10 Self-Care Activities For A Mental Health Boost
Self-Care Is Hugely Important For Pretty Much Every Single Human Being On The Planet
In my personal opinion, self-care is vital for every single person on this planet. It might look very different for me than it does for you, but the aim is the same. We need to take care of ourselves, we deserve to take care of ourselves. The things we do for just our well-being, health, appearance and lifestyle are key to our happiness, and the happiness of those around us. As they say, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
I have suffered from mental health issues, a tendency to lean towards anxiety and overthinking, and a touch of depression on the side. A couple of years back, I realised that I wasn’t doing enough to provide self-care to my mind, body & soul.
Sometimes we get the wrong idea of what caring for ourselves truly means. We see all the self-care and pampering talk online and it makes us think “well I don’t have time for a spa day every week”, and we put it to the back of our minds.
For me, this is completely missing the point.
It’s about doing things for our mind, body and spirit, that makes us feel fulfilled, cared for, content and on top of our sh*t.
As I mentioned, for each different person that might mean different activities. Learn what works for you! In today’s post, I am going to give you 10 ideas for self-care activities to do to help boost your mental health and keep you organised and happy. These are especially helpful if you’ve been feeling low, unmotivated, or in a rut that you need to get out of.
I hope you find them useful – let me know your favourites in the comments, or over on my Instagram: BeautifullyFragileBiz
1. Clean & Tidy Up Your Space
This is quite a standard one, but is a great place to start!
Taking an hour or so to just put all your clothes away, make your bed, run the hoover around and clean down surfaces with a cloth and some cleaning spray will make all the difference to how you feel.
Even if it’s the only thing you can get done, just do it. Just start. Put one thing away. Then another. Keep going until you can see the floor again.
A great way to get started might be to set a timer for 10 minutes and just see what you can get done in this time. Challenge yourself to put away as many things as you can in this time slot.
Or maybe set up a linen basket and take shots with all your clothes until everything is in there!
Not only will your space look better, smell nicer, and be easier to navigate, it will also clear some of the space in your mind, and make you realise that small steps at a time lead to action. And you’ve already managed a big achievement by getting started and sorting yourself out.
2. Take A Long Shower & Do All The Body Care You Can
Sometimes when we’ve been feeling low or struggling with mental health, we just don’t want to look after our body, or we don’t have the energy to do so.
Hygiene and our appearance can be at the bottom of a list of things we want to do, and so we just ignore it.
Take a long shower, and focus on all of your stress, negative feelings, and pain washing away down the drain. Scrub your body and use all of your favourite, expensive products. Don’t stress about how long you’re taking. Cry if you need to or want to. Scream in the flow of the water. Sing your happiest songs or play music that makes you feel calm and content.
By the time you get out, you’re likely to feel clearer, cleaner, and on the path to a much more productive and successful day.
3. Sort Out Your Finances/Create A Budget If You Don’t Have One Already
You might have a lot of stress and concern coming from financial issues, and believe me, I get it.
When you have debt hanging over you, or you struggle to make ends meet, it can play on your mind constantly. People who don’t have to worry don’t always understand, and this can also leave you feeling very isolated and alone. Not only is it a real stress, it can be very serious, and is something you should never underestimate.
In our generation, we tend to have the attitude of instant gratification, and our patience for things can be less than what our parents and grandparents had to have. We have online shopping, ads everywhere, credit cards at our fingertips, and social media showing us the latest and greatest 24/7.
Of course, the best way to handle all of these things is to work on our mindset and create a better relationship with money. You can avoid some of the things online etc. but they might still pop up, and at the end of the day, it’s better to work on yourself rather than try and avoid things.
I’ve always struggled because a huge coping mechanism of mine is to spend when I’m sad or lonely. I attempt to fill the void I might be feeling at the time with new clothes or makeup. The buzz is short-lived, and I’m usually just left feeling guilty, sad, and full of regret afterwards.
Learning to see money as a tool to give yourself the best life possible is a great way to start!
Make sure that you learn to prioritise your money based on the things that you NEED, then the things that you WANT.
I would advise creating a budget which is easy and gives you an easy starting point to better handling your money situation. Write out all your outgoings, anything at all that HAS to come out of your bank. This is things such as your rent/mortgage payments, your utility bills, your car payments etc. You will need to include your regular debt payments at this point if you have any.
Once you’ve done that, set aside money for food, travel expenses etc. to make sure you have everything you need to survive each month.
Thirdly, set aside some money for savings. I would try and save some money every single month. This might only be £10 because that’s all you can afford, but that’s 100% better than nothing. I’ve managed to put aside £20 per month through a useful little set up called Loqbox. It’s an online saving fund that builds your credit score. They take out an interest-free ‘loan’ for you in the amount that you choose at the beginning, you make regular payments into the Loqbox against that loan, and this builds your score because it counts as making payments towards credit. Check out their website for more information and see whether this could be useful for you. Again, I am not a financial advisor so please seek assistance from a professional if you need it.
Work on getting your finances straight, and make some steps towards improving your financial position. The more that you can get things under control, the better. It will help you stress less, and put you in a stronger and more stable position.
4. Do Some Digital Organisation
Some days you might struggle to even get out of bed. I feel you.
These days can be a perfect opportunity to get some digital organisation going!
You can lie in bed and go through your emails, clearing out the ones you don’t need, setting up folders to organise the ones you want/need, and unsubscribing from old lists that you don’t care about anymore.
It might be that you need to go through the accounts you follow on Instagram and have a cleanse of some of the accounts that don’t inspire you or make you feel good anymore. There’s no harm or shame in getting rid of accounts from your view that just don’t do it for you anymore. If something makes you feel bad, get rid!
Doing some digital organising is a great way to get something sorted out that might have been bugging you for some time, without having to force yourself out of bed.
5. Book All The Appointments That You Have Been Putting Off
Avoiding things that we need to do is a common practice for those with depression/anxiety or low mood in general, and they can build up.
Things like this just lurk and make you feel anxiety every single day.
They sit there, they might even be written on a to-do list, just staring at you.
Take an afternoon and just get all of the appointments and meetings booked in. Call each place, set a date and time, and put it in your calendar. Commit to sorting these things out once and for all and getting them off your back.
You’ll find that you’re much more likely to go and if you can’t do all of them, at least you’ve got rid of some of them.
6. Write A Gratitude List
This is a big one for me and something that I like to do as often as I possibly can.
Writing up a list of the things that you feel grateful for has a really powerful effect on the mind and the way you feel about your life.
Sometimes we just can’t see the good things around us. That’s okay, it happens.
What we can do, is choose to figure out the things in our life that we feel grateful for and write them down. Stare at the piece of paper. Realise that there is so much to be said for the comfy bed you have, the ability to breathe fresh air, the lovely trees outside, the way the stars twinkle, the way the clouds puff along in the breeze.
You could make yourself a mug of your favourite drink, and sit with your journal or just a notebook, and just start writing. Think about the things that you like about the space you’re in. Look around you and notice the things that you can see, touch, smell.
Write about these things as often as possible, and you’ll start to notice your appreciation for these things increasing. We are very lucky, and we do have a lot of amazing things around us. Work on your perspective, and you’ll see that things are beautiful and you deserve to enjoy them.
7. Do A Life Audit & See Whether There’s Things In Your Life That You Need To Change
Feeling down and depressed can be caused by certain elements of your life not sitting in the position you want them to. It makes sense when you think about it, but sometimes we just don’t think of it in that way. We are blinded by our mood and our perspective.
Realising that actually, a big part of our struggle emotionally and mentally could come from our general fulfilment of life overall, means we can fix things.
I have watched a lot of videos, listened to a lot of podcasts, and read a lot of books that talk about fulfilment in terms of the various life categories. I would translate them as follows:
- Career & financial stability
- Family life & children’s fulfilment
- Romantic relationship
- Friends & social activities
- Hobbies & passion projects
- Health, both mental & physical
Once you have these 6 different sections of life working together and in a constant place of improvement, you will see your overall happiness and fulfilment in life increase.
Make sure that you have a career that makes you at least feel like you matter and that you’re making an impact. Look after your family well and help your children become fulfilled. Build a healthy and engaging romantic relationship with someone you like and can spend time with as friends as well as romantic partners. Get some properly decent friends and spend time with them. Find things you enjoy doing that take your mind away from the grind, things that make you smile and feel good. Work on your diet, eat proper food and get outside for walks. Read books and take photos, write about what you’re grateful for each day, and write down your thoughts. Watch inspiring people and fill your mind with positive self-talk.
All of these things added together begin to shape a very fulfilled and healthy life. You will reap the benefits of improving your life in that way.
Of course, this is all about the journey, not about the destination. The aim is to be in a constant place of getting better and improving. You will never reach a point where this ends, so don’t expect to!
To start this process, check out my post on creating a life audit and get a place to start. Then you can begin to make the positive changes required to work towards a more rounded life.
8. Learn Something New
Our brains love trying new things, and I’ve even heard it helps you live longer! I think it has something to do with the pathways in our brain, and the overall health benefits and cognitive benefits of a brain with lots of pathways. Check this out with someone who knows a lot more about this than I do!
However, we all know that rush when we try something new, and how good it makes us feel.
We know that by getting out there and giving something a go, we are improving and building on ourselves. It’s that whole piece around constant improvement and development. If we don’t try new things, we stagnate.
I know it can be scary to try new things. Believe me, as someone with anxiety, I feel that pain. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be extremely scary, but the benefits are MASSIVE. You can read more about the benefits of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and how this is key to personal development if you want to know more.
There are so many things out there to try! Do whatever speaks to you first, go to classes, read books, watch videos, and take courses. Say yes to new opportunities and ask your friends what they like doing. See whether there’s something they could introduce you to. You never know what you might find and what it might bring to your life.
9. Buy Some Houseplants
This one is something that I didn’t think mattered that much, but does deserve a place in this list! There are just so many benefits to having plants in your home.
I do believe that humans need to be around nature. I often start to feel cluttered and claustrophobic if I haven’t been to the beach or the woods in a while!
Having some lovely green plants in my home helps me to feel closer to nature daily.
Not only that but they help purify the air in your home and give you a fresher feeling. You can choose plants based on this, check out this post on Interflora about some of the best houseplants to choose for your home which include this benefit.
I have quite a few around my home now, especially in the living room, and it’s one of my favourite things about our flat. I’ve been learning how to care for them, and where they like to be the most, and I’ve enjoyed it ( plus this helps with point number 8 😉 ).
Give it a try and see what you think. There are some entry-level plants such as the Snake Plant which is very easy to care for, even if you do forget about it for a while!
10. Stop Complaining – Try To Go Without Complaining For As Long As You Possibly Can
This can be tough, especially when you’re in a negative mindset.
Learning to complain less will make a massive difference to how you feel about yourself, the people around you, and the world as a whole. Yes, things go wrong, and some days things can be pretty crappy. Everyone experiences that, and there’s no cure, no matter who you are or what you have around you.
You can’t change these things, but what you can do is change how you react to them.
Building a more positive outlook and learning to channel that negativity into determination and strength is a really important journey to work on.
When there are things around you that you could complain about, make it a challenge to find the good in the situation instead. Say them out loud. Think them through and let your mind truly feel the positive light in the situation.
You will find that as time goes on, you’ll begin to go straight to the positive in things, and the negative will become much more in the background. Learning that skill takes time and is something you have to build on. It won’t happen overnight, but by trying, you are going to at least be on the right path.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and found it useful and inspiring. Knowing these things and doing them is two different things, and I appreciate that it can be overwhelming, to begin with.
Break them down and work on one small piece at a time. If one thing stood out for you particularly, then begin implementing that into your life for a month or so and then go from there.
Don’t expect to all of a sudden be the most happy and positive person in the world because A, they don’t exist, and B, because you can’t have happiness without sadness. We need both sides of the coin to have the coin at all.