Category: Mental Health

Self Care on the Cheap – Low or No Cost Ways to Encourage Better Mental Health

It seems that recently self care has become more and more of a hot button topic. I recently was browsing facebook and saw a post about how self care isn’t all “bath bombs and face masks” and that had me feeling some sort of way. As someone who (loudly and proudly) talks about how important mental health is, I love self care. It can seriously make a massive difference in your outlook and life if you suffer from anxiety, depression, and other related ailments.

Self care is a personal and unique experience for each person. That somewhat shady post had me a little sad, as the person who loves a good bath bomb or skincare after a bad day. But I was missing what the post was getting at all together; that self care doesn’t have to be expensive, and in some cases, won’t cost you a penny. No shame in your game if your self care routine involves bath and skincare products, though.

Low Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a day trip to a near by city or town. Explore the area, take photos, maybe stop at a cafe or restaurant or snack. Getting some steps in will help you to feel a little better!
  2. Get your nails done. This one is a little more pricey, but this is one of my favorite things to do when I feel gross!
  3. Get some ice cream! Totally soothes all wounds
  4. Have an at home spa day. Get some face masks from the store, put on some comfy clothes and have a day in. Ah, relaxation.
  5. Cook a new recipe. Just immersing yourself in a new recipe and focusing on cooking can lift you up. Plus, a healthy meal makes everyone feel good inside!
  6. Grab a coloring book and have at it. I love spending some time with some colored pencils and a nice picture, it helps so much to clear my mind.

No Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a walk! Studies have shown that exercise can help you lift your spirits. Plus, walks are good for everyone! Find a local park and take some time to explore.
  2. Take a bike ride. Like walks, find a trail, pack a snack and some water, and get going. You’ll feel better after!
  3. Do a mani/pedi at home. Grab some cute polish, and decorate your nails. I love having pretty nails, and it can help you to feel more pulled together on the days where you don’t feel yourself.
  4. Drink water! Grab a cute tumbler cup, and sip all day long. Staying hydrated keeps you feeling good.
  5. Take time for yourself. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Make sure you are scheduling time for yourself so you can destress and recharge. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
  6. Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep. Again, can’t pour from an empty cup.
  7. Take time for your hobbies. Make sure you make time for the things you love!
  8. Spend time with friends and family. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help to lift you up.
  9. Take a warm bath or shower. Getting cleaned up can seriously help you to feel better.
  10. Understand that some days aren’t going to be amazing, and roll with that. Somedays will be hard, but always understand that there are positive days ahead.

What is your go-to self care technique? Share in the comments below, who knows, it might help someone else out!

If you’re looking to shop for some self care related treats, check out this article of mine!

Have a wonderful and healthy day!

XOXO Em

Constant Anxiety – What It’s Like Living With Anxiety Disorders

If you know me personally, good chances are that you are more than aware that I have had chronic anxiety for around 12 years now. At this point, mental health awareness and understanding has become a little more than important to me, because, in my humble opinion, it is one of the most misunderstood things around right now. The US hasn’t quite caught up to the rest of the world in the means of healthcare, which can leave mental health services in the dust. I’ve never shared what my day to day with anxiety is like before, but I figured that it was about time.

I’ve known the feeling of anxiety since I was pretty young. The earliest I felt it was probably around when I was in third grade, but I didn’t recognize it as anything other than feeling nervous. I was really young, and for the most part, it probably looked like I was just going through a phase as a kid. Over the years, it was pretty clear that I was always anxious about something, even if there wasn’t anything worth worrying about.

So, what does anxiety look like now?

Now that I’m starting into adulthood, anxiety is a little different because I recognize the confused and messy feelings as being anxiety. As a kid, it was a little more confusing, but now I know that it’s only temporary.

On a normal day, I usually wake up feeling that familiar nervous feeling in my chest or stomach. Once I start moving, it usually lifts, and I start to feel ready to start the day, have some breakfast, and either get to class, work, or hang around home on the off days. For me, anxiety is usually felt in my chest, with a tingling feeling, racing heart, and sometimes heart palpitations. You get that feeling that something absolutely terrible is about to happen, even when you’re totally safe at home. It can throw a wrench into a normal day, turning it into something terrible for no reason. That is the worst part, in my opinion.

How is someone affected by anxiety?

Another part that people don’t seem to totally grasp is that anxiety has such a massive effect on a person’s energy. For me, I’ve learned to adjust to living while constantly pretty tired. Be patient with us, please! We’re constantly trying to reason with our minds, reassuring ourselves that the world is, in fact, not ending and all will be okay. Doing this all day long is exhausting. It might not sound like much, but when your mind refuses to quiet down all day, it takes a serious toll. For myself personally, I work pretty hard to keep the emotions and panicked feeling way below the surface, so I can work and function on a daily basis. This takes an insane amount of energy, and leaves me usually pretty drained. But, hey, it works for me, and lets me live my life.

Some days are better than others, but every once in a while, it can be hard to smoosh all the feelings down. It is so easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and upset over seemingly menial things. When you’re constantly bargaining with yourself mentally, it can be hard to keep up.

With all the negative, it doesn’t mean that life is all dreary and sad for me. Yeah, it can definitely complicate things, but for the most part, I live just like everyone else, just with little adjustments here and there. The media can demonize people who live with mental health issues, but in all reality, 99.9% of people are just trying to be happy and healthy like everyone else. And, you more than likely have someone in your life who has a similar struggle.

So, how can I help a friend with anxiety?

Everyone is different. Just like any illness, it effects everyone differently, and everyone likes different things to help with the stress. For me, I like the following things:

  • Support from friends and family. Just asking me how I’m doing lets me know someone is there for me, and opens up the conversation if I haven’t been feeling very well. However, this is something that everyone needs, regardless if they suffer from anxiety or any similar ailments. Everyone needs support!
  • Understand that it isn’t something we are doing on purpose. These feelings are usually out of our hands! While it doesn’t excuse any behavior, it is really helpful to understand that we are doing our best to manage how we feel.
  • Understand that somedays I need a day off. I can get really overwhelmed, and a day off is worth its weight in gold.

In addition, if you need some self care yourself, feel free to check out my post about my favorite forms of self care! Everyone can use a little TLC now and again!

Do you know someone that has anxiety, or maybe you do? Want to share any experiences or advice? Share in my comment section below!

XOXO Em

Stress Not! 6 Self Care Treats to Help Improve Mental Health & Relax

Mental health is one of those things that gets thrown under the bus a little too often. Our country as a whole has a bit of an issue with mental health care and perception in my humble opinion, even though mental health is just another facet of health just like everything. Like health itself, self care for mental health is different for everyone. I’m going to share some of my favorite items that help me destress, but remember, as always, yours may be totally different, and that’s okay! The fun part about self care is that it can be tailored to each person for what they need.

That being said, for the most part, self care can be totally FREE. However, I do have some favorite things that help me to make my routine more effective and comfortable. After dealing with anxiety for the upwards of about 10 years now, I feel like I have my routine down to a near science. I would like to note that self care routines are important for everyone, even if you don’t experience any sort of mental health issues or long term anxiety. Everyone experiences stresses and hard times, and taking the time to take care of yourself is more important than you would think. Taking the time to take care can help you to be more productive, happier, and healthier! To me, thats more than worth it.

There are two different types of self care days that I have; ones out and about, and ones relaxing at home. Exercise is one thing that has been proven to help mental health and relieve stress, so that is one of my go to ways to boost my mood. However, a day in sometimes helps me just as much. I’ve divided up my favorites into two categories; on the go self care, and self care night in. I hope that some of these products can help you just as much as they’ve helped me!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click the links and make a purchase, some money may be allocated to me in order to help keep my blog running and me writing. This is at no additional cost to you! I really appreciate the love and support! 

On the Go Self Care

Self care is important, even if you don’t have the time to take a day to complete it! You can always get some self care in on the go, on your lunch break, or when you have a free few minutes!

One thing that I find to be super important is exercise. If any of my family members stumble upon this post, they are probably dying at that statement, but since moving away, it has become so true. Exercise helps to boost up the good feeling chemicals in your body, without any sort of intervention. I don’t really enjoy going to the gym, but I do like to go for long walks around my campus and get some fresh air. One thing that is super important when getting in those steps is having some supportive shoes! My favorite pair are Nike trainers, similar to this pair. It helps keep my feet comfy so I can fit in more steps!

Also important when I go walking, is my Fitbit! It helps me to track my steps, heart rate, and sleep, and even sends me notifications when its been a while since I’ve last moved around. It helps to quantify my steps, so I can try to do around the same amount everyday. It’s suggested that you get around 10,000 steps per day, so its nice to have a definite number! You can also track your foods and water consumption within the app.
Water consumption is another thing that is pivotal to feeling good, and drinking more water is a great way to practice self care daily. I mentioned S’well bottles in my March Favorites but I had to mention them again here. S’well bottles are great for bringing your favorite drinks with you on the go!

Self Care Nights In

Somedays you just need a break! I love days where I have time to slow down and focus on myself and what I need.

While I don’t exactly buy that essential oils can cure all your ailments, I do enjoy diffusing them from time to time to make my space smell lovely and some smells can help me to wind down after a long day. This diffuser would be perfect for a smaller space like my tiny apartment or a bedroom! 

Oh man. These facemasks are some of my favorite I have ever found, but are also so cheap that you can get a bunch ahead of time! They smell lovely, are gentle on skin, and never fail to help me relax. I usually buy about 5 at a time, so I always have one on hand if I need one.

Last but not least is a good weighted blanket. While most do come with a hefty price tag, I would die without mine at this point. It helps me to sleep, relax, and just helps to deal with stress that I hold in my body. Mine has a super soft cover, which makes it all the more lovely!

I hope that some of these treats and tips can help you to relieve some extra stress you may have in your life, or just help you have a relaxing night in. They certainly are my favorites, and maybe they can become favorites of yours too!

Happy Sunday!

XOXO Em