Anxiety self-care ideas you will love
We live in a busy world, where finding ways to take care of ourselves can seem like a fruitless endeavour. Our overstuffed lives might not be able to take on yet another task such as prioritising our wellbeing and women, especially mothers, are in fact hardwired to nurture others’ rather than themselves.
Radical self-care is not just the pursuit of women however, it is a necessary practice for everyone, especially those of us who experience anxiety. Without a deep sense of compassion for ourselves, and a genuine commitment to meeting our own needs, many of us experience high levels of tiredness and fatigue, disconnection from our own bodies and emotions, and disconnection from friends, family and loved ones.
So, why self care for anxiety? Well, it has been scientifically proven that by paying attention to how we think, feel and behave, helps us to, first of all, identify when we are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety. When we follow up with self-care practices, such as the ones listed below, we can begin to alleviate stress and radically reduce symptoms of anxiety.
So, if you’re exhausted – even when you have just woken up. If you are feeling unappreciated and overlooked. If you feel as though you are over sacrificing and depleting yourself of good positive energy. Then its time to take some action and invest in radical self-care.
Here are 11 of my best ideas that I hope you will love.
Radical self-care means filling your cup up first. As Rumi, the famous poet once said, “never give from the depths of your well, but from the overflow” Whatever goodness overflows as a result of filling your cup, is for everyone else. When you develop your practice of radical self-care, plenty will overflow, so how do you make this happen?
The good news is that you don’t need to book a retreat in Bali or sign a 12-month membership for the new groovy Yoga studio on the high street. Radical self-care is simply taking massive action in the direction of giving yourself whatever it is you need to have your cup overflow.
Begin by checking out my 11 favourite ideas for self-care, I hope you will love them as much as I do.
#1. Have a Mini lie-in.
First thing in the morning before you get out of bed take a few minutes to check in with yourself and just enjoy being still and awake. If there’s a window close by, look out at the morning sky and enjoy the sunrise, or listen to the birdsong. Enjoy Your mini lie-in.
#2. Morning Gratitude
Take a moment to think of three things you are grateful for, as you make the bed, turn the shower on or prepare for your first cup of coffee.
#3 Daily Mantra
Another great morning action, especially if you notice anxious thoughts first thing. Look in the mirror and repeat words of positivity and self-love in the mirror. You can write your own mantra or borrow one of my favourites.
“ I am peace, I am calm, I am Hope, I am Strength and I am Love”
#4. Morning Mindfulness
Often anxious thoughts begin to flood the mind as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. Thoughts of “I wonder what will happen in my meeting today?” “What if the car doesn’t start”, “What if the train is packed again” take 3 – 5 minutes and practice being mindful. You can do this while brushing your teeth, or as you walk to the station. Try and notice positive things, maybe look for something that makes you smile. Treat yourself to a little mindfulness every morning.
There is nothing better than a nice cup of tea. Whether you’re in India drinking Chai on the roadside, in Morroco drinking mint in a cafe, ina Japanese teahouse drinking matcha or enjoying a pleasant afternoon cuppa in the UK. Choose your favourite blend of tea, grab your favourite cup and take a few moments out to really enjoy the process. Some people like loose leaves steeping in hot water for a few minutes. Others are happy with an instant brew. Whatever you choose, sit quietly with your thoughts, and let the tea do its work. Self-love in a cup.
#6. Friends and Family
Pop in to see a friend or family member that cheers you up or makes you laugh. In these times of social distancing, you can skype or call. Give yourself some time to enjoy your more positive relationships and let the conversation fill your cup.
#7. Morning Gratitude
Breathing is key to calming anxiety and feeling in control again. Sit or lie down somewhere quiet and place one hand on your heart and one hand above your stomach in between your rib cage. Take a deep breath in through the nose for 7 slow counts and breathe out for 7. Keep doing this until you feel calm again. When you practice breathing you send a clear message to your heart, and mind that you are important and you deserve to breathe well. Every breath you take is an indication of self-love.
#8. Buy a Journal
Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal every day helps to bring awareness to whatever triggers your anxiety, helping you to take back control. Buy yourself a journal that inspires you, so that every time you pick it up to write in it it feels like a small gift to yourself. Write messages of love and self-acceptance and your journal will become the self-care gift that keeps on giving.
A monthly audiobook subscription means that you can enjoy reading on a regular basis. Whether you choose books on romance, self-development or conspiracy theories, find a special time and place, where you can indulge yourself. If all else fails pop your earbuds in and listen as part of your daily commute. Either way, you are demonstrating radical self-care with every book.
Reading has a calming effect on the mind and body and helps to unwind and relax at the end of a busy day. The escapism of a good story or a new idea also helps to reduce anxiety, so keep your booklist fresh and read your anxiety away.
#10. The Bubble Bath Experience
This isn’t new, but its still one of my favourites. Nothing beats a nice hot bubble bath with your favourite scented bath bombs, a lit candle and a one of those books on your list. I try and avoid drinking alcohol as it can lead to more anxious thoughts, but a nice cold glass of elderflower tonic is just as good, especially with the lights dimmed and no disturbances.
#11. Be Kind
Most important of all is to be kind to yourself. Guard your thoughts on how you are talking to yourself, stopping any negative thought patterns. If you are having a bad day, don’t worry, just remember that tomorrow will be a new day. This might not sound too radical, but when we can quiet the negative self-talk, the inner judgement and the excess worry, and choose to be kind to ourselves, it is the most radical form of self-care there is.
So whether you enjoy a moment of mindfulness, a warm scented bubble bath, or a cup of sweet milky chai tea, radical self-care will make all the difference to how anxious or stressed you feel. I hope that my ideas inspire you to go ahead and practice radical self-care starting today. Remember be kind to you, you deserve it.
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