self_care_handsSelf Care

Okay, so you have reached this page for one of four reasons:

  1. You are lost or you mis-clicked. That’s fine, but you might want to read what’s here anyway as it might be useful.
  2. You want to know how to help a friend – That’s fantastic, well done for being a good friend yourself and hopefully some of what’s here will be of use.
  3. You want to know how to look after yourself a bit better – That’s brilliant, again I hope that what’s here is of use to you.
  4. You are really struggling and are in immediate danger – hang tight and read our page on how to Get Help Now here.

Okay, for those of you that are NOT in immediate danger, here are a few things that you can do to look after yourself and to help build up your resilience. Not everything is going to work for everyone. You know what works best for you, so that’s probably where you should start.

Are you up to date on your medication(s)?

First of all, check to see if you have missed a dose, sometimes it can be hard to remember, and sometimes if you have missed a dose, those pesky symptoms can stop you remembering. www.nhs.uk states

“It’s important not to miss any of your doses, as this could make your treatment less effective. If you do miss one of your doses, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time to take your next dose. In this case, you should just skip the missed dose. Don’t take a double dose to “make up” for the one you missed.

If you take more tablets than prescribed, contact your GP as soon as possible for advice. If this isn’t possible, contact your local out of hours service or call NHS 111. Taking a double dose is unlikely to be harmful, but you should only do so if advised by a medical professional.”

However we suggest that you might just want to call NHS Direct (111 from any phone) and ask for medical advice specific to YOUR circumstances… and while you are waiting in the 111 phone queue, you might consider trying out the next two suggestions.

Are you properly hydrated?

If not, have a glass of water. Heck go and have a glass of water or a brew now, even if you think you ARE fully hydrated. The rule of thumb I learnt in the military is that ‘if you don’t need a pee right now, you need to hydrate.’ 😉

Have you eaten in the past few hours?

If not, then go and have something to eat. Ideally something healthy…with protein…and veg…

Have you showered in the past day?

If not, go take a shower or a bath. We all KNOW just how good it feels stepping out a shower all clean and refreshed and into some clean clothes, but when our mood drops, it just feels like such a difficult thing to achieve. It’s not. You can do it!

Have you done some exercise recently?

If not, do some right now. If you don’t have the energy for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s rubbish, then drive to a supermarket and go for a brisk walk up and down the aisles (avoid the sweetie isle). Or perhaps a cycle, or even take the dog for a walk.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past 24 hours?

If not then go and change someone’s day, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it. You know exactly how nice it can be to help other people have an amazing day.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day?

If not, stick your favourite song on and have a wee dance (waltz/samba/mosh) or just dance around the room like you don’t care who is watching. I tried this and the cat went out, in the rain, for the rest of the day…

Have you hugged a living being in the past two days?

If not, go and do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them. Obviously don’t go up and hug a stranger, that’s just considered rude.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days?

If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then. If you are struggling badly, then the numbers linked at the top of the page are there for you!

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand?

That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

If it’s daytime, are you dressed?

If not, go and put on some clean clothes that aren’t pyjamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress..or a pretty funny dress. Combine this with the shower and you’ll feel like a new, and awesome, person.

 If it’s night-time, are you sleepy and fatigued but avoiding going to sleep?

Then put on your pyjamas, get yourself all snuggled up safely in bed, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes. No music, no screens, just relaxation. If you’re still wide awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Do you feel ineffective?

Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip.

Do you feel unattractive?

Take a selfie and remind yourself how amazing you are. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll help fight society’s false ideas of what beauty should look like. Together we can be part of this change.

Do you feel paralysed by indecision?

Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and make a plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still too difficult, the just put it to one side and choose something else that seems achievable. Right now, the important thing is to get something done, no matter what it is or how trivial you feel it is. It’s still success. Own that ***********!

Have you pushed yourself too hard recently (physically, emotionally or mentally)?

Burning your candle at both ends uses up your resources from tomorrow and the day after, and so on. So you end up playing catch up with your energy levels and never actually getting back to a point where you are fully recharged and full of resilience. Take a break and give yourself the time you need to properly recharge. You deserve it.

Have you been going for a whole week yet?

Sometimes our view of things becomes slightly skewed and it becomes harder to think straight and to see where we fit in properly.  Keep using these ideas and the things that you know work for you, for a whole week, and see if that changes your mind about things. Sometimes when we are in a ‘dip’ we forget that there are also good days. It takes a build up of a few days to be able to see that there are good days and bad days and ups and down in everyone’s life. But by looking after yourself and building up your own resilience you’ll find that slowly but surely you have more good days than bad days…

Stay safe, and remember that you are amazing…

Written by Simon Brodie

Circle of Trust Therapy