Self Care Tips

I wanted to break up my dreary blog entries with something more important. Since my absence from WordPress I’ve been trying to find ways to handle my depression better.  When I was attending counselling through the NHS I was told to have an ‘Emergency Plan’ for when things get really, really bad. Self care means something different to everyone so what works for me may not work for you. For those that don’t know where to start, I thought I’d show you how I get through my toughest times. I’d highly recommend having a box or a place filled with everything for self care so that you have somewhere to go to for comfort.

Look out for self care foundations and monthly boxes

I’ve been reading The Self Care Project by the Blurt Foundation and I really love the way it’s written. It’s gentle but it also feels familiar. You can tell that the writer knows exactly what you’re going through. That’s why I’m currently subscribed to their self care boxes each month and it’s helped me build up a collection for those emergency anxiety moments. I would highly recommend anyone to sign up to their newsletters as it offers warm reassurance each week to help you get through the day. I am in no way affiliated with Blurt foundation, but I can honestly say it’s helped greatly in stocking up for my emergency plan. I’ve even gone so far as to send my boyfriend a box for when he was feeling low.


         

I have received lots of candles and oils from the self care boxes, but I think having your favourite smells are great for your sensory and I find it quite soothing. I tend to like gentle smells such as lavender but also I really like the vanilla & tonka bean fragrance spray. It seems Bodyshop doesn’t sell the spray anymore, but they still do the candles and oils. My friend was the one who recommended me going to a store and testing out the smells and buy the one I liked the most. Making my room smell nice really makes me feel at home.

Surround yourself with your favourite smells

Surround yourself with motivational quotes

The first thing I did when it came to self care was to surround myself with motivational quotes. I would find quotes that resonated with me from novels I’ve read, websites, etc. Kikki K is also a great stationery website that specialises in self care and optimism. If possible, I’d recommend having a vision board and pinning up your favourite motivational quotes, dreams, etc. It may sound a bit too fluffy, I know sometimes too much positivity in my face can be too much, but it honestly helps having calmness around you.

Keep calming colours around you

This relates to the last suggestion, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Try to surround yourself with calm colours. Over the years, I’ve become taken by pastel colours, in particular soft pinks and blues. For the first time,  Pantone represented the year of 2016 with two colours, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Their website gave this as one of the reasons behind the decision making:

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

Colours have a psychological effect and I was even taught this in my Animation classes during my time at university. Red is alarming and makes you stop in your tracks, green makes people feel uneasy and want to leave as soon as possible. This is why they’re used for traffic lights. I wouldn’t suggest doing an extreme make over for your room or house, but keep something that represents a calming colour to you.

Have a collection of relaxing photos

I admit, I haven’t left the country very often. I think only four times. Twice to see family in Mauritius, once was a fantastic holiday in Turkey and the last time was a disastrous trip to Amsterdam. For me, I research and find high quality photos that I think is relaxing and to take me away from how dreary London is sometimes. I downloaded the travel books by Airpano for my iPad and they’re fantastic 360 images collected together. You can use gyroscope, but I like to just swipe through with my fingers so I don’t feel sick from the motion. I usually imagine a cloudless sky with the sun’s warmth beaming over me. I can imagine the sand in between my toes and the ocean rhythmically washing up to my ankles.

Where would you like to transport yourself? Where would you like to be right now?

Create a calm playlist

To go with the candles and the Airpano travel book app, I like to play natural sounds such as ocean waves to really mentally immerse myself. Natural ambient playlists are wonderful, but I also like to listen to acoustic instruments too. Another thing I discovered which has been amazing for me is the Chill hop and low fi genre. It’s gentle and mostly lacks any lyrics. I find it helps me to reflect or when I want a calm journey on public transport. Find what works best for you as everyone has different tastes in music. I even find some video game tracks to be incredibly soothing!

Find the best sensory tools for you

This is something I discovered only recently and I absolutely love. One of my favourite devices for anxiety (which I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get one) is a fidget cube. Something so small, yet nifty. It helps me get rid of nervous excess energy but it’s just so fun when you’re bored. Getting bored of playing with one side? Just turn it over or swap hands. It’s so underrated at how fantastic this item is and it appeals to your sensory in so many different ways. Warning though, some of the parts can be a little bit loud but that’s also what makes it so satisfying! Another great item I discovered is the Nemuriale sleep aid. It’s a small device that when you press, mimics a real heart beat and over time slows down until eventually stopping. When holding this, your heartbeat mimics the device and in turn helps you to fall asleep. I bought one that was Russian blue kitten and I find it helps to just hold it and keep close to me to calm down. I personally find it quite soothing and it’s certainly something unique. There are many other sensory tools for anxiety so have a good search for what works best for you.

[TOM Exclusive] Nemuriale Sleep Aid Kitten (Russian Blue) 3

Watch your favourite TV series or film

I have to confess…when I’m really, really low, I can’t tolerate anything involving violence or aggression, even if I love it usually. When I feel particularly vulnerable, I’ll watch classical Disney films such as The Lion King, Aristocats, 101 Dalmations, etc. I also discovered a cute anime called Chi’s Sweet Home – New Address. I know, it is sickeningly cute, but sometimes I need exactly that! Reality is sometimes very bleak, and a small break away from that really does help. So, turn off all notifications and relax to your favourite soppy TV show or film with a blanket around you.

(I prefer the 2d version personally)

There are other methods I use such as keeping a diary, writing down what I’m grateful for and meditation, but I thought I’d throw a few suggestions that aren’t necessarily mentioned but I find works for me. I hope this helps someone. I know it’s so difficult to find ways to calm down so if anyone reading this finds this useful, please let me know if it’s helped!

 

Advertisements

Moving through a funk

I’m sorry again for not posting another blog recently. My New Year’s eve wasn’t ideal.

I had hoped I would be spending it with my boyfriend, instead I was in G-A-Y where I broke down in tears as my best friend hugged me.

Relationships are so hard.

I found out that my ex, yes, the one that I wrote almost entirely about on here, proposed to his girlfriend after only a year. The one that looks like me. The one that I met before we broke up because she’s the flat mate’s friend. The one that he laughed at when she introduced herself because her name is so stereotypically foreign. That one. I was upset when I first heard because of the principle behind it. I had spent 8 years with this person who I had given so much of myself, yet treated me so terribly, and realising that the way he was with me was a choice. However, I’m growing to accept it though. I’m learning to accept that we may not always get answers, but we simply have to move forward.

My boyfriend is currently going through depression, and a relationship with two depressed people is excruciating. I always want to help, but the best thing I can do is to stay away. Both of us can’t be on a downwards spiral.

When things get tough, I like to remind myself of his strengths. Thankfully, he is the complete opposite to my ex, which can also be a negative too. He is a very sensitive soul and has an immense amount of empathy and compassion, more than myself. His feelings does get hurt quite easily, but we’re good at communicating. Admittedly, right now it’s a lot trickier. My boyfriend is very respective. I remember when I first went over to his and he asked if he should sleep in a separate room or on the floor. Afterwards, he asked me to leave a toothbrush, night clothes, and some sanitary towels for when I stay over. He always wanted me to be comfortable around him. When I was too nervous to sleep with him he held me to his chest and told me to listen to his heartbeat. He said to me he was nervous too. He told me that he kept thinking about the song by Usher, “You’ve got it bad” when he missed me. While we were drinking cocktails once, he said to me, “Maybe this is love?”

So, while he’s being rude and difficult right now, I’ll remind myself that this isn’t him. Depression isn’t him. This isn’t the person I fell in love with.

I’m trying very hard to be patient and I do feel lonely. I’m doing my best to persevere with my own personal goals so I can move forward, but I do miss the forehead kisses and snuggling into his chest in bed.

We’re both on our separate journeys, but maybe we’ll meet soon.

Expensive Distractions

My new iPad Pro arrived today. I’m not as excited as I thought I would be, but I’m sure I will. I guess I’ve had a few things on my mind today.

My boyfriend, K, said that I’m definitely materialistic if I value objects so much. I didn’t think I was, but maybe I am. I hate being labelled with the term but I do value the things I have a great deal. I regrettably spend more than I’d like on expensive things that I don’t really need but I value that I have it, and I appreciate that at this moment I can even afford to buy it. See, I don’t think of it as materialistic, but having appreciation for things in my life. I don’t just value objects, but also the people closest to me. I’m the type of person that would go above and beyond for the people I love. Speaking of which…

I’m still feeling fairly emotionally drained. Me and K did talk last night and it reminded me that he cares about me so intensely. I’ve never had someone worry about upsetting me as much as this person. On the other hand, he’s currently distancing himself because he’s seriously burnt out. I’ve tried to show him kindness, buy gifts I thought he’d appreciate, sent him a care package from the Blurt foundation and I try to hold him when I see him. However, right now, I feel like everything has gone to waste. I’ve tried so hard and all I can do is wait. I hate waiting, but I have to respect his wishes and focus on other things, which I have been trying to do. I do have plans for using the iPad Pro more productively but right now my mind isn’t in the right place. I still feel the panic, my thoughts are still drifting back to wondering about his well-being. I’m not doing a good job of distracting myself and I do wish I appreciated the ‘new toy’ I bought for myself, but I feel helpless. It probably doesn’t help that I feel myself falling into negativity myself and I’m trying to fight it.

I’m currently hot-desking at my old workplace because the building team were kind enough to give me access until the end of January so I can do my job search there. I might go tomorrow, if I can bring myself to. When you’re feeling down, it’s so difficult to drag yourself out of the house. I need to get myself out of this environment. I need a change of scenery.

I promise you, I’m not always negative. I promise! I will post more upbeat blogs in the future, it’s just tonight I’m feeling deflated.

An update after 2 years

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

I did try making a blog post last year to no avail, so I gave up. Admittedly, I didn’t try hard enough and I’m not sure if even this will work either but here goes anyway.

I’m sorry to everyone for not posting here regularly. I apologise to myself too because I probably needed an outlet more than ever in the past two years. Maybe I was too embarrassed. Maybe I wanted some privacy for a bit. I’m not sure, nor can I remember why I stopped.

In summary, I went through a terrible break up, lost my home and had to move back with my mum, I changed jobs, then recently was made redundant, I was in a new relationship, then not, then I kind of was and wasn’t, now I’m in a relationship again, but very soon I probably won’t be.

I’ll probably explain more in some time but in all honesty, I don’t quite have the energy today. Admittedly, I think I’m starting to feel down again. I eat when I can be bothered, I lay in bed constantly even when I don’t feel tired enough to sleep.

I try to only let this be temporary. I’ve still set goals for next year and plan to continue working towards it next week. Everything has been put to a halt when I realised a section of the digitised screen is no longer responding which means I can’t use it to draw anymore. I can’t afford to fix it without a job currently so I decided to buy an iPad Pro on finance and aim to pay it back once I get a wage again. It’s not been ideal and certainly put a spanner in the works, but it’s a minor set back and I keep reassuring myself this is the case.

I just finished reading a chapter from ‘The Self Care Project’ book by the Blurt Foundation and decided to start writing a diary log. I was reflecting on everything I experienced this year and the last, and can’t help but draw some comparisons as to what I’m going through right at this moment. It was then I remembered about this blog that I fondly updated and I wondered why I stopped. I honestly can’t tell you and I regret doing so. I was so happy to see people understand and empathise with my blogs, but I also can’t help wonder if everyone thought I was incredibly moany. At the same time, this blog was always dedicated to how I felt at the time and all I can do is write the truth. I had to be truthful to myself.

So far, the year isn’t ending quite on a high like I’d like it to be. I am feeling somewhat deflated and emotionally drained, but I also know I will pick myself up again soon. I want to try and update this blog regularly again and maybe even share the goals I plan for next year. Maybe in due time I can fill in the gaps better than the poor summary I gave and the things I’ve learnt since. I would like to believe I’m a slightly different person from when I first started this blog and that I’m at least a little bit wiser.

Maybe this will be one of my goals, to start blogging again and holding myself accountable for it.

Scattered Clouds, 1°C

UPDATE:

It seems that worked. Strange. I have tried to make several blog posts where I have written extensively only for WordPress to not publish or even save. I’m sure you’d understand that when you’re typing away you put a lot of your emotions into your words only for it be wiped in the end. It did make me disheartened as I wanted to keep updating my blog.

I’ll see how using this app goes.

Powered by Journey.

Scattered Clouds, 1°C

I haven’t been posting because the WordPress site won’t let me seem to publish on my computer or mobile, so I’m just testing this through an external app on my phone.

Powered by Journey.

Growning Down

Lately I’ve really been reliving my inner child. Yesterday I showed my “adult” colouring book and recently I’ve discovered fish fingers butty. I didn’t know this was a thing, but it makes sense. I had it for lunch today but it was more of a sophisticated version with spring onions and spinach. I finished my lunch off with a cheese string.

Moving out has made me more of an adult, but it’s also made me realise, I’m an adult, I can do what I want. It seems I’m not the only one with this mentality. I’ve come to the conclusion I will do whatever will make me happy regardless of what other people will think.

I’ve also started to not attend things if I don’t want to. I still feel bad, but I shouldn’t feel I have to go to events. My money issues do play a part in this and the fact most social events involve alcohol which I’m not fond of. I don’t hate it, but I don’t quite see the point either.

I just want to do things that makes me happy, not because I’m worried about what people think.

What does make me feel old though is that my niece is off to university in two weeks time. While someone else takes their first steps to independence, I’ve sat here eating a cheese string.

A lot has happened in the past few months

My ex has become my boyfriend again. Due to circumstances, he’s now moved in. It wasn’t quite the romantic, next-stage-of-the-relationship kind of thing, but more, his flat mates had asked him to move out and he knows all of us.

Initially, I was filled with dread. On one hand I wanted him to have a stable place to live as for the past couple of years I’ve watched him move from place to place, sometimes sleeping on a sofa, and when he finally settled he had to move again. My flat mate is his best friend and they’ve grown up together so this offers him the most security. One one hand, it would be a hell of a lot easier to see him now I don’t need to travel.

Things have so far actually ran more smoothly than I thought. I’ve enjoyed his company and of course the cuddles it brings along. He’s currently at work and won’t be home tonight, I actually miss his presence.

I paid off all my debts, apart from a few friends I owe money to, although it isn’t too much. I am incredibly poor at this moment so I can’t go out as much as I’d like.

I feel sad that I don’t see my best friend as much anymore. I think it’s been a month now. We rarely talk either. I guess this happens when you grow up.

I’m actually, okay. I’ve probably been more happier than usual. I’m up to date with my work so it’s less stressful and my mentality is better so I am able to handle more work loads. Things have been going well with my partner and his company is appreciated. I’ve removed any looming debts so I can focus on improving my financial situation. The one thing I do wish to improve is having hobbies outside of work. I want to enrich my life more so I don’t live to work.

IMG_20150815_221738

This photo illustrates two things I’ve got into lately. A friend had a Decoden party and I designed some key rings. The actual act of making one was really relaxing so I’d like to do this more. The book underneath is an adult colouring book which I’ve been doing in my spare time as a way of calming down after a long day or even to get away from technology since I use the computer so much at work. I feel like such a kid again and it is childish, but that’s what I like about these activities, it brings out the inner child in me where I wasn’t held down by responsibilities yet.

My aim right now is to find hobbies that don’t require money which is why I’m having to hold off the decoden for a moment.

On a different note, I finally purchased a chair for my desk, hence why I’ve been able to get back to keeping a blog more regularly. Hunching over on my bed or typing on a touch screen hasn’t been ideal. I’d like to be more consistent this time to show the changes in my life over time and also how I’ve developed over time. I hope I’m becoming a better person, but I’m not sure.

I feel content and I want to enjoy this moment. I hope to report back soon!

Not much has happened…

Today was a pre-audit, although my team leader enforced this last week so I’m not struggling too much. What I am struggling with is the extra work load and having to push my own work aside yet again. I don’t mind helping but not when I constantly here, “Hurry up Dominique! I need this done quickly!” I’m being rushed to do tasks that aren’t mine…

I was hoping to go to my ex’s today but he’s gone out. I did feel a bit sad but today at home hasn’t been too bad. My flat mate (I’ll call her A) seemed to have a day off today. She still doesn’t engage in conversation much without her boyfriend (I’ll call him B). I saw A was playing Splatoon in the living room and tried to converse.

“Oh you’re playing Splatoon!”

“Yeah.”

“I played it at the tournament on the weekend, it’s really fun!”

“Mhm…”

This was the extent of our conversation. Now that B is back home from work she’s laughing and talking in their room. This would be fine if maybe she’s having an off day, but she’s been like this for months. Yet she seems to act normal around B.

I kinda saddens me because I thought we were friends. Not even a hello, just silence when I walk into the same room. This aspect makes me miss home because at least my mum would talk to me now and again. I mean B does converse with me sometimes, more than A.

Regardless, today hasn’t been bad. I’ve started making my own insert for my Filofax although admittedly I’ve copied an already existing one since it won’t print. However, I’m going to start adjusting it to fit me and my thought process.

I’ve been trying to work on my Overcoming Anxiety exercises, but I’ve not been doing that too much this week. I think I’m worried about the audit and how they might think I’m breaching data protection. Silly, huh?

I applied for a job today. It pays significantly more than my current one although I don’t feel I have enough experience to get it. I am ready to leave but I’m not sure what to apply for. I thought I’d be fine with this office job in the mean while but it’s been making me unhappy and stressed. I don’t mind doing a lot of work but it seems unjust.

I’ll try not to focus on the negatives too much. I want to hang out with friends and enjoy myself. A part of me wants to find new friends to broaden my social group, but I know it doesn’t quite work that way. Gaming so far has been the best way for me to socialise but I’m not even that fond of Smash bros. People are really nice, but I just don’t share the love of it and I feel like a bit of an outsider because of it.

I never wanted to be known as the girlfriend of so and so, and because of this I’ve tried to get out of my comfort zone.

This touches on another thing, I’m actually unsure of I’m in a relationship or not. I’d like to not think so for now, but it seems it’s developed into one. I haven’t told most of my friends, partially because I feel embarrassed in case they judge me, but I’ve been pretty happy with him lately. At the same time, I’m somewhat learning to enjoy my own company which is positive. I don’t want to be too reliant or dependent on someone.

For a not so interesting day, I have written a lot. I’ll try to blog more and which an actual interesting subject next time.