Life is far from simple and we all have some level of highs, lows, and straight-up messy times. When struggling with your mental health finding ways to distract the mind and make it better can be tough, I know for me crawling into a ball and hiding is what I want to do most days, but I have also learned (the hard way) that this does not solve anything, and when you unwrap yourself from that protected ball, all the feelings are still present and life still goes on.
We read a lot about how important self-care is but we don’t always know what that actually means or what to do to make it apart of our daily lives. Over time I have tried and tested so many activities, methods, and things to make the bad days not feel so bad, and of course different things can work for different people, but below I have narrowed down my top recommended activities to incorporate self-care into your day to day and to help you find ways of coping with any difficulties you are going through.
– Keep a journal, I love to write as for me it’s an easy way to express myself and my feelings but if you don’t like writing so much maybe try something simpler like making a list of positive affirmations, a to-do list, or things you are grateful for. There is also a really cool series on Netflix, in collaboration with Headspace (a meditation company ) all about calming the mind that is a brilliant distraction if you’re having a bad day but don’t want to get your pen and paper out.
(This is the one I have – https://www.amazon.es/Legend-Planner-Planificador-Organizador-productividad/dp/B07H4KBS4T/ref=sr_1_3?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=legend+planner&qid=1615066948&sr=8-3)
– Be physically active, I will always take the opportunity to encourage someone to take up exercising for all the obvious reasons, whether it be working out or something lighter like yoga and pilates, but the truth is we don’t all want to exercise, and a lot of the time we don’t have the time! however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get active, try going out for a walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. My personal favorite is to dance around at any given chance, doing housework, or sometimes I just take a half-hour to turn my music up and like the saying goes ‘ dance like no one watching’.
– Get creative, you don’t have to get too complicated and spend a fortune when trying to bring out the creative side in you. Adult coloring books are a great way to bring about mindfulness and an easy way to distract yourself from any negative thinking. If you don’t want to get a book, try just printing a free downloadable page on the internet. There is also research that it increases self-esteem.
I like to use this page especially https://www.art-is-fun.com/free-adult-coloring-pages/
– Get enough sleep, lack of sleep often underpins mood swings or anxiety. Sleep helps reduce stress and anxiety and can also help increase your immune system. Try to establish a good sleep pattern, remember we need 7-8 hours at least to be fully recharged! If you struggle to get to sleep at night try developing a nighttime routine and be consistent with it to help you settle down before bed.
– Organize yourself, even if you think they are little things, make yourself a habit tracker, and try making a monthly goal plan to help focus your priorities. I like to make lists and keep a daily planner filled out, you can use printables from google or invest in a planner diary (my friend got me one for my birthday and I use it all the time) especially on the bad days as it gives me a focus point to come back to and it motivates me to do something. Most of the time it’s silly things like email granny or do washing so don’t feel like you need big events going on all the time to feel busy.
Here a link to an easy planner you can print out – https://pin.it/4JechxD
I hope this can help you as much as it has me, don’t forget to leave me your feedback,comments, and questions below!