A List to Save and Use When You Aren’t Feeling Yourself

Inject me with all that wellness shit. Seriously, warm up a plate, rack it up and I will snort the fuck out of anything wellness right now.

Spotify wellness playlist? Hell yeah. Sign up to the Calm app? OH YEAH. Following all the accounts focused on self-love? Fuck. Yeah.

Today I feel like I am one long panic attack. When I feel like this, my entire body feels rigid. Even typing right now feels stunted and difficult. I fidget, my stomach churns, and I break into cold sweats.

It ain’t fun, but it’s part of my life. I no longer fight it; I find that just makes it worse. I seek distraction. I seek release. Forwards not against.

I’ve turned to the beautiful people who follow me on Instagram and asked what they do when they aren’t absolutely feeling themselves. The responses were amazing.

I am going to do them all. Currently I am blasting my pop punk playlist. Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, All American Rejects – the lot! It’s definitely helping, especially coupled with dancing around my living room. Getting that blood moving.

More Panic! At The Disco, less Panic! At My Computer.

Yesterday I did every suggestion given to me. Normally when I am anxious I can’t do a damn thing, but this was all in the name of work and research so I roped my housemate in and we tackled the list. Truth to say I was exhausted by the end of the day. I was also much less anxious, and had laughed so much. So thank you everyone!

I have condensed my favourites into the below list. Save this page and come back to it when you need a pick-me-up, a distraction or just something to do.

Face mask

Yes. Yes. Yes. Regular readers and my Instagram followers will be well aware of my obsession with face masks. Those sexy little pastes, whack them all over your face, lay back, think ‘fuck yes self-care.’ Or at least, that’s how my process goes.

Now, dear reader, have you heard of ‘Peel-Off Face Masks’…? HOLY SHIT. That stuff is orgasmic. Remember when you were a kid and used to put PVA glue on your hands just to peel it off? Imagine that. For your face. WHILST looking after your skin? I quiver at the thought of the peeling feeling. I use this one, as it’s in a tube and it lasts months. Go forth, peel, and enjoy!

Exercise/move your body

Seems a no-brainer, huh? We know getting the blood going helps pump endorphins (the happy hormone). I am going to be honest though, it’s not always that simple. Yes, moving helps. Howeverrrrrr, sometimes moving is the last thing we can bring ourselves to do. When my depression is kicking my ass, just standing up feels like climbing everest. When anxiety is rocking its way through my chamber, the thought of throwing that ass around a room is a no-go.

There are so many ways we can move our body. It doesn’t have to be high energy, or even break a sweat (although this does help).

Get out of bed at the least. Walk up and down the stairs twice. Or walk to your front door and back. Do 5 star-jumps. Any slight movement that is an upgrade from your current perceived realms of movement. Then you can go back to where you were, but most times you’ll find you can then change from horizontal to upright (at least) after just some movement. You will also feel better. Trust me.

If you have it in you to break that sweat, amazing. Many of us are locked in our houses at the moment, gyms may or may not be closed where you are. Now, I’m not saying you need to go to a gym. You can dance like mad around your room. Put on some music you love and go for it. Be Beyoncé. If you want to work-out, YouTube is a great place to go that has lots of free workouts. You can find ones that are 15 mins to an hour or longer. They can be dance, HIIT, strength, cardio, calisthenics. Good Housekeeping has published a well-researched list here that covers pretty much any fitness desire. Bookmark that page. In fact, bookmark THIS page

Baking/Cooking

I am no Mary Berry. I prefer to cook, and I’m not even that fussed about that. Baking strikes me as more of a science, no room for error or experimentation. However, I was recommended to Bake. So bake I did! We are on lockdown from 1pm, shops are shut and we aren’t allowed to leave. I had to make do with what was in the house. I did a *variation on this recipe – Holy Smokes! I can bake! Kind of. They came out like (tentative like) shortbread, and I had had to guess measurements. All in all. Not disappointed, but I had a BLAST making them. It was so funny to just wing it and see.

There are recipes out there, just like above for easy anything or you can go more complex if you like. This made the list because it really brought some joy to the end of my day, and now I get cookie/biscuits/shortbread for my dinner. Win win.

Take meds/vitamins

All you ladies pop yo’ pussy MEDICATION AND/OR VITAMINS like this. Shake your body, don’t stop, don’t miss.

Not just ladies. Everyone. If you have medication and it helps, remember to take it. Sofie Hagen reminds everyone daily on her Instagram story. She’s amazing, check her out.

Get your vitamin fix too. You don’t have to take vitamin pills, but get some good shit in yo’ system. Whether it’s from a green smoothie, a pill, herbal tea, even the sun! This time of year my SAD comes for its annual winter visit, and so I take Vitamin D daily. There are no studies supporting that Vitamin D helps with SAD, but I find it helps me. Placebo or whatever, it helps. I also dart to the garden anytime the sun comes out from the clouds.

Colour/draw

I have the cutest little colouring book. When my mind is rushing, colouring distracts me from my thoughts. The sound of the pencil on the book is soothing too. They have adult colouring books, which if I’m honest I don’t know how they are different to children’s colouring books. Grab pens, pencils, biros, whatever you like and get that pen to paper. Sometimes I just draw a massive scribble, then colour in the gaps. You don’t need to be Leonardo Da Vinci; you just need something to draw/colour with and something to draw/colour on. Ever written on a banana skin with a biro? Try it, then come back and thank me.

Talk to someone

I like to talk to my cat. Rant and rave and she can’t offer any unsolicited advice. When a friend talks to me, I try to ask ‘do you want to rant, or do you want advice?’ Sometimes we just want an ear, we don’t want to hear a solution to our issues. That’s okay! Get it off your chest in anyway you can. Facetime, whats app, face to face, get those words OUT. Hell, even write a letter – you don’t have to send it. All my exes got written letters, that I spilled my heart and soul into… I just never posted them. Felt a million times better.

Write down things you are grateful for

I had never done this before. I always found it a little crass. BOY, was I wrong. It really helps. I am no artist, but I tried to make my list pretty – with spaces to add to later if I so wish. Seeing everything in front of me was an eye-opening moment. I’m so bloody lucky. All our lists will be different, but we all have things to be grateful for. If you’re stuck for ideas, the fact you’re reading this and have access to the internet is where you can start. Also, if you’re reading this list to help yourself, or a friend: Boom another thing to be thankful for. You got this.

Go down a true crime YouTube hole

I love a good murder documentary. Quite fascinated by serial killers if I’m honest, just hope I never meet one. Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime have several seasons, and I find their voices so soothing. They have even been so great as to clump the episodes together in long season marathons. Sexual. Enjoy.

On a different tangent. I have recently found True Crime in the ASMR world. If you haven’t heard of ASMR click here for a detailed explanation from the Top Lads at Vox. My particular favourite ASMR creator in the True Crime world is Soft ASMR. I know it seems very strange listening to horrid events in such a relaxing calming tone. I’m sorry! It really settles me. Make your appropriate judgements of that as you wish, but give it a try. You might surprise yourself.  

Look on PostSecret

The PostSecret suggestion. Oh my word. It’s been so long since I’ve looked at this site. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out. It was set up by Top Lad Frank. People from all over the world mail in their anonymous secrets on postcards. It’s so simple and so therapeutic. Some secrets are hard to digest, some are a lightbulb ‘oh my god! I thought I was the only one.’ 10/10 would recommend. They post new secrets every Sunday, and have released a few books. One of which I am the proud owner of.

Listen to classic Blink 182/Dance around your room

Rock out with your cock out. I mean, cock optional. Music is great though. Taylor Swift, Classical, Britney, Beyoncé, Arlo Parks, Pop Punk. There is no such thing as bad music. If you like it you like it. Turn it on and turn it UP. Cry, dance, lay catatonic. Music soothes the soul.

Rewatch a series

This one I find fascinating! I rewatch so many things, and I’ve recently found out why it’s such a comfort. For those of us with anxiety, rewatching something where we know what is going to happen is peaceful. There is no ounce of anxiety about what is going to happen because we already know. Rewatch that favourite series, episode, or film like it’s hanging out with old friends.

Wank (masturbate)

Well, well, well. Yes. This works. That lil time between you, yourself, and your imagination. Break that stigma. Get in touch (literally) with yourself. No one hates an orgasm.

Twilight sun salutations

Yes, these could have gone under move your body but I wanted to give them a special little acknowledgement. Sun salutations are a great rhythmic way to move, connected to deep breath. All top notch things to help us get into our own rhythm and feel good. However! This recommendation was to do them at twilight (the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun’s rays from the atmosphere) was just *chefs kiss. It was a beautiful time of day to hop outside with the mat and watch the sunset. The visuals connected with the movement and breath was something I hadn’t experienced before. I recommend for you all to give it a go. It’s really brought a lovely peace to my evening.

I hope you found something useful from this list! Do message me if you have any more recommendations you find useful. You can do all these in a day, like me. You can also just choose one. Once again, thank you to my beautiful followers for all their suggestions. Peace and love.

For more ideas you can follow me @megundressed on instagram

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