Take a Few Moments to Look After You

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As lockdown continues it is more important than ever to look after you. If that sounds like an impossible ask then you probably need quite a few of those moments!

Regular routines that help keep my mental health in good shape are not quite enough at the moment. I am finding myself more teary than normal and my mind chatter is increasing, waking me from my sleep every once in a while, a sure sign that my selfcare needs to be ramped up.

As Place2be’s Children’s Mental Health week begins on 1 February The Duchess of Cambridge delivers a message about being “the best version of you”.

We have all been doing a brilliant job these last few months, doing what has been asked of us, coping as best we can with the impacts of that, dealing with what is in front of us as best we can. When we feel it is getting too much we look around and find it hard to express how hard we are finding things because our family, friends and neighbours are also experiencing challenges like never before. Jobs lost, loved ones lost or unwell, home schooling, home working, unable to move around freely. All of us dealing with these challenges as best we can, but it is important that we can express how we feel, the theme of the Place2be’s Children’s Mental Health Week and to be “the best version of you”.

Pop on a piece of music you love and have a dance, grab a piece of paper and capture a dream, draw a picture, you don’t need to show it to anyone, bake a cake, but do something that you enjoy, that energises you, that helps you reconnect with you.

Here are five simple daily activities you could try for the next 7 days which may just help you feel a little less frazzled or a bit more refreshed and help to look after you, you fabulous thing;

  • Take a few moments in the morning, maybe when you are brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil to check in with how you are feeling. Be honest with yourself and based on your answer agree to do one thing today that you know will nourish and energise you
  • When you notice a negative thought popping into your head do your best not to give it air time. Replace it with a positive thought, one that makes you feel comforted and calm, have a happy thought to hand
  • Bring to mind or write down 3 things that you are grateful for today
  • Step outside every day and take 3 deep breaths and if that is not possible then open the window. Breathing in some fresh air and taking a deep breath can be enough to move you from a fight or flight stress response to rest and digest
  • Spend a few minutes before you go to bed to think of 1 thing you have done today that has gone well, bring it to mind, notice the feelings you experience and congratulate yourself. It may be as simple as getting out of bed but you did it!

We are all living in uncertain times, the pandemic has lasted much longer than we ever thought, I can’t quite believe it is approaching a year. This is not easy so remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can and that this will pass.

If you have a bad moment or a bad day then keep the faith that the next will be better.

If things don’t go as well as you hoped then take a breath and look at what you can learn, the best learnings come when stuff does not go to plan. Know that things go wrong, often beyond our control but we can choose how we respond.

You are amazing and all that you need to get through this is already within you, you just have to look a bit harder for it some days and if you lose sight of it altogether then reach out to someone and they will likely be able to help you find it again.

We are all worth it x

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