I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was nine – which is now well over eleven years ago. In that time I have figured out which tips, techniques, and items work best for me when it comes to dealing with bad mental health days. Obviously, everybody is different, so what works for me may not work for you, but here’s my little ‘self-care kit’ list, and I hope you find it helpful!
1. Herbal Tea
I’ve more or less given up coffee at this point due to the fact that it can make my anxiety worse, so I find that herbal tea is a much more calming alternative. I’ve been drinking a cup of Chamomile tea before bed every night for the last decade, and it genuinely helps to calm my nerves and help me sleep.
2. Lavender EVERYTHING
Lavender candles. Lavender bubblebath. Lavender sleep spray… If it’s lavender scented, chances are I’ll buy it. I find that the scent of lavender relaxes me like nothing else, and I believe that it is so important to cater to all of your senses when trying to create a calming environment. A calming environment is key (to me, at least) for dealing with bad mental health days.
3. My Favourite Foods
I like to keep my favourite foods in the house at all times, just in case. I keep the ingredients for my favourite comfort foods around, as well as the snacks that I love. My go-to comfort food is pasta with butter and cheese, but I’ll also make sure that I have healthy food on hand as well, as it’s easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits when feeling depressed.
I have a set playlist of songs that I know can calm me down/put me in a happier mood. They’re rare, but they’re there. I keep my favourite vinyls on a shelf next to my record player, so I can easily pop one on on a bad day.
5. Fresh Air
Okay, so technically this isn’t an item, but I always find that fresh air is the number one thing that helps me. Even if I just sit by an open window for a few minutes, it helps. I’m lucky enough to live within minutes of beautiful beaches, forests, lakes, and hills, so my favourite way to get some fresh air is to go for a nice long walk, then come home, get cozy and watch a film.
So that’s my little list of things that help me on a bad mental health day. Like I said, everybody is different so what works for me may not work for you, but why not try these things out for yourself? It’s so important to look after yourself when you’re dealing with mental health issues.
Look after yourselves loves.