So last week, I blogged all about the different things that help my anxiety and today I wanted to chat about the concept of ‘self-care’. Self-care has become a bit faddy lately– in fact, it’s often used to sell us everything from journals to bath bombs. But if you read my anxiety post (and you really should!), you’ll notice one of the most effective things for my anxiety is getting outside.
In the summer, this took the form of gardening (in fact I found gardening more effective than meditation)
But now the cold weather has set in (and my garden is pretty much dead!), I’ve been settling for autumn walks instead.
At its essence, self-care is vital for chronic illness and like walking, it shouldn’t have to cost anything. So – a mobility company- asked me to write today’s post to spread the word about their #AutumnStrolls campaign; which is all about encouraging gentle exercise- even if your mobility is restricted– to help with low moods during the cold weather.
I am not a traditional health blogger and ‘fitness’ can be non-existent at times. But, walking is pretty much my only exercise and makes such a difference to my daily routine, so I wanted to take a minute to chat about how it-and other simple things-are vital for winter self-care.
For anyone, routine is important. But having a long-term condition makes routine even more vital. Daily walks this winter have helped start my day off on the right foot– even if it’s 5 or 10 minutes long there’s a sense of achievement. In fact, I’d go so far as to say if I walk after breakfast; it also helps my digestion as it encourages to me do some deep breathing rather than hunch over my laptop immediately.
When you work from home, sometimes it can be easy to get engulfed in things- and if I’m in a low mood, having nobody to talk doesn’t help! Sometimes a simple smile and chat to a stranger on my morning walk (who usually stop to admire my dogs!) make a big difference.
So, even though it’s getting colder, I’m challenging myself to have a morning walk EVERY morning this winter as part of my self-care routine. And as a reward, I’ll be treated myself to a large cup of herbal tea on return!
And that’s my next act of self-care: making a cup of soothing herbal tea. There’s something really nourishing about making a hot tea and curling up on the sofa after a walk. For breakfast, I’ll combine lemon, ginger and turmeric. For evenings, I also recommend Valerian tea and chamomile tea for when you’re struggling to nod off.
One of the few things I do spend money on in terms of self-care is books! I am a huge bookworm- and despite being a blogger; I much prefer the feel of a book in my hands instead of reading from a screen. I’ve been getting much more into non-fiction self-care books lately and these force me to have a bit of a ‘digital detox’ and step away from my screen!
These are just a few of my favourite methods for winter self-care. I’d love to hear yours too!
This blog post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing who asked me to get involved and spread the word about their #Autumnstrolls campaign.