For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my mental health, more recently I have had to balance that with trying to deal with my physical health. Now trying to juggle several physical disabilities while also dealing with anxiety, depression and just generally very complicated mental health (read more about here), I sometimes forget just how important it is for me to find time for self care.
Lately I have read a few blog posts all about the importance of self care and the various things that people do in order to care for themselves; one of my favourites has been Laura’s post over at Laura Spoonie, you can see the post here. After reading it the other day it reminded me just how much I need to find my own ways to practise self-care, especially while I am struggling day to day with mental and physical health. So this is what this is all about, getting over my excuses and focusing more on ways I can do it.
MY top and favourite way for self care has to be reading, but it has to be reading something that Im reading for myself, not just for a review or study. This is something I often do daily, and sometimes for much of the day; however whenever I start to feel ill or struggling with mental health, I find that I just stop and don’t pick up a book. I’m in that situation at the moment, I’m having issues with pain and fatigue which is having a knock on effect to my depression and anxiety. I’m sad to say Ive not picked up a book for more than a page or two in over a month. It upsets me as I have so much I want to read, you can see my overly ambitious TBR for this month here. Now I am going to focus on trying to get back into a book tonight.
You can not beat a hot bath with bubbles, music on, and a book in hand- oh and did I mention a good cuppa tea! At the moment I cant do this as I have no use of one of my feet- its a long story, but basically I fell down the stairs. So currently, Im having to wait for my partner to be over so he can help lift me into the bath- yes its embarrassing and awkward but oh well its life. However I am still managing to soak my feet in hot soapy water, which at least makes me feel a bit better.For me, going and getting my nails done is something that can make me feel so much better about myself. I, for a long time, stopped doing this because ‘I couldn’t afford it’, after about six months, a depression flare up, and several viruses, I started again. Its £25 for 3 weeks, that’s the price for me to feel human even when I cant get the energy to brush my hair or clean my teeth. In the long run, I think that’s a price worth paying.
Finally, something I am finding my love is growing and growing for, photography. I’ve always enjoyed it every now and again, but lately since getting my nice camera, I am loving taking every opportunity I can. Recently I went on holiday with my partner, and I have to say I think I have found the perfect photography partner, but that’s a different story. When I’m out in nature taking photography, I find myself getting lost in the focus of what Im doing, and that gives me such a sense of achievement.
So they are just some of my favourite ways to make time for myself, to make sure that I am taking care of myself to give me the best chance of keeping on top of my mental health. Some of these work better than others, and work better at various times. If it involves going outside then it normally means that I cant when Im overly anxious, it will just lead to me getting worse, but other times staying inside can do the same thing. I have a wide array of self care activities and these are just some of my favourites, in future I would love to possibly do more posts like this with some of my other techniques.
All images used are all photography shots I have taken.