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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Horsefeathers. Offline
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Self-care activities. - March 24th 2018, 01:02 AM

I thought this could be a good place to share some different self-care activities we've found helpful or that might be helpful for others. I know that sometimes I get tired of my own self-care routines so it might be good to see what suggestions you all have.

A surprising thing I've found is that cleaning my sheets and making my bed always boosts my mood. I used to not do it all that regularly because it took a bit of effort and seemed like a hassle, but lately I've realised that I always feel better after doing so.

On a similar note I usually feel better after having a shower, but when I particularly need to relax I go all out and have a bath - usually either a bubble bath, a coloured bath, or one with bath salts.

I've also discovered that some areas of the house affect me more than others. For example I don't mind if my bedroom's a bit messy, but I get stressed if the kitchen isn't clean; so making sure the kitchen is neat and tidy is a form of self-care for me because I know if I let it get messy I'll end up feeling unhappy.

Those are the main ones I can think of, but I may come back if any more come to mind. What about you guys? Feel free to share any ideas, no matter how serious or silly they are.

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Re: Self-care activities. - March 24th 2018, 02:25 PM

This is an awesome thread!!

I too feel so much better after cleaning my sheets (or blankets) and making my bed. The smell of freshly cleaned laundry is something I find really calming.

I am very grounded by smell so something I will do is light a candle when I can be close to it. My room is small so the scent quickly fills the room and I like that. I also frequently change body washes/lotions so I can be more mindful and present in the moment.

When I get stressed or anxious I like to clean. I like to vacuum the carpets (and see the crisp vacuum lines) or completely reorganize things, particularly my closet, desk, or dresser. I rip everything out, reorganize it, and then put it all back in. I have reorganized my closet probably five or six times within the past year.

I like to bake. I particularly enjoy baking cookies, but I will also bake cakes, muffins, or anything else that I feel in the mood for. I find it helpful to mix the ingredients and smell/feel them. I do a lot of "therapeutic baking" as my therapist calls it.

I like to read, too. I read for an escape and for self-care, though I haven't been able to read much with school nor have I been in the right mood.

I might come back with more things later.

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Re: Self-care activities. - March 25th 2018, 10:54 AM

Lately, self-care has become a hobby in itself. During my band's touring I like getting away to enjoy Me Time, for where we are situated is a long stretch of coast where the joy of beach combing beckons. Along the beaches of southern France is a mix of brightly coloured shells, silvery sun-bleached driftwood, pebbles of glass frosted from being tumbled by waves along the coastline; and various coloured bottles.

When our tour finishes I go home to an 18th century Grade II listed country house that my late mother left me, and there are plenty of beds waiting for freshly cleaned laundry, and a large kitchen whose range stove is begging to used for baking. Who else loves baking on rainy days? Me? I'm addicted! Even more addicted are our young family, lurking near the kitchen waiting to grab a hot cake, or delve their spoons into a cream caramel. This is why during my self-care baking days I have to make double or even triple quantities. If I'm not quick, our mischievous 12 year old twins will be in, swipe the goodies and they'll be gone.

I compose most of our songs, lyrics also, and find strumming my acoustic guitar very soothing, for its sound box comforts me as reverberates against my chest. That is very special self-care.

Another self-care hobby is being sheltered in my bivvy on the beach while fishing. I'll have a thermos of hot soup or tea, and my big woolly dog will be keeping me warm as he leans cosily up against me. The occasional thwack of his tail reminding me he's always wanting to be stroked. My dog's friendship is unconditional, so when my friends are gone, then it's just Wolfy and me and beyond us a silvery sea as flat as glass stretching into a misty horizon.

One could say that self-care is a solitary thing, and in many ways that is correct. Having been in the company of perhaps 5,000 or more the night before, one craves solitary and if this form of self-care cannot happen then one becomes fretful. Like a writer bereft of their pen and notebook. And that is why self-care is so vital if we are to survive and keep as strong as we can emotionally.

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Re: Self-care activities. - March 25th 2018, 05:21 PM

Thank you for this thread! I've always struggled with self-care, but have tried doing a bit more or looking into different things.

I have also found that making my bed, cleaning and organising can definitely boost my mood. I also really like sniffing my scented candle (vanilla) and curling up with a throw or a blanket.

I prefer a bath over a shower as I feel I can relax more. I like noticing the feeling of the soap on my skin.

More recently, I have been trying to exercise more. I want to loose weight but also want to enjoy exercise. So I have been hula hooping and going on my exercise bike. I love doing these things while listening to music! I also have been known to try to dance along too, even though I'm a rubbish at it

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Re: Self-care activities. - March 25th 2018, 05:52 PM

Sometimes, I struggle to take good care of myself. This is something I really need to work on, so thanks for this thread!

Usually if I'm feeling really upset or something like that, I try finding my cat and just spend some time with him. Usually he'll either go to sleep or start playing with me.

It's very nice and can be relaxing! And kitty gets lots of attention, too.

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Re: Self-care activities. - April 6th 2018, 02:08 AM

I've always struggled with self care, but I've noticed that writing poetry, playing with my dog, taking a hot shower, and doing my hair helps. I writing helps get my feelings out without being judged. Playing with my dog helps me calm down because he's cute. Taking a hot shower helps me to slow down and think and doing my hair lets my feel pretty. Thanks for this thread!

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Re: Self-care activities. - April 7th 2018, 05:54 PM

I have a few different types of self care that help such as fun ones and then ones that I know I need to do and they do end up helping.

The fun ones:

  • Going to movies OR watching movies/television at home
  • Buying books -- I have a budget and stick to it so I don't overspend and it doesn't become a compulsion or habit or an issue. This one is more of an iffy one and you have to know yourself and your spending. For me I used to live within the confines of a strict budget and never really did stuff for me so it's nice to allow this.
  • Getting or making iced coffee or Iced tea
  • Playing with/cuddling with my cats\
  • Talking -- I tend to keep a lot in so even if I am just talking about a book or something it's self care. For me this becomes an issue when I am manic as that increases the talking to a point where it's not healthy
  • Reading -- This has become more of a hassle this year but that's due to stress and inability to focus. I am reading slower than normal and feel bad but when I sit down to read I tend to enjoy the escaping.
  • TH ---Writing articles helps, responding to threads or talking to people on the site --That is a big one. I like talking to people and making new friends but it's struggle for me to reach out to most people that often. It's been a challenge to try and do it a tiny bit more but it's been good self care.
  • Using lotion -- I have a few different kinds. A friend got me the Focus one from Bath and Body and that helps with anxiety at times. The other ones don't help with anxiety, necessarily, but the smell is nice and it's a task I don't have to think a lot about.
  • Burning candles --- Has to do with having something nice to smell and the lighting it gives off. I am really sensitive to smells so do a lot of vanilla, baking or fruit ones. I can tolerate lavender and sometimes it actually helps my stress and headaches. Other days I am more sensitive and it doesn't help. I've actually developed a thing for candles recently and have a fair amount. I don't use them a ton but that's because I want to conserve them.
  • I have a lavender stress ball type thing and on my good headache days I can squeeze that and smell the lavender and relax.
(Some of these are probably less fun and just things that have the ability to help but I didn't want to make a third category!)

Things I know I need to do and they help:

  • Showering -- I find that when I am really anxious the shower helps. If I am struggling too much I remove certain things but most the time the water running over me and the body wash help. I don't always wash my hair but I have a shower cap so I can just get in. To be honest, for me washing my hair helps but combing my hair is when it becomes more of a self care task.
  • Brushing my teeth -- I hate this and sometimes I just have no desire but I feel awesome after doing this. I also think that doing something I don't have to really think about or process helps too because I over think --not sure if that makes sense.
  • Paying my bills -- This one is because I stress about it so once something is paid I feel slight relief
  • Doctors appointments -- I always dread these especially when I am struggling but after I go I usually feel more hopeful and have a new perspective on my health etc.
  • Cleaning up/feeding my cats --- It's nice to see a fresh litter box and it's always nice being able to have a routine in the morning of feeding the cats. Also, they give cuddles if I feed them 'properly'.
  • I think for me having a routine helps -- setting a schedule and keeping to it. It's one of the reasons why I think working will be helpful and why certain spontaneous tasks freak me out --- there is so much prep and anxiety that goes into those tasks. I can do them but I use up too much energy.
(There are probably more need to do ones but I can't think anymore)

I have been meaning to post this. I hope it's not too long or anything. I gave more reasoning as to why they work for me as some of them work for specific reasons like for my anxiety or for not overthinking. They might help others with similar issues but there is a chance it will not.

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Re: Self-care activities. - April 20th 2018, 04:12 AM

Thank you for this thread because it is a great idea!
  • Taking pictures of simple things helps clear my mind and focus on the present. For example, I will go outside and allow the camera to focus itself on a dandelion as the wind is blowing, and I will focus on staying still and centering it. Then I find myself photographing trivial objects such as a mint container; it is a hobby, yes, but it is relaxing too and relieves stress for me.
  • Making flashcards. When I make a flashcard of, say, a mathematical formula; I feel good because it is reassurance that I'm creating reminders in case I forget. I make many stating how to do all sorts of mathematical operations and rules. It ensures that a day in the future will be less frustrating which gives me inner relief in the present if that makes any sense. Because instead of rummaging through several books and websites, I have all the reminders in one spot.
  • Coloring is very relaxing for me as well. All the colors of the markers and seeing the picture become bright and neat just puts me in a happier mood.
  • Organizing, organizing, organizing! I often organize my bookshelves and my purse. I just feel better when everything is in order.
  • Changing things around. Aside from simply reorganizing an area, completely moving things around to the other side of the room helps keep a "fresh" new exciting feeling to the area.
  • Putting down any electronic device I may have and turning them all off, quitting whatever I am doing, and spending time with a pet. Simply playing with, holding, cuddling and petting an animal boosts my mood by reducing stress.
  • Baking! I am right with cynefin on therapeutic baking. There is something about mixing up the ingredients and baking cookies or other desserts.
  • Paying my bills early.
  • Setting up a cozy little spot with a pillow, a blanket, and getting into my pajamas to watch a TV show/movie/listen to music.
  • Opening all the windows and blinds. There is something about the fresh air and the sun that just makes me feel better.

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