In our busy, hectic lives, we often forgo spending time on self care, instead opting to fill our waking hours with stressful tasks that seem to never end, repeatedly putting the welfare of others before ourselves. Over time, this relentless activity can have a negative effect on our mental wellbeing and, unfortunately, this often results in frequent feelings of sadness which can become more and more damaging to our moods. An effective way to combat these feelings is to invest in some well-earned ‘me-time’ and self-care strategies - something we are passionate about at Lily Ella.

As we love to help and support our customers in whatever way we can, we’ve put together this guide just for you, to help keep you positive through all the challenges of life. Whether it’s combatting feelings of loneliness, boredom, or if you’re after a motivating pick-me-up, we’re always here for you.

Daily Self-care routines

All the best self care routines follow a two pronged approach, the first of which is to adapt your current daily lifestyle to promote a healthier happier mindset. This involves making time each and every day for things we know benefit our physical and mental health. To get started, we’ve made a list of our top three self-care activities that you can adapt into your daily routine.

Look after your physical wellbeing

Looking after our bodies is directly reflected in our minds, so to stay mentally well, we must also stay physically well. If you are able to, try to be active for at least 30 minutes to an hour, every single day. Whether this is a nice stroll outside, taking in the glorious sunshine of spring, some gentle stretching inside or even trying an online fitness class, incorporating movement into your day is vital to release endorphins and is sure to boost your mood.

Stay connected

Now more than ever, staying connected to those around us is incredibly important to our mental wellbeing. With many of us still living in isolation, and with social interactions kept to minimum, we have turned to technology to help get us through this time. While it may not always be the easiest thing to navigate, staying in touch with loved ones through technology is a great way to keep feelings of loneliness at bay and keep up to date with what family and friends are up to.

If you’re unable to get onto the internet, or struggle with video calling, then be sure to phone your loved ones regularly to stay connected. If you have internet access but are unsure of how to video call, then you could ask a family member to lend a helping hand by giving you instructions and talking you through the process.

Stay mindful

With news being available wherever we turn these days, constantly reading and hearing negative news can have a real impact on the way that we feel. However, it is of course important to keep up with the latest updates on what is happening in the world around you but we recommend taking part in some positive mindful practice - the process of consciously bringing positive thoughts into your mind. An example would be to think of what you do have, rather than what you do not, think of the happy memories from the past, look forward to future memories and perhaps try to practice gratitude daily. Here are some useful mantras to get you started, but feel free to think of your own too!

“Exhale stress, inhale peace”
- Christy Matta, M.A, Mindfulness Trainer & Author
“I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.”
- Dr. Carmen Harra, Author, Psychologist & Relationship Expert

Top-up self-care activities

While incorporating mindfulness activities into your daily self-care routine is a great way to maintain a high level of relaxation and general wellbeing, we all know that some days are harder than others. On those days, you can rely on the second prong of a well-balanced mindfulness plan - top-up self-care activities.

These stress-relieving, mindful activities encourage us to take a moment, de-stress and reorient ourselves so that we can start feeling our confident, happy selves more quickly. These activities are very person-specific, so while we’ve collected some suggestions that help us at Lily Ella ground ourselves, feel free to expand and come up with some additional ideas too!

Enjoy nature

If you’re able to, getting outside is a great way to lift your spirits. It’s proven that spending time in nature has a ‘grounding’ effect that reminds us of the Earth around us and our being. Even opening windows and introducing plants and flowers to your living space can have a positive impact. Studies have shown that spending time in, or around greenery and nature, can lower cortisol levels in our bodies therefore reducing stress and improving our mood.

Stay occupied with relaxing hobbies

While making time for hobbies is already part of your daily routine, having a specific project or activity to occupy yourself with on difficult days is always a good idea. Inactivity can often be our worst enemy, so by keeping ourselves busy through hobbies such as engaging in crafts or DIY activities, baking in the kitchen, beginning a jigsaw puzzle or painting a picture, we can help to keep our minds busy. And remember, simply enjoying the journey and process of creating something yourself or learning something new is often greater than the final outcome. Here are some ideas for some crafts we love at Lily Ella:

  • Crochet a scarf
  • Paint a canvas, perhaps to give to a loved one
  • Press some flowers to create a unique piece of art
  • Create your own paper flowers using leftover tissue paper
  • Upcycle a piece of furniture in your home with some paint or decoration

Create a moment of peace

When life gets too hectic to handle, it’s great to take a moment of calm for yourself, a figurative step back so you can protect your mental health from the stresses life can sometimes throw at us. This is something we all like to do slightly differently - involving everything from taking a short walk to sitting down for a cup of tea being popular options for the team at Lily Ella. Another favourite of ours is to create a moment of peace by running a relaxing bubble bath to soak in, you’ll find us here most Sunday evenings! With luxurious bubbles, a good book and our very own Water Lily Stoneware Heart Candles, these moments are the perfect self-care top-ups to help us relax at the end of the week especially when a fresh new pair of comfortable pyjamas and cosy bed socks awaits.

Getting into the habit of exercising self-care strategies both on a daily basis, and when you need a little extra me-time, is the best way to look after your general mental health and boosting your happiness levels. If you’re feeling down, lonely or stressed then please know there are people here for you that can help. Here are just some of the great organisations out there:

  • Your Mind Matters at Age UK - 0800 678 1602
  • Mind UK - 0300 123 3393
  • The Samaritans - 116 123 (this works from any phone)
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