Taking care of yourself both mentally and physically is really important. Learn these easy tips to improving your self-care and self-love!
I’ve mentioned before in previous posts about the importance of looking after you and your well-being. You can’t have good mental health without physical health!
Today I thought I’d put together a comprehensive post that gives you ideas on how to look after your mental and physical health, whether you suffer from anxiety or not.
Not only that, but I’m going to talk about self-love and self-care. This is part of the idea that having a holistic approach can really help you.
Rather than focusing on one area at a time, you can have abroad view. Honestly, this is really useful for those with anxiety.
This is 3000 words of pure goodness for you right here. Don’t forget to down this as a checklist too! Save it for when you need it most/need a reminder/want to whip your butt into shape.
Shall we start?
Oh and don’t forget your gratitude printable! Just click the button below:
Looking after your mind
The first step to getting you on your road to self-care is to keep your mind healthy. There are some really great ways to do this.
The mind is a strange thing, isn’t it? It is your best and worst friend all in one. On one side it helps you achieve and strive for better.
On the other hand, is slows you down, makes you unmotivated and creates doubt.
It’s a tough one to be battling with I tell ya.
The problem with anxiety (or any other mental illness for that matter) is that it creates battles. Whether it’s silent battles or the more obvious ones. It creates barriers and fear, as well as causing low self-esteem. It can really be a pain in the bum.
Not only this, but it becomes very difficult to look after yourself when your brain is the thing that is stopping you. The last thing you’re going to want to do is to look after your body when your brain says no.
Dragging your heavy body off the sofa can seem like a huge job in itself.
So, how exactly can you look after your brain so that you focus on your whole self? Here are some ideas:
Talk about your feelings
I know this sounds very fluffy and a little bit silly but honestly this can really make a difference.
The trouble with mental health is that it all happens inside your head. No one else knows what you’re thinking and it means sharing your feelings for someone else to know about them. This in itself creates a barrier between you and other people.
For anyone to be able to help/show understanding, you have to tell someone.
If you’re used to keeping everything to yourself, this can be difficult. Fun fact for you – I got called a ‘cold-hearted b****’ once. I couldn’t open up, even to boyfriends at the time. That made it impossible to talk to family.
I’m a bit better at it now, but it takes practice. The same might go for you.
I think it’s worth mentioning that you aren’t going to be perfect immediately. Things just don’t work out that way. But you can reach it, honestly. The main thing is to believe in yourself!
So anyway, back to talking about your feelings.
If just thinking about talking about your feelings creates anxious feelings, I understand. I know that it can be a daunting task and something that won’t come easily to you.
What I suggest in this case is to take it in baby steps. Start off small with something lightly related to your feelings. Share it with anyone you feel comfortable doing so with.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Share something that has gone well this week
- Share something that has not gone so well this week and why
- Talk about a dilemma you have and ask for someone’s opinion
- Spend some time thinking about what you want from your life and share this with someone
- Let off a bit of steam about something that has been bothering you
- Share a little win you’ve experienced recently
Seeing this, does it seem so bad to you?
Sharing your feelings on something can be both positive and negative. Both are equally helpful and allow you to let go/relieve a bit of stress.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Another thing to focus your attention on is whether you’re too hard on yourself. This is a natural way of thinking for those with anxiety or another mental health issue.
But, it’s not healthy and not good for your mental health. It certainly isn’t a good way of thinking. Taking the step to break out of that can be hard, though.
It’s actually quite a viscous circle. The harder you are on yourself, the more you think you fail. The more you fail, the harder you are on yourself. That equals higher stress and anxiety levels.
Breaking that cycle is the key here. Honestly, though, if I can do it, so can you.
Here are some of the ways to do it:
Celebrate the positive outcomes rather than the negative.
When something goes well, write it down and keep it. Share it with someone who will appreciate it. Keep reminding yourself of the positive outcome you created. The more you do this, the more of a good habit it will become.
Spend some time being grateful for all of the good things in your life right now. This might sound easier said than done!
The world we live in is very negative. Keeping your mind away from the negative and more on the positive is hard work. But it’s something you can definitely work on.
If it helps, write it down. You could do it on the morning after evening, whatever suits you. All you need is five minutes as well, you don’t need to spend a long time doing this exercise.
Feel free to download my free printable to help you think about all the things you are grateful for right now. Just click the button below to pop in your details:
If you want some more ideas, here are some related posts for you too:
As you can see, I’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to working on your mental health. There is so much to is that is just impossible to cover in one post. But, making some small changes her and there will definitely get you on the right track.
Looking after your body
The next stage is to look at your physical health. The two are actually very closely connected. Improving your physical health not only gives short-term mental health benefits but long-term ones too.
Here are some ideas for you:
Drink plenty of water
This goes without saying really, doesn’t it!? As humans, we are pretty much just vessels of water. Thus, not drinking enough of the stuff doesn’t do you any good.
In the UK, we’re told to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. This can be quite a hard quota to reach if I’m personally honest. But, I feel immediate benefits when I do so.
So, if you work, keep a bottle of water next to you. Keep it filled up all the time and drink as much as you can. I find it helpful to pick up a litre bottle so I can keep a track of how much I’m drinking.
You might not know this either but tea and coffee do count towards your daily water intake. Although you can understand it’s not ideal to be drinking 2 litres of tea per day!
If you exercise, make sure you drink more as well. I tend to forget about how much I actually sweat! Make sure you’re keeping up with that too.
Do a small amount of exercise each day
Modern life allows us some nice luxuries, don’t you think? But it also creates a more sedentary life that equals less exercise.
If I didn’t force myself to, I’d do less than 30 minutes worth each day. That is not healthy at all.
So, whether you work or not, go for a walk. Even better, go for a run. Even if it’s the last thing you want to do right now, really make yourself do it.
Lack of motivation is what stops most of us from getting up off the sofa and walking around. Especially when you’re struggling mentally!
But what I want you to remember is that although it’s a struggle to even get up some days, that small bit of exercise will do you good. The thought of it is terrifying in itself.
The only thing, in this case, is you. But you can do it and you are strong enough. Give it a go and let me know how you get on! You might also find this post interesting too.
Try taking multivitamins
You know, I never thought I’d ever tell someone to do this. But, once I started taking a daily vitamin, I stopped getting coughs and colds. It really works!
I was always ill. Honestly, I hated it. But, this really helped me improve my health and it might be worth trying for yourself.
Get the right amount of sleep
Oh, my god. I love to sleep. It’s a love affair that just won’t go away, honestly! My fiancé won’t even come between my bed and I and he knows it!
Anyway, does this sound familiar? Maybe not so much?
Whichever person you are, you need to make sure you get enough sleep. This works both ways too. Too much is not great for you either, you know!
Do you struggle to have an undisturbed night (like I do)? Cut down on the caffeine. If you’re sleeping too much, don’t go for naps (like I do). All of these things create an abnormal sleep pattern that won’t help you stay asleep/get to sleep.
Oh, and it’s no use going into this half-heartedly. It’s like a project you need to put effort into. Don’t do what I did and feel like it wasn’t that important. It never works!
Try out some healthy teas
I’ve talked before about the benefits of herbal teas. Honestly, if you’re open to trying new things, this is the way to go.
I honestly have boxes and boxes of different teas in my kitchen cupboards. Each one is used for different issues/ailments.
My personal favourite at the moment is green tea. It has a number of health benefits including speeding up your metabolism. For those looking to slim down a bit, this will help aid you.
Not only this, but it is really good for your body and mind. It’s called a superfood for a reason!
Learning to love yourself
Okay, so that’s both your mind and body covered. But all of this is no use if you don’t learn to love yourself just a little more.
For those that are so used to looking after others, this might also be a bit of a challenge.
Putting yourself first for a little while can be an awkward experience, definitely.
So, here are some useful tips to try out to learn to love you a bit more.
Learn something new you’ve always wanted to try out
How many times have you told yourself that you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill? But it’s like you never really seem to have time?
Well, now is the time to do it. Not having time isn’t going to wash with me either! No excuses now.
If you struggle to fit time into your schedule, read this post I wrote to sort out your to-do list. Throw out all of the waste items you do daily and allocate that to yourself.
Do you want to learn to play an instrument? How about a new language? Maybe you want to retrain yourself in a new professional skill?
Learn to spend some time on yourself instead of others. It’s not making you a selfish person, it just means you are learning to love yourself just that bit more.
Respect yourself too
I am all about respect. I feel that other people must gain respect before they demand it.
However, forgetting about yourself and your self-respect is really important too. There’s no use trying to get people to earn respect when you don’t respect yourself.
How can you do it?
Easy. Here are some ideas for you:
Accept who you are with all of your unusual ways
Let’s face it, we’re all weird. None of us is really normal. Plus, what even is normal anyway? Your friends/partner/family loves you because you are you.
They aren’t spending time with someone else because they don’t want to. You have your quirks but that makes you an amazing person.
Learning to accept your quirks in all their glory is the first step to self-respect.
Don’t put yourself down all of the time
I have a habit of doing this. I find it easier to make fun of myself than I do give myself a pat on the back. But, you can work towards this if you want to.
For me, I have to make a conscious effort in pushing those negative thoughts away. It’s hard work, but I love myself just that little but more because of it.
You see, one way of seeing this is that you’re putting yourself down before anyone else has the chance to. It’s like you’re predicting that someone else will put you down.
But no decent person would do this. Why should you do it to yourself?
It’s another one of those viscous circles that prevent you from being hurt. But sometimes you have to break out of these cycles to see the benefits.
So I want you to stop doing whatever it is that you do to put yourself down.
It’s another gradual process, but over time you will learn.
You don’t need anyone else’s approval
Without sounding like an old hag, I think this is something that comes with age. When you’re at school, you seek and need other people’s approval to feel happy. Now, I couldn’t care less.
I don’t care what others think of me. I don’t care what others might be thinking. I am me, and that’s all there is to it.
Learning that you don’t need other peoples approval will help you love yourself more. Spending time considering this fact is so simple but so effective.
Plus, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Eventually, it’ll become a habit.
Learn to forgive yourself (sometimes)
For those with anxiety (specifically perfectionism), forgiving yourself is immensely hard. I know because I struggle with this very idea.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t overcome it. This is something that has to be worked on a constant basis and is still something I work on myself. After all, I am far from perfect!
But, being hard on yourself is part of this. Accepting your mistakes and moving on from them is how you can learn to forgive yourself. Read more on a recent post I wrote.
Stop saying sorry
Last but not least, stop saying sorry. Stop saying sorry for simple things that you really don’t need to apologise for. Basically, this is me.
You don’t need to put yourself before everyone else. You certainly don’t need to be apologising for things ten or 20 times a day.
Most people don’t even realise/see your mistakes. They probably aren’t even mistakes anyway!
Learning to let go of this habit might be a tough one for you. But hey, nothing is impossible. You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.
So, there you have it. A comprehensive list of looking after your whole self. That is definitely the 101 lowdown!
I know it’s much easier said than done. But just making a few changes little by little can really do you some good. Not only this, but you should keep a well-rounded approach to it too.
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How do you look after yourself? Keep in touch and leave a comment 🙂