Self care tips – the non cutesy kind.

When you go through a shitty time the first thing anyone will tell you is that you need to take care of yourself.

But what does self care really mean? I think people sometimes think that self care just means lighting some candles, having a long bath, drinking a glass of wine or going to a day spa (all of which are very nice) but for the people that are really struggling self care can mean so much more.

Sometimes I think we need to dig a little deeper than a Pinterest quote or a Lush bath bomb.

So if your feeling down, or if you’ve just had your heartbroken, or you are grieving here are some non cutesy self care tips. I hope they help.

Talk it out or write it down.
Tell someone about how you feel. Tell them you feel overwhelmed or depressed or anxious. Tell someone you trust. Call Lifeline or beyondblue. There is always someone to listen no matter how small or insignificant the issue seems.
Sometimes it is hard to talk about something going on in our lives. We may feel like there is no one to talk too, that no one will understand or maybe you just don’t want to talk about it right now. In this case it always helps to write down your thoughts. Get a blank piece of paper and just VENT. Write it all down. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense? As long as it is therapeutic for you.

Breathe.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Slow. Deep. 4 breaths in, 4 breaths out. If you’re into meditation, meditate. Just do it. Taking a few deep breaths will calm your heartbeat and make you feel more calm overall.

Vitamin D.
Go outside and get some sunshine! If you can’t will yourself to go outside, even opening the curtains on a dark room will help improve your mood. Only 15 minutes of sunshine can increase our serotonin levels thus improving our mood.

Water.
Have a big class of water. Use it to regenerate yourself. It may seem like a small thing, but it always helps me feel so much better when I’m feeling crap. I also find having a mug of green or chamomile tea helpful. Both just make me feel so calm.
Your skin will also thank you for it!

Hygiene.
When was the last time you showered? Have you brushed your teeth today?  When was the last time you put on a fresh pair of underwear? The first thing that tends to slip when we’re feeling low is our hygiene. So have a shower. Brush your teeth. Get into a fresh pair of clothes. Then get back into bed.

Eat a healthy meal.
Put aside the family block of chocolate and prepare a healthy meal. You know the one, full of protein and greens and all the good things. I can guarantee you that junk food is not going to make you feel better. The action of preparing food will also make you feel more put together (it’s the act of achieving something!) You can always eat the chocolate later.

Say no.
I know, I know. This isn’t as easy as it sounds but sometimes the main reason that you are feeling so down and depressed is because you’re feeling overwhelmed. In this instance you really need to start saying no to things you really can’t deal with. Can’t bring yourself to go out with friends? Say no if you think it will help.

Do something you enjoy.
Take a day to do the things you love to do. It doesn’t matter if you do it alone or with someone just makes sure it’s things you love. Personally, I like to go for a long walk, read a book I’ve been putting off, visit a museum or art gallery and take myself out for a meal.

Switch off.
Take some time to log off social media. The constant comparisons, the light of the screen and the mindless scrolling is not good for your mental health. Don’t completely switch off from social media (unless you really want), just delete the app for a few hours or limit yourself to checking your phone a few times a day.

Get active.
This can come into the Vitamin D point or even in the Do something you enjoy point but I also think it deserves its own. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is go do some exercise. This might mean a walk, a run, yoga or a Kayla Itsines workout (whatever floats your boat!) Just 30 minutes of exercise can release so many good hormones and leave you feeling so much better.

De-clutter.
When I get stressed I clean, it helps calm me down and focus on something other than the anxiety rising in my chest. But when I’m feeling low, cleaning is the first thing I stop doing. For me, decluttering or cleaning an area in my house is one of the MOST therapeutic things I can do. So take a moment to tidy up a space. It could mean doing the dishes and wiping down the benches. It could mean putting away your floordrobe. It might just be sorting out the pile of mess gathering on the kitchen table.

Please remember these things may not work for everyone – they are what works for me. You may need to find your own ways of coping. You might be the kind of person who does find that watching netflix all day in bed is good for your self care (I am so jealous!) Self care is all about what works for you. 

-M xo

What things do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed? Tell me in the comments below. 

Antidote

Long distance flights – it’s a term that sends chills down my spine. Some people love it but for others it’s the thing of nightmares. These tips should help make that long haul a little easier.

1. Stay away from the booze
While the idea of drinking as much free alcohol as your body can handle may seem enticing or like a good way to fall asleep, trust us it’s not.  Alcohol is a depressant and it dehydrates your body. While you’re at it, try and stay away from the coffee. Just like alcohol, coffee will keep you awake and dehydrate you even more.

2. Move around

I know, how far can you move around in what is essentially a giant sardine can? The answer – not far. But making sure you get up and stretch every hour is a great way to keep your blood flowing properly and avoid things like deep vein thrombosis, which is blood clots in your veins, particularly in the large veins of the calf. Take regular toilet breaks and extend your walk up and down the aisles a few times before returning to your seat.

3. Choose your food wisely

There is nothing special about airplane food, and unless you’re flying first class (if so, you don’t need to be reading this, your 12+ hour flight will be a dream) you’re unlikely to be served restaurant quality food. One study by Professors at Yamaguchi University in Japan shows that carb rich foods can make it easier to transition between sleep and eating schedules by inducing insulin secretion.

In the days leading up to your flight, try not to eat anything that’s going to upset your digestive system. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a confined space when someone isn’t feeling 100 per cent.

4. Hydration is your best friend

Fun fact, the relative humidity in a plane drops to nearly zero in just 30 minutes – that’s nearly the same humidity as a desert. To counteract this, start hydrating the day before you start travelling and make sure you drink a lot of water. Kara Mulder, the founder of The Flight Attendant Life blog, says that drinking at least 250 ml’s of water every hour should prevent dehydration. Also try to have a good lip balm and a good moisturiser. It’ll make plenty of difference.

5. Location, location, location

This one comes down to personal preference, but getting the ideal seat on the plane is an essential key to staying sane. Some say a window seat is the best because you won’t get interrupted by those rude people that go to the toilet every 5 minutes. However, we at Voyage think the best seat is the middle row on an aisle. You’ll be able to move around at your own pace and won’t feel so confined!

6. Make like a girl scout and prepare!

Packing your carry on is another key thing to your survival. You want to make sure you have a neck pillow, an eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant and plenty of entertainment. You’ll be thankful when you land.

7. Sleep

This point is really self-explanatory. The easiest way to get through a long flight is to try and sleep for as much of it as possible.

 

And really if all else fails, pop a few sleeping tablets and you’ll sleep through the whole nasty ordeal.