As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close I thought I’d share some tips to help you deal with the bad days. Whether you’re suffering from a mental health problem or you’re just having a difficult time right now, maintaining a good physical, emotional, and mental health is always important. But we all know that some days it’s harder to keep up. As I prepare to enter my final ever week at university, I know all too well how easy it is to forget to look after yourself. You neglect the simple things, like a balanced meal, clean bedding, and a shower. It’s tough, and that’s okay. We don’t have to be happy, functioning humans 100% of the time. That’s why I’m sharing my top tips to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression, because a little bit of self-care and indulgence can go a long way.
- Have a bath
I know what you’re all thinking – how stereotypical of me to suggest a bath – but it really relaxes me. There’s nothing better than running a warm bath, grabbing my current book and soaking myself. This is made even better with my favourite, colourful lush bath bombs (I personally recommend Twilight to de-stress, it’s lavender scent is so calming). Whether you read, listen to music, or watch TV if you’re brave enough to risk technology around water, a bath is my go-to when I’m stressed. And if you don’t have a bath, grab your favourite shower gel, crank the heat up, and stand in the shower for an extra 10 minutes. It’s the perfect place to clear your mind.
- Cook a good meal
Sometimes cooking is the last thing I want to do when I’m having a hard time. One time I ate cereal for tea for nearly two weeks straight, and it was horrific. It may seem like a mammoth task to cook a huge meal and waste an hour, but fuelling yourself is important. Whether you chuck some pasta into boiling water, cook your favourite home comfort (sausage and mash for me!), or whip up a Michelin star quality meal, give it a go. It’s food for your body and brain which keeps you happy and healthy, and it’s also delicious!
- Light a candle
As you can tell, I’m a girl of simple pleasures. Not a day goes by where I don’t light a candle. I even have different scents for every mood. Floral smells can be really effective at changing moods to make you relaxed. Lavender gets another shout out here, alongside peppermint. Whether you get these in candle form, essential oils to burn, or even room sprays, creating aromas can help improve your well-being. You can research scents for specific purposes or just buy your favourite to keep your room smelling fresh and cosy. I personally recommend Primark’s vanilla candles – they work wonders.
- Read a book or watch TV
Whether you’re an avid page turner or a binge watch a series a day kind of person, indulging in something you love can make you happy. If I’m feeling down I like to pick out a Disney film to cheer me up. It works every time! I find this works best just before bed, allowing you to get rid of the day’s stress and getting you relaxed before you sleep (another key to getting rid of stress). Never be afraid of your glaring reflection as you settle down with a film and pizza!
- Treat yourself (or someone you know)
We all like to treat ourselves from time to time. Of course, we don’t want to be wasting our whole student loan on Topshop, but I like to spare £5 every so often to de-stress when life is getting a little bit too much. Sometimes I visit Primark and buy a candle for £1 and I’m happy, other times I’m treating myself to an M&S bedroom picnic. Limiting yourself to a small amount even helps you get creative with novelty gifts which just adds to the fun!
If you need a bigger pick me up, or want to help alleviate a friend’s anxiety, The Blurt Foundation create a monthly Buddy Box full of goodies to do just this. They sell a normal or Lite box, and even have a shop with self-care items (catch my review and unboxing of April’s box here – The Blurt Foundation Buddy Box Unboxing).
So remember to take care of yourself this week, and every week to follow. You are the brightest star in your life, help keep that fire burning!