Tuesday, September 26, 2017 / No comments

6 Easy Self-Care Tips We Should All Be Doing

That Weird Girl Life
I don't know how you've been feeling lately, but I've been feeling very overwhelmed and very uninspired. I couldn't figure out why once I sat down on my laptop, bursting with ideas about blog posts to write, I immediately felt all of those brilliant thoughts seeping out of my ears. By the time I finally found the time to work on it, I was too tired to bother. I knew I needed this down time to just focus on me and to recharge, but after stretching myself too thin all day, instead of being something enjoyable, it was just another dreaded task to add on to my to do list of the day. It seemed like whenever I did have a moment to myself, something else more important would come up and needed to be done right then. I was so tired, sluggish, and started to snap at people more and more (sorry, everyone). I feel so ashamed as a bookworm to say this, but even reading didn't appeal to me! This change in my usual perky weird aka normal personality perplexed me for a few weeks until I finally figured out what was the matter: I wasn't taking care of myself, physically, mentally, or emotionally. I was putting other things (and people) first, and completely forgetting to take time out for me.

As an introvert, I feel the need to be alone a lot, just to catch my breathe and ground myself against the hubbub and swirl of people (even family and close friends sometimes) that can surround me, which is very draining for me. So what did I do to help change this pattern and get me back to my charming and lovely normal self? I remembered what literally every blogger posts and tweets about: self-care.

Now, self-care isn't just about face masks and taking the time to take a bubble bath with at least one Lush bath product (though if that's what you consider self-care, then honey, go for it!). It's literally taking care of YOU, and your physical, mental, and emotional needs. It's not a selfish thing at all and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. You're just as important as everyone else in your life and deserve to be taken care of too, especially by you. A lot of people tend to put others first, or are focused on work, school, family, or relationships and just forget to focus on themselves. Which is all well and good, but you can't forget about yourself and your health. I definitely was doing this and knew I needed to make some changes to get me back on track. I did some research and came up with six easy things that I need to do every single day to make me feel like I'm the best possible version of myself (or at least the prototype of what I could be one day).

Self-care should be something everyone is doing and I hope my tips can help you get started! (Or at least give you some ideas) ♥

1. Find At Least An Hour a Day To Do Something You Love

This is a big one and the one I feel is most important (at least for me). I love blogging, reading, and writing, but I had been feeling so stressed and busy with other things, that I didn't feel that desire to do what I enjoy doing. It seemed like my time wasn't my own anymore, so I came up with giving myself at least an hour (or hopefully more, especially if I'm reading) every single day, to do exactly what I love doing. Which is actually what I'm doing right now, by writing this blog post. I'm working on something that I want to do, that's just for me and no one else. So find the time (at least an hour or two) to do that one thing that you want to do, that's just for you and I swear you'll see a difference in your otherwise tired and crabby mood. (You know, as opposed to your usual lovely and delightful mood!)

2. Put Down That Phone

I know our current modern world revolves around technology and social media. I love social media and probably spend way too much time on it, which is why I'm trying to be on my phone less. As fun as it is to catch up on what your friends are tweeting or what pictures they're posting, social media is kind of a time zapper. You lose yourself in looking at post after post, than following some person with the super cute outfit and pastel tinted Instagram pictures and before you know it, it's three hours later, you're feeling depressed your life isn't as colorful and exciting as that beauty blogger's is and you've lost all of this time you could have been doing something for you and your well being. Try to limit the amount you check your phone and how long you're on it, and it's crazy the amount of time you'll have back. And sanity. There's nothing like falling down the rabbit hole of everyone's "perfect" life (I'm not going to lie, I've done this plenty of times. Especially at night when I'm tired and at my most vulnerable) to cause you to contemplate on why your life isn't like that for a few good hours (more time wasted!). So put down that phone and focus on you and only you. And honestly, it's almost a relief to get away from that glaring little screen and endless notifications. Enjoy your real life activities and hobbies and you'll probably forget about even having a phone before it dings to let you know seven people liked that picture you posted on your Instagram.

3. Drink More Water

This is probably one of the most obvious tips ever, but it's still worth saying. Besides eating well and exercising, staying hydrated is key. I always forget to drink, whether it's water, juice, or even soda and I've been paying for it lately. I've been more tired, my brain has been all foggy, my skin was dry, and it wasn't until I started thinking I needed to take care of myself more, that I realized I wasn't drinking nearly enough water. I wasn't even thinking about drinking water myself, I was just too busy and distracted with whatever to realize that I need to stay hydrated. Now I keep a water bottle beside me at all times and I feel a little proud every time I have to refill it. Do whatever you can to drink more water, whether it's by setting a reminder every half hour or so, or even just buying a cute new water bottle to use to motivate you to drink more (plus it's better for the environment than using those plastic bottles). You'll feel worlds better and your body will thank you for it. Drink up!

4. (Try to) Get a Full Night's Sleep Every Night

Sleep. It's something we all need but it's so hard to get. I've been having the hardest time getting to sleep. I'm a good sleeper once I go to sleep, it's just the actual falling asleep I'm having trouble with. And when I don't get around seven hours or so a night...whoa. I am not pleasant to be around. So for my sake and the sake of those around me, I've been trying my hardest to get a better night's sleep. I've started taking over the counter melatonin supplements to help start the process an hour or so before bed (they're gummy ones too, so it's like I get a treat before I go to bed!). I've also purposely stopped looking at my phone once I'm in bed, just so I won't become too distracted to sleep. And the best possible thing I've found have been videos on YouTube of hours and hours of thunderstorm sounds, the crackling of fireplaces, and any other kind of soothing soundscape you can think of. I love the sound of rain and thunderstorms, so falling asleep to the soft sounds of a distant storm (obviously I play the sounds very low. Can you imagine having a thunderstorm soundscape on full blast when you're trying to sleep? No thanks!) sounds like such a dreamy (get it? Sorry, I just had to) way to fall asleep. It's sad when you kind of forget what a good night's sleep feels like but the combination of taking the melatonin, putting down my phone, and listening to soothing sounds has helped my sleeping pattern so much and has let me remember just how awesome it is to sleep well and all night!

*And geeky bonus: there's this amazing channel called ASMR rooms that makes hour long videos based on a whole bunch of geeky things, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc. For example, she has soundscapes for all of the Hogwarts common rooms, with gentle sounds like the scratching of quills writing on parchment (I never knew I needed that sound in my life until I started listening to these videos), crackling fires, hooting owls, etc. These videos are great to fall asleep to and they're also perfect for background noise when you're reading or studying. Seriously, give it a try and you'll feel like you're in the Wizarding World or a hobbit hole (your choice!) and you won't want to go back to reality after listening to them.

5. Learn to Say "No" and Not Feel Bad About It

I'm a people pleaser, I'll admit it. I want to make people happy and that usually means saying yes when I want to say no. I never want to disappoint anyone, so I'll usually agree to go out when I'm too tired or do something I just don't want to do and have no interest in. And then once I do, I end up feeling resentful towards whoever invited me, which is dumb and not their fault, and mad at myself, for not being able to stand up for myself and say no. After years and years of this (aka my whole entire life), I've started to (slowly) start saying no. And it's so hard to do but so worth it. If you need that time to yourself by staying in, or if you're invited to do an activity you're just not interested in and you'd rather be doing something for yourself, then politely say "no thanks" or "maybe not this time." It's as easy as that. Be nice about it (seriously, don't be mean about it!), say you'll hang out or go out with them another time, and try not to worry that you've hurt their feelings (you probably didn't. But I'm a worrier so every time I stand up for myself and speak up, I feel like I've stabbed them in the heart and am letting them down. I'm working on it, guys). If they're your real friends, they'll understand. Don't push yourself if you're not feeling up for something you just don't have the energy for. Take care of yourself and do what's right for you for once!

6. Be Your Own Advocate for Your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health

This tip is very similar to the one before it, but it's actually even more important. Speak up about how you're feeling! If you're getting frequent headaches, don't ignore it! Get it checked out. Same with your mental health. If you need to talk about something, there's no shame in talking to a therapist or even a really understanding and comforting friend. And if you're having trouble with a family member, friends, or partner, just talk to them about it, don't leave it bottled up. It's amazing how physical, mental, and emotional things can affect the way you live your life. The mind and the body are connected and a lot of the times if you're not doing well emotionally, it can manifest as physical problems (and vice versa). So please, speak up if you're not feeling well and get some help. I was having an incredibly hard time earlier this year and it took me a few months, but I finally called my therapist, who I hadn't seen in almost a year, and made an appointment. It was hard to admit I needed help, but I'm doing a lot better than I was this past spring and I'm so happy I had a few sessions with her. Actively working on your health is the ultimate sign and goal of self-care. We should all be doing this, but life gets in the way, or you just don't have the time or the money, but please, invest in yourself and your health. It's worth it, I promise.

💖💐💖

This went a little long, but I really wanted to talk about self-care and my experience with it lately. What did you think? Do you use any of these tips? Or do you have your own tips and tricks to use for your own self-care? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Weird,
Emily

Looking for more mental health themed posts? I have some other posts I've written over on this page on my blog!

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