We have all been there, some maybe more than most. Those times when everything seems to be going wrong and you are lost in your own world. Maybe things just don’t seem to be working out as you intended, or you are not progressing/moving forward like you had hoped, or you’ve been facing some hardship and bad news. It seems like no matter what you do or how much you do nothing changes and you have lost your purpose.
Recently I was reminded that it is during these times when we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost instead of beating ourselves down. I think we can all be too quick to be hard on ourselves, our own worst critic. Sometimes we just need to take a step back, take a deep breath and focus on us before we can tackle anything further. And most importantly, what we really need to do and remember is to show some self-love.
- Work On You. Take some time to focus on just yourself and no one else. Listen to your body and focus in on what you need. A lot of the time we can be so focused on everyone else around us that we forget to take care of ourselves. It is okay to be selfish every once in awhile, because if we do not love ourselves, how are we going to love anybody else!
- Take A Spa Day. Either the obvious choice, go to a spa, or save some cash and create your own little sanctuary and spa at home. Light some candles, make a tea (or coffee), take a bath, put on a face mask and do some much-needed self-pampering. A lot of the time taking care of yourself externally will sink soul deep.
- Listen To Music. A key way for me to tune out the world is to listen to music and just become absorbed in the sounds. I have a few key albums that are my go-to when I just need to get away from it all. Odesza’s A Moment Apart, anything by Joey Pecoraro and Shallou’s new album Souls are just a few of my favourites.
- Journal. Sometimes you just need to get it all out and for me when I am in a slump that comes in the form of journaling. Some of the time when I am feeling vulnerable or down, I am not overly keen on turning to others, because I know while they are trying to help and being loving, sometimes I just need to get it all out so I can self-process, without any advice. I find that writing everything out helps me to externalize how I am feeling and find solutions without worrying about judgment. It also helps me to become my own problem solver and hero, and so for the times where I just need to self-love and self-solve, I turn to journaling.
- Exercise. Getting up and moving your body is scientifically proven to make you happy because of the hormones it releases and reduces. My head is always clearer after I have gotten my body moving, either on a run or during a fun workout class. For me, this is an easy/cheaper form of therapy and a huge go to when I am down!
- Cleanse The Clutter. While cleaning might be adding to some peoples stress, for me this is a huge form of self-love. I get to a point where I just cannot take the mess or clutter or unwanted items anymore and I just need to do a massive cleanse. I have said it before, but there is something so satisfying about getting rid of what you do not love, want or need and identifying what is truly bringing value to your life.
- Watch A Funny Movie. Preferably old and one you’ve seen before and know that you love. Every time I was sick, my parents always told me to watch something funny and everytime it got my mind off being sick and made me laugh or at its very least made me smile. Going back to oldies but goodies when I am in a slump fuels my happy inside.
- Do Something You Love. This may be drawing, baking, gardening or just being in nature. Whatever it is, do it! You need to treat yourself during this time and that means making time for what you love to do.
- Read A Book or Insightful Magazine. If you really need an escape then turn to a great fiction book that can take you away, a poetry book with beautifully written works, read a self-help book (because there is nothing wrong with looking after yourself), or find a good insightful magazine with uplifting content. For fiction, I normally turn to works by my favorite authors, a few tried and true for me are Agatha Christie, Margaret Atwood, F Scott Fitzgerald or J.K Rowling. Poetry for me is always an escape and some of my favorites are R.H Sin, Sarah Kay, Lang Leav or Rupi Kaur. If I am recommending a self-help book then The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F#$% was an eye opener on caring for yourself. Finally, my go-to inspirational magazine is Flow: A Dutch magazine that consistently focuses on self-love.
- Disconnect. Sometimes you need to tune the world out and what better way then disconnecting. Social media consistently drives negativity and self-doubt, so turn off the phone and computer and just focus on being present with yourself.
- Fuel Yourself With Good. While I will be the first to admit that during a slump I love a big bag of Candy and a family size of Salt & Vin Chips, I also know that fueling your body with good food is probably one of the most important ways to show self-love. So yes treat yourself, but also fill yourself with good foods that will make you feel good.
What are some of the ways you take care of yourself during a tough time?