Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
In case you missed it in an earlier post I have issues with anxiety and stress is my main trigger for it. I am still privileged enough to consider myself neuro-typical and only have minor issues nowadays. I figured I would share some of the things that have helped (and still do) when I’m at my worst however and help me keep my anxiety at bay. Some of these tips and tricks might seem obvious and some might not be an option for everyone. That’s fine, everyone’s self-care looks different and you should figure out what helps you feel better! Every day also doesn’t have to be great, it’s alright to feel horrible too every now and then.
For me, my primary problem is usually with relaxing and calming down, especially when going to sleep. For this, I have mainly used ASMR videos since they work really well for me as long as I find the right ones. This, however, might not be for everyone. Some people just can’t stand ASMR videos. You might want to try guided meditations or such instead. I simply prefer ASMR variations as they have a bit more distractions that I can focus on instead of being worked up. Most videos also include some sort of breathing exercise which I really like.
This brings around to mindfulness! In its core, it’s all about being completely present in the moment. It’s nice to practice to not judging and just taking in the moment through meditation. I’m not exactly great at the matter and I am definitely not practicing every day at the moment. However, I do notice if I haven’t done any meditation in a while. It’s not a big difference, but my whole self seems kind of more whole when I do. It’s easier to concentrate and stay focused in general. In case you have trouble getting started I highly recommend the Headspace app (not sponsored, btw) as they have a great set of starter guides.
Besides meditation, I have also really started taking time just relax. Sometimes that could mean going out for a walk, taking a bath or playing a few hours of video games. What I do know is that if I want to feel better I at least want to switch to some normal clothes and get some fresh air. If I roam around in just sweatpants and a random shirt I also feel like a mess. Fresh air and walking around also helps a lot to keep one’s head clear, but if you can’t go out just opening a window for a bit helps a lot.
Recently my favorite self-care has been reading while taking a hot bath. I get pretty cold during winter times, so warming up with a bubble bath gives me a chance to do pretty much nothing for a bit. I have also taken the habit to read while in the bath, doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. It gives my eyes a bit of rest from looking at a screen and is pretty relaxing. I also still have a bunch of books on the shelf that I need to read through so I won’t be running out anytime soon.
What’s your favorite kind of self-care? Do you have something specific that cheers you up?