to drink when I was juggling my dissertation and driving test(s)!

Write things down. As I said, I find it very hard to express my feelings a lot of the time, but I have actually found writing this blog post in itself to be very therapeutic, if you struggle to voice your emotions, then get a notebook, and write it all down. Have a rant, or write a positive 'to do' list of things that will have you on your way to feeling yourself again. I love to positively plan my week and ensure I will make the most of it by putting myself and my needs/wants first.

Last but not least, start each day fresh. Forget the previous day, it doesn't matter how crap you felt, or how much of a mess you were, wake up in the morning with a clear mind, and think of the day ahead as another chance for a successful day. Nobody is perfect and things don't always run smoothly, just remember to take the bad with the good, and don't be too hard on yourself, too much self pressure will push you to breaking point. Allow yourself a day or two of being 'selfish' it really is essential sometimes, and if you have understanding people around you, then you will be sure to bounce right back!

Do you have any self care tips? What do you find yourself turning to when you're feeling down or overwhelmed? 

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