Extreme Self-Care Days for Rough Times
When you are going through a really rough time, it is time to practice EXTREME self-care. This means you need to revisit the basics from my previous posts – Oxygen Mask, Breathe, Rainy Days, etc. But, you also need to build up your tool kit of things that make you feel good or at least better.
It is probably hardest to remember to do something to take care of yourself when you most need to do it! That is just one of those paradoxes of life. So, you really need to have a game plan for when you are in the weeds, so to speak.
Here are a few ideas to try to help you regain your equilibrium in self-care:
Make sure you breathe
If you do nothing else, do this. Go back and practice some 4-7-8 breathing and try to do some deep breaths. When we are under a lot of stress, we can tend to hold our breath, which just makes everything worse.
Exercise Or move in some way
Exercise is important for many reasons and it doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you do it long enough to clear your head (usually 20 minutes or so) and give yourself some of the feel good chemicals like dopamine to your brain.
This is one of the hardest ones for me to do. When I feel crappy, my first instinct is to eat the worst foods – sugar and/or grease laden, processed, etc. The more comfort food the better, but when I just eat junk food, I inevitably wind up feeling worse. So, don’t shoot yourself in the foot if you can help it.
Talk to someone
Venting or expressing your thoughts is a wonderful way to move the feelings through you and help you to process them.
Write about it
Journaling your thoughts, especially if you feel that you can’t share them with anyone else, will help to bring some relief. Being able to get your thoughts on paper and to see what is really going on in your head may help you to see where you are utilizing “stinky thinking” and maybe making more of the situation than is necessary.
Re-frame your situation
Try to think of yourself as the heroine of your story. Realize that what is happening right now is what happens to characters in books or movies. This may be your time of trial, but remember that nothing lasts forever. There is usually a resolution to the situation and the heroine overcomes her troubles. Practice thinking of happy endings and the best possible outcome instead of worst case scenarios.
Find Something That Makes You Feel Good
Find something, ANYTHING that makes you feel good that isn’t bad for you, and do it even if only for 30 minutes. (Some ideas are included below to get you started).
Talk to a professional therapist
There is no shame in getting help from someone who is licensed to help you. And, the benefits of talking to someone who is able to be objective about your situation can be incredibly helpful.
Here is a short list of my favorites for practicing “Extreme” self-care:
Relaxing bath with bath salts, bubble bath, and aromatherapy candles
Inhaling Lavender or other relaxing essential oils
Listening to spa type music
Going out in nature
Get a massage
Do some yoga
Reading a magazine or a good book
Coloring in an adult coloring book
Looking at beautiful things – art books, museum sites, etc.
Baking something delicious
Practicing positive self-talk and affirmations
Doing games and puzzles
Watching an inspiring movie or TV Show
Working on photo albums
What are your favorite ways to relax and recharge? Please know that you are not alone. You were put on this planet for a purpose and you are loved. Take good care of yourself!
Do you want even more ideas of ways to take better care of yourself? Click here for your free printable reminder “5 Ways to Recharge Today”.