[unpaid/sample/affiliate/ad] Everything is too hard at the moment, right? I’ve seen plenty of sensible people saying that no matter how well we are ‘coping’ we are living on a mix of cortisol and adrenaline because things are worrying and we truly are dealing with a lot right now. I can feel those adrenaline surges just simmering below the surface and anyone who has had anxiety will know the prickles that can just start out of nowhere but are an early warning signal to slow down and look after yourself with great care. Uncertainty is one of the hardest things to live with if we’re used to being organised and in control and there’s not really a right or wrong way to try and ease the feelings. It’s just what works well for you. But, I can suggest some things that work well for me.
- Get Outside. Bundle up and get yourself out for a walk, even if its very brief, and take note of everything you are seeing almost as though compiling a list in your head. It refocuses your mind from whirring about to being stiller for a while. I try and do a robin spot – actively look while I’m walking because it gives the walk more purpose.
- If you’re sitting at your desk, take breaks and move – make a hot drink, look out of the window, put the washing away. Whatever you do, it will shift the mood slightly so you break the negative thoughts.
- Try some yoga – I use Yoga With Adriene on Netflix as a gentle way to get some movement into my day and just focusing on the moves gives your brain a rest from worrying. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do a downward dog – having a go and adapting it to what you can do is absolutely fine.
- Find some ‘custard’ TV. By that, I mean something that you find entertaining but not taxing in any way – things that I have found as soothing as a bowl of warm custard are Death In Paradise, Impossible (quiz show) and most recently School of Chocolate on Netflix. They’re not necessarily things I’d usually watch but as they wash over me, they distract me from overthinking.
- Wash your hair. Everything feels better with clean hair – it’s a distraction and requires you to move rooms so therefore a mood shift and involves sensations and textures that you can focus on. The scent of the shampoo, the heat of the water, the feel of the towel, the scalp tingle as you brush and the warm air of the dryer – you are putting a lot of new information over the top of the intrusive worries.
Take a bath (or shower). I didn’t mean for the Dr Teal’s post to turn out like this but it’s a relevant illustration of self care and the embracing nature of hot water. Cocooning is good – we should all do it more but I like it best after walking or exercising. I’m currently wrestling with an infection and antibiotics (and painkillers) that don’t want to stay down so I’m having to focus really hard on just keeping them long enough that they can work. Coupled with a horrible night’s sleep (I accidentally took a pain killer with added caffeine! urgh!), I feel more tired than ill, but a bath somehow rights things in a way that nothing else does. Warm a towel on the radiator before you get out to take the temperature change sting right out.
There are a couple of new scents for Dr Teal’s – I’m not sure they’ve launched on line yet but you might spot them in Boots – Glow & Radiance which is delightfully juicy and citrussy, and Calm Your Mind with Ashwagandha which smells to me like a sweet aloe vera with a dash of orange. Jo Malone they are not, but I’d welcome them into my bath any day of the week. I think we all know that Vitamin C isn’t going to penetrate the skin to any health benefit way via a bath (ages ago I asked a formulator why we couldn’t have vitamin pills for the bath as a way of taking in the benefits and he said the amount needed to be absorbed through the skin is so big that it would be impractical to even physically get it into the bath!) but the point is more a beautiful, scented, bubbly bath. I don’t think I truly know whether the addition of Epsom Salts has any more benefit than the hot water experience – I don’t think anyone actually knows! But, I like that it’s there and I love an Epsom Salt bath after exercise so I’ll keep the faith on that one.
I guess it’s all down to the mood of the moment but you can think of this as an affordable cocoon tool – Mr BBB has just ordered Badedas because it hits the right note for him and his (epically long) soaks. I opt for aromatherapy oils very often, more recently my Chanel No.5 that I’d been ‘saving’ but have now finished (some of it, anyway), and thereafter something with Epsom salts such as Dr Teal’s. Currently, easy to find Dr Teal’s scents are Lavender (on offer at Boots for £7.60) and Coconut Oil, £8.99. The bath salts and these Foaming baths are definitely something to order on line rather than carry home – they’re mighty weighty! Boots is HERE. So, here we are – it’s all a bit tricky one way and another but what we have, as women, is resilience, sometimes without even knowing how deep the reservoir is. Last Christmas was the year I had to dig deep to find mine (and my sister had to remind me to do it) and this year it is being tested again although not quite so hard. Resilience is the thing that helps you carry on when you don’t want to, it can get you past disappointment, it can help you soothe others around you and it can allow you to move across feelings that are difficult. All the little dots of self care you take – the walk, the bath, the warm towel, the custard TV, the cheesy book – are resilience builders so I urge you to see them as the essentials they are. And, while I realise that I’ve written an absolute tome built around bath foam, it’s helped me to articulate the things I’m feeling so I’m popping it in the resilience bank, saying thank you very much for reading it and I’m heading out to spot a robin.
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