9 Ideas for Emotional Self Care | Self care Series

Chronic Illnesses, Invisible illnesses, Mental Illnesses, Physical Illnesses, Well-being

What is Self care and Why is it Important? 

Self care is gender neutral and is the process of taking care of our physical, emotional and mental health.  It is important to you look after yourself to be more productive, improve your self-esteem, increase self-knowledge and being more compassionate to others.  By knowing your self-worth you will be giving off positive vibes and make you seem more attractive. Although useful sensory self-care is useful it does not necessarily address your emotions but dealing with your emotions can make you less stressed for longer.

If you are sitting there thinking self-care is selfish, well I have found valuing myself more has allowed me to give more and have stronger relationships with others.  It is easy to forget that emotions are not always good or bad, they are responses to situations that you control.  It can be easy to mask these emotions by using self-destructing mechanisms like alcohol, overeating and drugs but they are only temporary solutions.This post will a part of a 3 part series to help you with self-care ideas in loving memory of Nathan Robson. Nathan sadly lost his battle to depression aged 20 on 19/04/2018.


Emotional Self-care Ideas

  1. Keep a daily diary

Take time out of your day to record how you are genuinely feeling which can help identify the triggers of your moods and what makes you feel happier. If you are worried someone might get hold of your deeper inner thoughts put the diary in a safe place with a padlock on it the old school way or keep it password protected on your laptop. A daily diary can also help you see how far you’ve come, especially if you are working with a therapist to find the route of your problems. If you don’t know where to start try use these pointers and make your own list.

Think if you I loved myself what would I…

  • Do more of?
  • Do less of?
  • Who would I spend time with?
  • What inspires me?
  • What hobbies make me happier and how will I make time for them?
  • What goals do I want to achieve?
  • Which boundarieswill I set?
  • What actions can I take now?

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2. Seek Professional Support

If you don’t have anyone who you are close with seeking professional support could be a good route for you. Typically you can get up to 6 free counselling sessions through your University well being centre or the mental health charity Mind (U.K).  These free sessions tend to deal with one  problem you are facing due to the session limits.

However, you maybe entitled to free counselling in your local area through your GP about cognitive behaviour therapy, which helps retrain your way of thinking and may be more beneficial if you require longer sessions.  If you feel talking to a stranger is not for you an alternative may be discussing going on anti-depressants. However,  these take usually around 6 weeks to be effective and lose their effectiveness when combined with alcohol.


3. Practice a Healthier Diet

Food is important to fuel our day and affects our energy levels – Did you know certain foods can help induce you into sleeping or make you sleep longer? Getting enough sleep is important for the self-care triple bottom line. If you have trouble sleeping why not try one of these foods just before bed;

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Lettuce
  • Turkey
  • Tuna or other fatty fishes
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Kiwi
  • White rice

Food also impacts our moods, taking multi-vitamins will give you an extra little boost or treat yourself by indulging if your favourite desert. If you find you have little self-controland are treating yourself to often why not try replacing sugary or fatty foods with healthier snacks or drinks. Lentil crisps are packed with flavour and low in calories, smoothies, herbal tea, yogurts or egg salads.

fruits


 4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I know comparing yourself to others is so hard, when you see beautiful people floating around Instagram and many people’s lives seem so much better. However, you are your worse own critic, deactivating social media for a while might help you to start focus on yourself.

Focus on your strengths and develop your weaknesses 

One way to identify your strengths and weaknesses is by downloading an online skill matrix.


5. Avoid Withdrawal

Most times I considered killing myself has to be to do with being alone for long periods of time and overthinking. Withdrawing from people or your surroundings are the easiest way to enter a downward spiral. Even if you don’t think being around other people is helpful to keep sight of reality subconsciously.  Avoiding withdrawal is always my biggest challenge with self care because when I feel sad I don’t want to inflict my mood onto others or socialise with them.  You may feel you have pushed most or all your friends away but you can work to overcoming withdrawal by;

  • Attend local support meetups
  • Volunteer in a charity
  • Take a random trip
  • Call a helpline
  • Buy or borrow a dog and take it for walkies
  • Reach out to old friends

6. Reminisce on old Memories

Look back at past photos and videos can really give you the feel good factor and remind you of what makes you happy. If you have time and need a hobby making these into a scrap book with quotes with lovely photos can be really fun. If you don’t have time to do this why not make albums when you upload pictures to Facebook so they are easy to find later.

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7.Let yourself Cry

No matter if you’re a man or woman letting yourself is not weak. Crying can help you let go of situations and doesn’t have to be in front of everyone else.


8.Talk to Someone

Therapy is not for everyone and sometimes talking to a stranger is helpful to get an unbiased view even if you’re on a night out. If you feel you are only temporary down a helpline can really help have someone who listen to you. However, be aware Samaritans don’t tend to give advice but just give a helpful ear.


9.Plaster on a Facemask

Buying a Facemask makes you feel good when you put it on a good one can help with your skin. I find putting on a facemask triggers a positive mood and helps me relax. My favourite ones are from LUSH which cost around £7.50. You can buy fresh ones or ones that last a little longer.  If you have sensitive skin you may want to look in the Body Shop instead as there are a small about of parabens in LUSH products.The most important thing with emotional self-care, or any self-care routine in fact is you do it consistently.

Unfortunately Nathan’s mental health deterioratedonce his therapist went on leave and there was no one to replace her.


Sharing is Caring 

Please share the love to help as many people with tips for emotional self-care. Thank you.


Have your Say

Are there any emotional self-care ideas that help you – if so why not share them below?


Related Posts

Behind the Brave Face | 7 Secret Signs of Depression

Slaying the Double Depression


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Anxiety and Depression: Adam Hughes

Guest Posts, Invisble Illnesses, Mental Illnesses, Peeping through the Keyhole, Uncategorized

Peeping through the Keyhole 

Hello Lovelies,

Today’s guest post  is by Adam Hughes who gives a brief insight and advice to those living or supporting someone with anxiety and depression.

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About the Author 

Hi, I am Adam I am 24 years old living in London. I love reading, Audio books, writing and going on long walks. To find out more about Adam click here


What are the main symptoms you suffer from?

Depressive moods

Mood swings

Lack on concentration


How was your journey to diagnosis of depression?

It took years to be able to speak to a doctor and when I did it felt a lot better, like I wasn’t battling on my own anymore.


What 5 things you have learnt about Depression and Anxiety since being diagnosed?

I am not alone

It can take over many aspects of life

It can affect others as well as yourself

Love is always a great component of healing

Strength can be found in the smallest things


In what way has the NHS supported you?

Giving me a ear to listen to my troubles through counselling


What do you find is the most challenging part about your mental health?

I find building up a happy lifestyle and keeping up with others difficult.


What emotional support do you have for your mental health?

I have many wonderful and kind friends who are always supportive


 What are 3 ways you manage your mental health on a day-to day basis?

Meditation

Walking

Relax remedy spray


What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed with Depression or Anxiety?

Keep on fighting even if it feels like everything is ending


Has any perceptions changed since you’ve been diagnosed with Depression and anxiety?

I have found society perceptions on mental health has improved by being challenged.


Have you gain any new hobbies since been diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety?

A love of writing again


How has depression changed your life?

My illness took some of the most important things from me last year (2017) and it almost ruined my entire life


What information do you wish you was given when you was initially diagnosed? Counselling leaflets and advice


 What do you do for a living?

Freelance Teacher/Performer


What are your future plans in the next year?

Building up a successful teaching career

 

Behind the Brave Face: 7 Secret Signs of Depression

Mental Illnesses

Depression Diaries (Post 2)

If you look around see someone who looks sad, they may be just that – sad. Life is full of ups and downs so it is natural for our moods to adjust to different circumstances. Feeling down in the dumps from time to time and grieving is normal (NHS U.K, n.d; Winch, 2015). It is when sadness turns into something more gradually, the inner demon depression is born in yet another victim.

A common misconception is depressed sufferers have monotonous personalities. However, it is a complicated emotional state that affects people behaviours differently. Someone who is depressed may loathe themselves, feel helpless, hopeless and upset (Mind.org.uk, 2016) although, the extent of what is felt and how they act varies.

A mildly depressed person can get through daily life holding down a job or running a family home. Whilst, a clinically depressed individual struggles to get through each day and may live a double life. Sustaining a double life for some is just too much to handle. In the U.K and Ireland alone, more than 6,000 people commit suicide, ISAP cited in (Mental Health Foundation, 2017).

 

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My last post touched upon that the disease does not exhibit in one stereotypical face. Depression can pursue your colleague or peer – the person you admire most or even decide to seek you. No one should believe they are immune from the black fogs wrath. Unfortunately, 1 in 10 people in England will suffer from clinical depression in their lifetime (NHS U.K, 2016) but many more go undiagnosed. Even those with diagnoses may still conceal it because they believe their curse will be a burden on others…

If you aren’t aware of the hidden signs of depression it is easy to overlook requesting help for yourself or a loved one in need. After all, how can you notice something you don’t understand? This post is to help you reflect on yours and others’ behaviour, to identify whether symptoms are apparent, to gain support to manage and relieve them.

 


7 Secret Signs of Depression (Part 1)

1.Withdrawal

A depressed person will try their best to avoid social activities. Periods of silent isolation is one of the main signs that an individual is being tortured by depression. When someone becomes depressed it is not unusual for them to lose interest in everything and everyone. Where he or she may have once been the party starter, now they are the party pooper and may even call into work sick.withdrawal

They may still make plans with you, trying to keep up the ‘happy’ pretence. However, in reality they have turned into ‘king’ or ‘queen’ bail’. Someone who consistently lets you down is likely to be suffering from depression.

 


2.Excuse O’clock

When you realise you were lied to it is hard to trust the person who lied to you. Yet, it is unlikely you will taste dishonesty from depressed people – they are  semi-professional liars.

clock

They have the skill of making up believable cover stories on the spot for pretty much anything. Lies could be to hide how they got scars on their body (when they have had a self-harming sesh) to an excuse of why they need to leave somewhere rapidly. Although, they mastered lying tell-tale signs of their illness is that they have an answer for EVERYTHING and are very defensive.

 


3. Mean Girl… or Boy

A depressed person over analyses themselves and others people obsessively. They do this is because they are so unhappy with their appearance and/or personality that they begin to look for what they desire in others. At the same time when that individual finds traits in someone else they despise in themselves they give off the impression over being over judgemental and a royal b*tch. From experience, chances are that b*tch is extremely insecure and depressed too.

girl


4. Conversation Changes

A closed book who avoids expressing their feelings and subjects is likely to be depressed. Of course, it is possible that he or she will bleed out their feelings but usually this in a philosophical manner. If you find yourself or a loved one turning the conversation to life or death, or what the route is to a happier life and no philosophy or R.E books have been studied. Then, you are certainly hearing little indicators of depression.


5. Substance Abuse Perceptions

We all know drugs are bad – right? Not exactly. A depressed person views substances differently to a healthy one. I want you to think of your favourite food, – could you live without it? If someone is a user they see them as necessities to get through the next day. Even if they’re not a user, they may consider it as a viable option to wash away their pain… to be happy again (even if they know it’s temporary).


6. The Mechanisms of Intense Feelings

A person masking depression will often feel emotions more intensely than others. Do you find yourself or know someone whom bursts out in floods of tears watching television over a scene that isn’t sad? Or see red about something trivial like someone overtaking them in a shop queue or in traffic? Well that is personifying the clouds of gloom. The only way some depressed suffers know how to channel their depression is through anger and irritability (Koh et al., 2002).


triple

7. *Incoming* Triple Threat…

Failure, Rejection and Abandonment. The three ingredients a depressed person wishes their mind could shield. There is nothing worse than finding out someone you love cannot handle your worse layer. The fear or rejection and abandonment forges the need to be secretive so they don’t walk away. If you or someone else strongly fears the triple threat, then you may be depressed.


So, there we have it guys, 7 secret signs of depression unveiled. I hope you found it useful whether you think you or a loved one may be suffering from the condition.


Do you think you or a loved one could have depression?

Resources

United Kingdom

Depression UK: Supports those suffering from depression

info@depressionuk.org 

Samaritans UK: A helpline for those who feels heavy distress or suicidal. The helpline does not show up on phone bills also.

116 223 – Free helpline (My personal favourite)

08457 90 90 90*

*This number still works to get through for Samaritans but you will be charged for the call.

SaneLine: (6pm-11pm, open every day of the year) provides support to those suffering from mental health problems)

Young Minds (Under 25 years old): A UK based charity committed to improving children and young people’s mental health.

020 7089 5050

U.S.A

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Adolescent Suicide Helpline

1-800-621-4000


Over to You

Can you think of more hidden signs of Depression? – If yes, why not share them below?


 

Sharing is Caring

I would love if you shared my post to raise awareness of some of the hidden signs of Depression.


About the Author

My name is Morgan Isabella Shaw a warrior of clinical depression. To find out more about my story click here.


Coming UP Next…

Behind the Brave Face: 7 More Secret Signs of Depression (Part 2)


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Thanks for reading

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References  

Koh KB, Kim CH, Park JK (2002) ‘Predominance of anger in depressive disorders compared with anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders’. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; 63: 486–92.

OpenUrlMental Health Foundation. (2017). Suicide. [online] Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/suicide [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

Mind.org.uk (2016). Symptoms | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [online] Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/symptoms/#.WcOdoZWWzIU [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

NHS U.K. (2016). Clinical depression – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

NHS U.K. (N.d). Dealing with grief and loss – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/emotionalhealth/Pages/Dealingwithloss.aspx [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

Winch (2015). Psychology Today. The Important Difference Between Sadness and Depression. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201510/the-important-difference-between-sadness-and-depression [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].