So I only recently became aware of Blue Monday and I’m not entirely sure of my stance on it all. Could there really be one day of the year, which is more depressing then the rest? I think my biggest problem with this is the term depressing, its almost like it is being thrown around, used as an excuse when talking about Blue Monday, the full meaning and impact of the term depressing is not being realised. I don’t know if what I just wrote makes sense, it sure did in my head, but basically I’m not entirely sure if I like the idea of people saying that Blue Monday is Depressing, its almost as if the full extent of depression is somehow undermined, I don’t know, maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
So whether today is a just a regular Monday which brings with it apprehension about returning to work or maybe today is a day in which you are struggling to get out of the bed, crippled with anxiety and negative feelings this post might be of some help to you. I have complied a list of my top 5 self-care activities, which help me through my rough days and keep me feeling like me!
Without a doubt athletics/exercise is my top activity. Every since I was a child I have been a member of an athletics club and it has been during some of my darkest days that athletics has helped me to keep going. Nothing compares to the relief I experience after having thrown a shot put or discus. A feeling of relief washes over me and sense of the all the stress and tension, which has been building up in my body, has gone too with the shot put or discus. And for the days when I cant find the motivation to get to the track I turn to the gym, going for a run or even a swim. Just 30 minutes of exercise when I’m having a rough day can work wonders for my mood.
Writing comes in at a close second. I blog but I also write a journal. I believe strongly that in order to protect myself and you, the readers not everything should go up on my blog and so when I’m having a really rough day, when my mind is swamped with thoughts, feelings and emotions I take to my journal to get it all out. Every thought, every feeling, every emotion, positive or negative goes in my journal. Not only does it clear my head it also takes away some of the power the thoughts have, its as if I get control back!
When the words aren’t flowing and the legs aren’t running I turn to colouring. There has been a huge increase in popularity of adult colouring books of late and so I decided I would give it ago. When I need to get out of my head, and into a place that isn’t so scary I turn to colouring. Its almost as if I enter a magical world, a secret place of my own where no harm can come about. I begin to focus less on what’s going on around me and more on the picture and the colours in front of me; I guess you could say I do a bit of mindfulness through colouring.
#4- My senses
Using my senses is something I learned back when I was in Fairview. It was during sessions with an OT that I began to get in touch with my senses I guess you could say and I learned how using different things for different senses can help ground me. So over the years I have out together a box of things, all sensory which help me when I’m feeling. In my box I have:
- Scented candles either lit or just smelling them I instantly being to feel relaxed.
- A bag of sand and a bag of rice, both of these items I use with my hands, the feel and the texture really help me to focus on what’s right in front of me, again you could say it’s a bit of mindfulness.
- A balloon full of rice, this acts as a stress ball.
#5- Hot Chocolate
My fifth self-care tip is a bit different. Its simply two packets of hot chocolate. Often when I’m having a rough day I want to be alone and this isn’t always good for me so I keep two packets of hot chocolate on standby. Often these don’t get used but simply act as a reminder that I should text friends, arrange to go for a walk or meet up for a hot chocolate. It’s a simple way of encouraging me to get out and interact with people, even though I might not want to I know its what I need to do sometimes. I’m not a tea or coffee drinker and so that why its hot chocolate.
Now for the best part of this post, not only have I put together a list of my top 5 self-care tips but I also have put together a self-care package for one lucky reader! To be in with a chance to win this self-care package just comment either on this blog or my Facebook page with what you do to look after yourself when having a bad day! The winner will be announced on Sunday 24th of January!
|Self-care package up for grabs!|