We all have difficult days sometimes. And when you're faced with one yourself, it's good to know you can break the shackles with simple steps to stop things from spiralling out of control.
Difficult days are usually caused by triggers that disrupt your focus and how you feel.
So the key is to know how to manage those triggers and to know what you can do to release the tension and feel happy, healthy and positive again.
Here, we've curated a selection of simple self care tips that can help you on those days when you need a little inspiration and support. Choose the tips that resonate with you most, and carry them in your mental and emotional tool kit for whenever you need them.
A Reminder: Why Self Care is Important
Not to be confused with being selfish, self care is ultimately about being responsible for the choices you make in your life and health. It's also about being conscious of the little things you can do to bring yourself back into harmony and balance when disruption is around you.
Simple ideas can range from positive self talk, to listening to an uplifting song, eating a colourful wholesome food, going outside for a walk, or sitting in the sunshine.
All of these ideas can be very effective for reducing stress and anxiety, which can in turn reduce your risk of succumbing to cortisol-related conditions like heart disease, gut problems and even cancer.
What's more, people who regularly practice self care have been shown to not only feel better, but look better. It's a well known fact that stress can dramatically accelerate the ageing process and even lead to sore and achy joints.
Stress also causes sleeping problems and chronic lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.
The importance of Self Care for a lifetime and as a tool for managing day-to-day stress, should be clear. Develop a self care mindset, embrace the 7 principles of health and tune in to these following ideas for difficult days.
15 Simple Self Care Ideas for Difficult Days
With ease and efficiency in mind, let's get to our list of simple self care ideas for those tough days. Even if you just manage to do one or two of these, you'll be doing your mind, body and soul a world of good on those difficult days.
1. Do Some Earthing
By getting outside and connecting your body to the earth, it can have a profoundly positive affect on your health and mood. Earthing puts your skin directly in contact with the earth's surface, allowing you to absorb its electricity. This electricity has anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties. The simplest way to get the benefit, is to go for a bare foot walk on the beach or grass.
2. Soak Up Some Sun
Just 15 minutes of morning sun each day, can give you all the vitamin D you need to lift your spirits and boost your immune system. Sunlight also stimulates feel good chemicals in the brain, so if you're having a difficult day, getting outside for a little time in the sunshine can work wonders.
3. Go for a brisk walk
Brisk walking around the block or park can quickly recalibrate your mind. When you walk briskly outdoors, you take in fresh oxygen into your lungs and brain and get your blood flowing. If you're feeling stress or tension, going for a brisk walk is one of the best things you can do to re-set and release stress.
4. Tune in to a comedy podcast
Sometimes when you're having a difficult day, laughter is the best medicine to change up your emotional state so that you feel happy and positive again.
Laughter boosts your mood, strengthens immunity, diminishes physical pain and protects you from the harmful effects of stress. Nothing works faster to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh.
5. Diffuse Essential Oils
Known for their natural therapeutic properties, aromatherapy is the practice of breathing in the powerful scents of pure plant essential oils.
Even the busiest of people can practice this simple self care idea: diffuse uplifting and calming essential oils in your work space and home environment.
6. Take a Salt Bath
7. Exfoliate Your Skin
Gentle skin exfoliation is an invigorating technique, that not only strips dead skin cells and revitalises your skin, it also opens the pores, boosts circulation and infuses the blood with calming essential oil nutrients.
8. Lie Down And Relax
Lying flat on your back with your feet up against a wall or resting on a chair is a wonderful way to regulate blood flow, relieve swollen ankles, improve digestion and alleviate cramps or internal body discomfort. 5-10 minutes of this type of relaxation can help you to reduce stress and re-set.
10. Sip Herbal Tea
Peppermint tea is a fantastic aromatic tea that can help relieve stress and anxiety. The menthol contained in peppermint is a natural muscle relaxant and breathing fresh peppermint can help clear the mind. Find a source of organic peppermint tea leaves or simply add a couple of drops of Peppermint Essential Oil to a mug of warm water, relax and enjoy.
Chamomile tea is derived from dried flowers and is well known for its ability to soothe stress, support relaxation and its ability to reduce menstrual pain and inflammation.
11. Do a Clay Mask
12. Pick a Light Read
A great way to switch off digitally or from the rigours of a difficult day, is to grab an easy-read book and then relax on the couch, in the bath, or read in bed before you go to sleep.
13. Write it Out
Writing for just five minutes in a journal has been shown to help people de-stress and sleep better. Writing out your feelings gets them out of your head and onto paper, which can make them more tangible and easier to deal with.
What's more, writing out worries or repetitive thoughts can help you get rid of them by giving them a home that's not in your mind.
14. Hug Someone Close
Whether it’s your spouse, a friend, your child or pet, physical touch is one of the most soothing ways to release tension, tune in to gratitude and to let go of any negative thoughts or emotions on difficult days. Love and connection are basic human needs, which can help relieve stress and anxiety as they show up in our day-to-day lives.
15. Feed Your Emotions
On difficult days, get down to your local fresh produce market and take in the colours of foods from nature's table. Whole plant foods carry an electrical force that our cells can identify with, and when you embrace them, they can bring harmony and balance to your body and mind.
Be conscious of the wide variety of colours available and choose a selection of fresh produce that appeals to you. Go home and prepare yourself a wholesome meal.
There will always be difficult days. The key is how you respond to those days and the challenges that life sends your way. Arm yourself with simple self care tools, which can help you to manage disruption, anxiety and stress - so that you're more in control and so that those difficult days are few and far between.
Tolman Self Care.