This is a most important part of LIFE!
We tend to leave it till someone else takes the time to treat us. We tend to feel we are only worth it if someone else chooses to treat us good. It seems to stem from a false modesty from years ago, that does not serve us well. It was seen as selfish to be kind to yourself, this is not the case. I am going to repeat that!
Here are some ideas about self care, remember it is crucial if you suffer with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, but it is just as important if you do not.
1. Cry, then cry, then cry! Make time and space to do this, safely and contained.
2. Reach out to a friend or family member that you trust.
3. Say No, when you do not want to do something.
4. Go to see a therapist.
5. Watch you favorite funny/silly/easy tv show.
6. Get a childhood favorite book and reread it.
7. Go to be early with clean sheets.
8. Stop expecting too much from yourself, you are a human not a robot.
9. Look at inspiring and gorgeous Art.
10. Ask for help, from your boss, doctor, loved one, friend.
11. Look at heart warming stories on heart.co.uk
12. Take a bath, with bubbles and wonderful smells.
13. Start a journal.
14. Do exercise that you enjoy, til you puff and pant.
15. Look at inspiring quotes on brainyquotes.co uk
16. Cuddle someone, if you are alone, cuddle a pillow or cushion.
17. Go outside, even in the rain, this can give you perspective on yourself and a connection to other humans.
Tool Kit for Mental Health!
A mental health tool kit, or a survival kit, is something that you can carry around in your bag, or have in your pocket.
It is things that help if it starts to become overwhelming at the holiday time, especially if you celebrate Christmas.
So, for example, you may have difficulties with your parents or partner and the holidays is when we all spend more time together!
1. Something to fiddle with!
A pen, a little toy or a mascot, something to grab onto when it starts to get tough.
2. A bottle of water
This can help if your mouth goes dry and you feel like you are choking.
3. Something soft
This is like a comfort blanket, but smaller, so it is portable. A silk scarf is good that feels soft.
4. Sweets and chewing gum.
Focusing your attention on what you are eating or chewing is great for re-framing the situation/interaction.
5. A journal or colouring book.
Anything that helps with doodling, writing down thoughts, colouring for a distraction and a help calming.
6. Letters or messages from supportive friends.
Since you may not feel like contacting friends, or they may not be reachable, having letters, texts and messages ready to look at.
It is a hard time of year for some people, especially if you do suffer with anxiety, never underestimate the force of trying to have a good time when you are not having a good time. It is exhausting.
If you have a panic attack.
There are things you can do whilst in a panic attack, because when they happen it can feel like you are going to die! You are not, I can guarantee that!
You can start by recognising that you are having a panic attack, see below for symptoms. Then focus your attention on something else, the room you are in, your bag or clothes, start to notice your breathing and then move around, slowly. Take a seat, safely, put both feet squarely on the ground and rest. Close your eyes if you like or leave the current place you are to a safer area.
It will pass, and if it happens again, do the same thing.
It is the body reacting to a trigger or a memory. It can cause symptoms like a feeling of choking, heart racing, pins and needles, dizziness, nausea, muscular pain.
Check out the diagram above about the symptoms and the one to the side about ways to deal with panic attacks.
Recovery from Flashbacks
How to recover from a flashback.
This is a tried and tested method. It is all about Mindfulness and being present in the moment. Being in the here and now rather then the then and there, which is where you find yourself when you experience a flashback.
When you experience a flashback you are back in the painful memory with the emotions or physical pain that went with it, so recovery is vital.
To help bring yourself back from pain, whether it is emotional or physical, use a mantra. It can be something like "Be here now." You can say this to yourself whenever you need to or you can make up your own one. It can add weight to it if you use your own name at the end, and create a sense of comfort, a bit like you got your own back!
So, you could say "Be here now, Victoria". Basically it is all about bringing yourself back to now and away from the flashback and past pain.
We all need tools to help us through the tough spots, share this post with your friends so we can all feel better.