A few tips for self-care
If you’re trying to recover from emotional or physical trauma, from sickness or disease, or even if you’re just not feeling that great, self-care can help return you to your former self, and even better – if you continue the practice.
Once you begin the process of looking after yourself, you’ll discover your physical, spiritual, and emotional selves are all interconnected. So it makes sense to address all aspects of your life, and we’d like to give you a few tips on how to do that.
Live and eat healthily
There’s no shortage of advice on how to do this, but you know yourself, deep down, how to make a start at least. Eat healthy food, do a bit more exercise, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If the benefits of sleep could be bottled and sold, it would be the wonder medicine of the Century. Stay away from drugs and alcohol too, and all of this combined will lower your stress levels more than you can imagine.
Look after your hygiene
Hygiene practices were developed over the years to reduce illness and disease, but the additional, psychological benefit is that it improves your self image. And if you value yourself, others will too.
Don’t forget your friends
It’s easy to lock yourself away from the world if you’re struggling, but if you can try not to do so, it’s going to help. Call a good friend to begin with, and when you’re feeling up to it, catch up in person. Or, consider joining a support group to make new friends, who, perhaps, understand your situation better.
Indulge in enjoyment
Remember that feeling of happiness from doing something you love? Was it dancing? Listening to music? Singing? Whatever it is, try and do something every day, just for the pure pleasure of it.
Schedule in times to relax
Switching off can be hard, but when you do so it’s going to help, we can assure you. Do you like Yoga? Simply going for a walk? Taking a nice long bath? Find whatever works for you, and then schedule it in.
And don’t forget to check-in with yourself.
No matter what’s happening with your progress, it’s important to stop and check-in with yourself now and again. This enables to you to take stock of your recovery, see if you need to readjust your plan, move to the next step or just try some different coping tools. Here’s a few ways to go about that.
The more you learn about your mental health condition, the more you understand that it’s not ‘your fault’. That many people are suffering from the same thing, and many have come out the other side too.
Make a list of your accomplishments, and then reflect on it when you’re not feeling so great. Sometimes it’s easy to forget all the good things you’ve done, when you’re feeling a bit down.
Writing down your thoughts can be extremely cathartic, and also, actually help
you figure out how you’re feeling about something. It’s important to be open and honest, and remember – it’s only for you, so don’t be afraid to let your guard down.
At some point, if you’re feeling up to it, you could even consider sharing your story. Either by writing about it, or talking to other people going through the same thing.
Storytelling can be a powerful form of therapy, and in addition, you’ll be helping people through their own difficult times. Just as you’ve been helped at some point along the way.
Best of luck with your journey, and if you’d like some help, please let us know.
Esther & Karen, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland