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The Ultimate Self Care Package by Guest Blogger, Roda Imam of Haaya Blogs
Self Care: The Ultimate Way to Maintain Good Mental Health
Do you ever wonder how you can change a bad experience into a good one? Do you feel like you dwell on your negative thoughts so much, that you end up feeling even more overwhelmed?
I have first hand experience in doing so and I know how gravely dangerous it can be.
During periods in my life where I had felt immense sadness, misery and anxiety I had always ended up overthinking constantly. I dwelled on negativity from the past and used to cry myself to sleep.
Of course, over the years I knew I couldn’t continue like that. I had to try and pull myself together because I could not continue being in such a state especially around my kids, and so my journey of self care began.
Making little changes to my life to ensure that I’m changing my mindset and focusing on positivity has enabled me to come to the realisation that this was doing wonders for me. One change I made and implemented was regular self care.
Below I will list 8 things I have in my SELF CARE package:
I am very much into reading motivational, self help books and autobiographies- so far I have started the book ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama and I am hooked- it’s amazing and I would recommend anyone to read it.
The reason I put such books into my #selfcare kit is due to knowing that, when I read books that are motivational and inspirational, I thoroughly feel a euphoric sense of well-being which makes me want to push myself to make positive changes in my life.
Another great part of my self care package which requires barely any effort has to be listening to a good inspirational podcast.
I love listening to podcasts especially when doing mundane tasks such as washing up the dishes or driving. What I love about this is the feeling of intense optimism and motivation that certain podcasts exude; it turns my negative self thoughts into more positive ones as it shifts my mindset.
I love chocolate!
I don’t know how I could live without chocolate. This may seem trivial to some but numerous research has actually shown the benefits of consuming chocolate. Especially with regards to uplifting mood and reducing some symptoms of depression.
Chocolate is deemed to contain serotonin, which is an antidepressant that is known to elevate moods. I think the notion of eating chocolate for me is associated with joy, celebration, childhood memories and it takes me to a place of happiness which in return makes me feel good.
Of course, I try not to over-indulge but sometimes I do take a few more sneaky bites unfortunately as someone with a big sweet tooth!!
4. BUBBLE BATHS AT HOME SPA
Having a nice bubble bath followed by an at home facial and mask is my ultimate go to for relieving stressors and for reducing anxiety.
I love using nice scented bath bombs; generally I prefer rose scented bath bombs, because the scent is amazing and it leaves me in a relaxed mood.
I do like using a body scrub or loofah when I feel that I need a little bit more care and it does wonders for me in terms of reducing tension since it ensures effective circulation.
I believe everyone needs a Diffuser in their house, I use it all over the house especially with some nice essential oil.
My go-to is definitely Frankincense essential oil as it smells amazing, has numerous benefits and most of all it is absolutely calming.
Diffusers are amazing and are known again just like chocolates to ward off low moods, increase energy levels and thus uplift you when feeling exhausted.
I know during periods when I feel low mentally, I feel fatigued physically. So using something such as a diffuser is honestly a lifesaver – I feel an instant uplift not to mention makes my surrounding smell incredible!!
6. NICE CUP OF TEA HERBAL OR REGULAR
If herbal, I prefer natural mint leaves in some hot water as it leaves me feeling absolutely refreshed and clear headed. Not to mention it tastes absolutely amazing.
Sometimes I like having regular tea with a twist; I have a nice cup of tea infused with some cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. I’m telling you that you would be hooked! The spices elevate your regular tea into something similar to chai latte without the hassle of the long process involved in making a chai latte.
7. MINDFULNESS COLOURING
I’m not sure if you have noticed how calm and focused children become when colouring. I have noted this when my kids are colouring; be it a random colouring exercise or mindfulness incorporated colouring usually coupled with a nice audio book.
I love it myself although I don’t do it as often as I would like. But when I do, I feel focused and calm. Somehow it takes me into a different dimension where the only thing I think about is not colouring over the line.
The effect colouring has is quite magical and I really cherish those moments where I forget about all the worries that are on my mind.
The psychology behind mindfulness colouring is very intriguing- in fact the act of colouring is said to have the ability to relax a region of the brain called the amygdala thought to be the fear centre of the brain.
In this cleveland clinic article Clinical Psychologist Scott.M.Beat goes on to mention that “When thoughts are focused on a simple activity, the brain tends to relax and thus stress and worry reduces- this is exactly how mindfulness colouring works.”
Further studies to support said theories include a study undertaken in 2006 on mindfulness art therapy with breast cancer patients; reports those who had undergone art therapy as having a reduction in the symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment. Again further strengthening the evidence for the use of mindfulness colouring or art as being significantly important typically in mental health.
When I am feeling down or overwhelmed, I grab my trusty pink bullet journal, a black pen, some sort of herbal beverage (for me it’s mint tea) and I write.
I write whatever comes out of my heart without any consideration for punctuation, spelling or grammar. This form of free writing does wonders for my mental health as I brain dump everything that is on my mind – at that point in time – onto paper.
Sometimes I end up writing pages and pages and I don’t even realise until I check the time and realise that I was writing for over 40 minutes.
We spend A LOT of time in our own heads over-thinking the past and worrying about the future, journaling helps me to capture these thoughts onto paper so they don’t take up as much space in my mind. I usually end up crying during these sessions because I write straight from the heart without having the nagging thought that anyone will judge me for what is inside – it’s very raw and I love it!
Sometimes I use journaling prompts from various sources online and I find those quite useful on days when I don’t have much to write about. I also enjoy following along videos on youtube on guided journaling – just type ‘guided journaling’ on youtube.
Here are a couple journal prompts that you could start with:
- How am I feeling at this present moment?
- What am I grateful for?
- What is worrying me?
If you are feeling low, sad or just overwhelmed do please try out something from this self care package- I am certain one thing or the other will help you instantly.
Wrap Up to The Ultimate Self Care Package: Who is Behind The Blog?
Roda Imam is a virtual assistant specialising in general admin support, social media, content creation and design work and a lifestyle and self development blogger currently running Haaya-blogs.com. Shes lives in London, England and is a mum of three a 6, 5 and 1 year old.
You can connect with her@blogshaaya on Twitter and through her website, Haaya Blogs.
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