Dear you who needs some self care,
On the letter dedicated to myself, which you can read here, I touched on the importance of looking after yourself, particularly on the nights where things are getting a little bit heavy and you just feel like doing absolutely nothing. Whilst that does sound ideal, keep in mind that crying yourself to sleep will only make matters worse. I understand that sometimes you just want to isolate yourself, and that is fine. Isolating yourself, however, doesn’t necessarily mean having a bad time. It just means isolating yourself from the world. So make the most of this alone time, and with my guide on how to have a great self care night, you may find yourself craving these isolated nights a lot more.
1. Face mask
I truly believe that a good face mask is the solution to all problems (kidding, I wish) but seriously close enough? There are numerous face masks suitable for all skin types that you can purchase from any drug store, makeup store, or particularly my favourites which are from The Body Shop. Face masks are cooling on the skin, so they help in those moments where your heart is racing and your face is sweating due to severe anxiety. Sometimes, the tingling feeling of a mask can direct your focus to your face, and not so much to your head. Besides, looking good on the outside always helps us feeling good on the inside. So chuck on a face mask, have a warm bath and let the magic work itself.
2. Read a book
When things are becoming a little too difficult in your own head, the idea that you can escape to somebody else’s make-believe world sounds quite appealing, and to be completely honest it works. When you find a good book, you will find yourself lost through the pages trying to get to the end, and when this happens, you will see just how much time has passed and you weren’t thinking throughout it. Of course, this all depends on whether the book is good enough and doesn’t have any sort of plot that can trigger your intrusive thoughts or anxiety. So make sure it’s a light read, nothing too dramatic or crime related – maybe a romantic plot or a funny story. The most important thing is that it’s captivating from the very first chapter so you can lose yourself within each page.
3. Listen to music
Music has a way of capturing our souls and making us feel something that we never knew was even possible. The issue is, that sometimes listening to sad music can make us feel worse. So make sure you pick a playlist that is not too depressing for your already depressing night. A particular song that I am obsessed with at the moment because it brings me back to reality and makes me no longer feel so alone, is You Will Be Found from the Dear Evan Hansen show on broadway. You can listen to the song here. Make sure you have some tissues nearby though, it will make you cry, but in a good way I promise!
4. Go for a walk
Now this of course depends on the time of day. If it’s late at night I don’t recommend walking on your own. But if you’re having a blue kind of day, why not go outside and get some fresh air? Even a quick 10 minute walk is guaranteed to improve your mood. Take some earphones with you and listen to some music as you walk! I promise, you will feel a lot better once you’re back. Alternatively, you can practise some yoga in the comfort of your own home. There are a number of youtube videos online that can teach you some fun yoga techniques that will help you identify with your body. Exercise in general will increase your mood so whichever approach you decide to take, I am certain you are going down the right path.
5. Take a drive to your happy place
I am aware that everybody’s happy place is different, but mine is particularly the beach. So on the days where I am not feeling the greatest, I like to take long drives to a beach far away, and sit on the sand listening to the waves meet with the shore. Being surrounded by nature is incredibly relaxing and coming into contact with your senses will help you stay in the present moment. When you are in your happy place, try to label what you can see, how it looks, what you can smell, if you can taste anything, what you can hear, and any other repetitive questions to get your mind stimulated in the present moment. This will ensure it doesn’t drift away into other negative thoughts. If you find your mind thinking again, just keep assuring yourself that everything is fine, and identify what you can see, hear, taste, feel and smell.
All this advice is for the days where you want to be completely on your own, but don’t forget talking to somebody you trust is always a great option as they can bring you back to reality as well. Just remember that for the nights where you feel like your brain is going to explode, the sun is still going to rise the next morning.