In partnership with Guernsey Mind
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed these days and let everyday self care practices slip, as you get swept up with work, family commitments and a never ending to-do list! But prioritising your mental health is a necessity not a luxury, and it all starts with self care.
Self care looks different for everyone. What relaxes you might stress someone else. So we’ve come up with a list of 20 different ways you can take steps to look after your mental wellbeing, starting today. There’s something for everyone on this list that you can build into your routine right now… and most of these practices are completely free!
Put pen to paper and try journaling. Whether you start your day with a Morning Pages ritual or simply take a few minutes at the end of the day to write down your thoughts, it’s a great way to declutter your mind and find some clarity and headspace.
Excessive amounts of time online has been proven to lead to a variety of mental health concerns, including low self-esteem and increased stress and anxiety levels. In short, not really living life well. Take a break from screen time with our Tips For Taking A Digital Detox
You don't have to believe everything you think. There are ways to challenge and reframe your thoughts, turning negative perceptions on their head and using strategies to help steer you away from catastrophising. Take a look at 5 Ways To Worry Less, it may help you find a different way of looking at your problems.
Mindfulness can help you to be more aware of the world around you and pay more attention to your thoughts and feelings. When you do this, you can change the way you react to situations and engage more positively with the everyday things that sometimes pass you by.
We all need the sense of belonging and the emotional support that comes from genuine connections, so make plans to come together with family for dinner or catch up with a friend over coffee.
Sleep doesn't always come easy, and problems sleeping can lead to feelings of worry or stress, low self esteem and difficulty coping with daily life. It’s not always easy to turn this around, but there are some simple steps you can take to improve your evening routine and enjoy a more restful night with How To Prepare For A Good Night's Sleep.
We know that life can be busy and the thought of trying something new can be a bit daunting, but there's a lot of research out there that shows that learning new skills is good for your wellbeing. It can boost your self confidence and give you a sense of purpose, as well as helping you to be more active and connect with other people.
Write down two or three things you are grateful for each day. It won’t take away your struggles, but it can help you to place more focus on the positives in your life and help you appreciate what you have.
Simply step outside and go for a walk. This can be as simple as a 10 minute walk every day to clear your mind, or maybe you could try some of the hiking routes on the Visit Guernsey Walking Routes app. If you’d like some company, join a friendly walking group - we’re fans of Walking Wednesday with Isle Health.
Being active outdoors can help reduce stress and boost your immune system, and all it takes is a couple of hours a week enjoying nature to notice an improvement in how you feel.
This is a great way to relax and unwind. Take all of the elements of a spa day and DIY it in your own bathroom. Set the mood with soft lighting, scented candles and light background spa music (Spotify & Youtube have long playlists for this). Then draw yourself a warm bubble bath, stick a face mask on, maybe even a hair mask, and enjoy.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, slow things down where you can. It’s ok to say no to invitations for a while, you’re really not missing out as much as you think. Choose to accept invitations that mean the most to you.
It’s not the end of the world if your kids miss their dance class or football training once in a while - having a relaxed time with you at home is better than being ferried around by a harassed and resentful parent. Let yourself off the hook.
Switching off and losing yourself in a good book can help to reduce stress. No time, we hear you say? Let us help with our Tips To Fit More Reading Into Your Life.
There are so many good quality podcasts to choose from out there that can help you discover self care practices to help you look after your mental health. And it’s a good way to switch off and delve into the lives of others. Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place is a good place to start for a podcast that focuses on wellbeing, on both a personal and a spiritual level.
Yoga has long been a go-to activity to achieve mind and body balance, and there’s an impressive choice of Types of Yoga To Try on island. Focusing on a physical activity and allowing your breath to lead your movement distracts your brain and makes you feel completely renewed after practising. And that’s the key - practice! You don’t have to be good, just try it.
Evidence shows that what you eat can impact how you feel. Improving your diet can help to improve your mood and help you think more clearly. This is a huge topic, and there are lots of resources out there. We suggest you check out local nutritionist Sarah Gale and holistic health coach Vivienne Alexa as starting points for nutritional lifestyle changes.
Doing something kind for a friend, or even a stranger, not only helps them but it can also be extremely rewarding for you. Research shows that acts of kindness can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and you can experience a phenomenon called ‘helper’s high’.
Finish work on time, and try to switch off by setting clear boundaries between work and home. It really is important to separate your work and home life so you have an opportunity to recharge and refocus.
Why not sign your workplace up for Workplace Wellbeing Training with Guernsey MIND? You don't have to be at breaking point to need help. Prevention is key.
If you have concerns about your mental health reach out to your GP, or get in touch with Guernsey Mind for details of support and services you can access locally.
You might also want to take a look at Where to Find Mental Health Support in Guernsey.