Good morning my lovely Comfizz readers!
August 15th is National Relaxation Day, so I figured I would do a post surrounding self care tips & things to try.
National Relaxation Day aims to promote stress relief through practicing relaxation techniques. This is turn can lead to being able to develop a calmer & clearer sense of mind, which can help us hugely in our lives, especially when dealing with chronic illness.
Like myself, I'm sure there are times where you find relaxation impossible and wonder how actually is it even possible the way you are feeling?! Take it from a professional over thinker, it's okay if it doesn't come easy & it's not something to beat yourself up over.
Being gentle on yourself
This is something that took me years to put into practice effectively. Due to traumatic experiences in my life and low self confidence amongst other things, I had developed a really negative relationship towards myself and found it really difficult to not automatically down myself & discredit myself by habit.
Through counselling & consistent hard work to change my thinking & relationship with myself, I am so much better with this than I used to be & thankfully most days I can practice kindness to myself. I still have bad days, but one great technique I keep in mind which I learnt in my counselling sessions is to treat and talk to myself as I would a friend. I wouldn't berate a friend or loved one for having a bad time or making mistakes, they are only human and it happens to us all, so I use that to try & shift myself out of that mindset if I feel it creeping back in & find it really effective.
What is self care?
Self care is a good way to form the foundations for relaxation. If we take care of ourselves, even in the most basic but nourishing form such as doing things to promote good sleep as much as possible, showering & providing our bodies with nutrients, then in my experience, it becomes much easier to achieve even slight relaxation. Without taking care of the basics & treating myself with respect & love, I find that relaxation is pretty impossible to achieve. Having a good relationship with myself so that I feel I deserve to relax is key.
To different people, self care means different things. Simple things such as those I've just mentioned you could see as basic elements of self care, which on tough days can seem difficult, or you could consider more complex things such as developing a long term workout plan as being vital elements to achieve self care, and achieve it as much as possible.
5 self care tips for those tough days
As I explained above, having tough days is human. On those days, I find it easier to slip into a mental spiral of expressing negativity towards myself if I don't do anything that I see as productive. Usually on these days, it's struggling with fatigue, hormones or my mental health that hinder me (or all, just to spice it up, eh?!)
You don't have to be productive every day to be human though, and we should give ourselves more credit for sometimes just getting through the day. That's productive enough and productivity itself doesn't determine our worth. It's okay to just be & rest, to put your feet up & binge watch that Netflix series you've wanted to watch for ages, to have dog cuddles, to sleep or to read. It's okay to put you first.
On the tougher days, these are just 5 things that I really push myself to try to do (in no certain order). Even if I just achieve one & ensure I'm fed & watered, then that's great.
- Light a candle – this may seem very simple, but the light from a candle & the smell can help relax me & as cliché as it might sound, give me more light on a situation & like there is a way out. Obviously, this wouldn’t be a good one to do if you’re planning on napping/sleeping and there is nobody else around! Some of my favourite candles are from Home Bargains and I also have a cute little wax melt burner and melts from Etsy. I absolutely love buying wax melts! I had to slow myself down a few months ago as I was getting to the point that I could set up my own shop!
- Shower or have a bath – even though I sometimes wind myself up for hours even trying to find the energy to move from the same spot because I feel emotionally so heavy, feeling the warm water and applying some nice smelling shower gel can make all the difference. A bath bomb or using a bubble bar in a warm bath is also a lovely way to try & relax.
- Make the bed - even if I intend on getting back in it at some point, actually making the bed & laying on top of it snuggled up in a blanket can make me feel like I’ve achieved something, even if that something is merely just dragging myself out of bed that day. It also helps me to feel fresher & more awake.
- Open the curtains & windows - I never underestimate how useful I find this one. Having natural light coming in & feeling the breeze flow over my body & fresh air flow into my lungs can make things seem a lot less bleak. It also helps me to feel more “in the world” and grounded rather than so out of it in my own head. It's always grounding to look out the window & see that life is going on outside, especially when I feel more alone.
- Search for cute dog photos on Instagram/Pinterest or have dog cuddles – I absolutely adore greyhounds, having had them in our family most of my life. A cute greyhound picture or video can bring a smile to my face even on the days where all I seem to do is cry. My fiancé and I are lucky enough to have our own dog, so cuddles with her also help so much too, especially as she loves getting cosy!
What are your self care and relaxation tips? Comment below!