Tips for looking after your mental health & well-being when a loved one is ill
My mum was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. It was and continues to be a tough journey for her. It also has had an impact upon the rest of the family. There are days though when I just want to forget about it. Those are the days when I feel selfish that I’m taking some time to myself. I know though that self-care is very important.
I wanted to write this post to give you some ideas for self-care if you too are caring for someone who is ill or has gone through an illness. Self-care needs you to be intentional to take steps to care for your own mental health, your physical health and your emotional health. I’m not talking huge actions, just the little ones that make you feel that little bit better, that don’t often take up that much time nor a lot of money either.
So here are my simple self-care ideas to get you started in the journey to looking after yourself too:
- Go for a walk. Walking is such a great way to clear your head and get time to yourself to think. You could head to the beach or trek up a hill or mountain. Exercise also releases your happy hormones too. Why not take a camera with you and snap what you see. You may even end up with some pictures for your wall!
- Have a bath. I love spending time in the bath. Buy yourself a bath bomb or light a candle and have a wonderful soak. It’s also a great time to put a face mask on too or redo your nails.
- Take up a new hobby or revive an old one. I love vintage jewellery so getting the time to fix broken jewellery means I have more to wear! There are so many options when it comes to hobbies. Why not check out what these lovely people are doing since they reached 50 to give you even more ideas?
- Go out for a coffee. Spend some time treating yourself to a lovely coffee and people watch. It’s so relaxing to put your phone on silent and just watch the world go by for an hour.
- Treat yourself to a bunch of flowers. I love flowers, so buying some for myself is a real treat. It also makes me smile seeing flowers in the house.
- Have a duvet day. Get the blanket, some popcorn and stick on a movie. Nothing like indulging in some escapism with your favourite movie.
- Listen to music. There is scientific proof that music makes you feel better. Put on your favourite tunes and sing at the top of your voice! Why not dance as well?
- Head to a local park. You can sit and have lunch in the sunshine with trees all around or you could have a picnic or opt to be a big kid again and sit on the swings!
- Have a spa day. You could organise this yourself with lovely treatments you make, buy or go luxury and head to a local beauty salon for a few treatments.
- Go clothes shopping. Spend some time browsing and shopping. You don’t need to buy anything if you don’t want to. Go in to stores you have never visited before and treat yourself to lunch out.
These are just some self-care ideas to get you started. I guess for me it’s about understanding that I need to look after myself too. Let’s face it we often tend to put ourselves at the very end of the queue when things need to be done. I guess though that neglecting our own mental health and well-being is counter productive and could cause more harm that good.
I know it is hard not to feel guilty about self-care. But remember we are equally important.