World Mental Health Day: Ideas for Self Care

The Lovely Cicada | World Mental Health Day Ideas for Self Care

Many people suffer from mental illness and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Although it feels like it, you are not alone. It's okay to reach out and ask for help. It's okay to not be okay. 

When I was a young teenager, I suffered from an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. I was never comfortable with taking pills so I had to figure out something that worked for me. It took years of courage, fighting, and strength. It took hardships, loss, and horrible experiences. I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and learned about the mind, how to control it, how to live in the present and let go of the past and the future. I learned how to be a better me, a better human. I learned empathy, I learned sympathy, I learned compassion, I learned strength. I took all my horrible experiences, my depression, my anxiety, and I turned it into healing and transformation. I learned from it. I began meditation. I started to do yoga. I started to look around in nature and appreciate the world, even the negative aspects. I learned that the things that happened in my past had made me stronger, fiercer, more human. I learned to accept what was and what will be. I learned how to conquer my mind the best way I can. 

I still have days where I can see my mind slipping and it becomes a constant battle to regain balance. Everyone's journey and experience with mental illness is different. Success stories sometimes take years and years. Sometimes it takes a few different tries and methods. What works for one may not work for another. Don't be afraid to acknowledge needing help. It does not make you weak or less than someone else. It makes you human and acknowledging it will help lead you into healing.

I compiled a list of self care techniques. These are by no means cures and some of these may be tough some days but it's a reminder to look after yourself and take care of your mind and the vessel that you're in.

Ideas for Self Care

  • Go outside and take photos of the beautiful things you see
  • Read your favorite book
  • Take a bath (add some bubbles or some bath bombs, light a candle)
  • Write, get a journal, let everything out
  • Practice meditation (learn to find that quiet space in your mind)
  • Practice yoga
  • Try to eat better
  • Take up a hobby (knitting, crocheting, sewing, collaging, guitar)
  • Organize (disorganization and living in chaos can create chaos in the mind)
  • Exercise, go for a run, go for a walk/hike
  • Volunteer somewhere (helping others may make you feel better within yourself)
  • Turn off your phone/internet/television
  • Go to a coffee shop (bring your journal, a book, grab a friend, get a coffee)
  • Visit a park
  • Find a flower garden and take in the scents
  • Pet a dog
  • Buy a dog
  • Cuddle a cat
  • Buy a cat
  • Take a hot shower
  • Cry if you need to
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Go to the movies
  • Find a support group
  • Go to therapy (talking to an outsider can be helpful)
  • Go to a concert or a show
  • Live a minimalistic lifestyle
  • Simply lie in bed and enjoy the coziness
  • Make hot chocolate and curl up on your couch
  • Bake
  • Garden
  • Open your curtains
  • Stretch
  • Do a crossword
  • Ask yourself what you need
  • Call a hotline
  • Do a daily tarot reading
  • Take a class 
  • Get your hair done
  • Get your nails done
  • Schedule time to yourself 
  • Write down the things you are grateful for
  • Go thrift store shopping and look for treasures
  • Travel some place new - even if it's a city nearby
  • Walk near a waterfall/lake/river (find peace in the flow of the water)
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Remind yourself your feelings are okay
  • Learn compassion
  • Write your feelings down
  • Pray
  • Read inspiring quotes

Find what gives you peace. Something simple, something enjoyable. You are wonderful and you are worthy. Please remember that. 

What do you do to help take care of yourself?

15 Beautiful Quotes to Inspire

( Source )

Words are, unsurprisingly, my passion and collecting quotes that resonate with me is a favorite pastime of mine. Having a list of quotes around as positive affirmation or inspiration when you're having a rough day will help lift you up or at the very least, allow you to work through the problem, feeling, or emotion on hand. 

Here's a very small list from my personal collection that I absolutely adore.

1. "Everybody isn’t going to love you. Most people don’t even love themselves." - Unkown

2. "I want a blaze of light to flame in me forever in a timeless, dear love of everything. And why should I pretend to want anything else?" - Jack Kerouac, Windblown World

3. "Know this: you can start over, each morning." - Tyler Joseph

4. "Cause you never think that the last time is the last time. You think there will be more. You think you have forever, but you don’t." - Meredith Grey

5. "There are people who dislike you because you do not dislike yourself." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

6. "You can never laugh too much or have too many orgasms." - Michael Faudet

7. "I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me." - Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

8. "Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment." - Lao Tzu

9. "How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back." - J.R.R. Tolkien

10. "When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits - anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving." - Kim McMillen

11. "I’m with you. No matter what else you have in your head I’m with you and I love you." - Ernest Hemingway

12. "So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More Compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide." - Meredith Grey

13. "There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were." - Hazrat Inayat Khan

14. "It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit." - Eartha Kitt

15. "Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’re ever been. The one constant in our lives is change." - Daniel Gilbert

What quotes speak to you?