My top 10 self-care tips for quick and effective anxiety relief

mental health blogger UK self care quick tips

Finding time for self-care can be a bit of a mission. I know after I’ve done a day’s work, a sweaty gym session, scribbled down a blog post and done the fastest food shop in history I rarely manage to do anything other than flop onto the sofa with a bowl of leftovers for dinner. I’m often a jittery mess and find it hard to fall asleep at night.

I’m trying to make a conscious effort though, to stop and take a few minutes out of my day to slow down and check in with myself. If like me you get easily stressed and overwhelmed, then you might find these quick self-care tips easy to fit into your day.

Drink some water

Aaaah, the solution to all life’s problems. Got a wound? Chuck some water on it. Feeling faint? Splash on that water! Annoying boss? Dunk ‘em! In all seriousness though, I find my mood is greatly affected when I’m dehydrated. I get tired, anxious and cranky and it’s so easily avoided by simply drinking enough water!

Have a shower

I have a love/hate relationship with showering. When I’m depressed or anxious it’s the last thing I want to do. It feels pointless, a waste of energy and frankly just too much to handle. But when I do muster up the strength to jump in for even a minute or two, I have to admit that I always feel better afterwards.

mental health blogger UK self care

Listen to your favourite song

Music can have such a profound affect on our mood that you should really try incorporating it into your self-care routine. Start by creating a playlist full of uplifting songs and add to it whenever you find a new tune that makes you feel good. My current favourite are Thunder by Jessie J, Moments by Tove Lo and Dancing On My Own by Robyn.

Write stuff down

Sometimes we don’t realise how much is going on in our subconscious everyday. Whether it’s remembering to call someone, make an appointment or look for a new job; these thoughts can play on our minds without us even noticing. Try doing a ‘brain dump’ regularly. This basically means writing down everything that’s on your mind. It’s NOT a to-do list (although it could be used to create one afterwards). Instead just a way to get your thoughts on paper, freeing up your mind to become a little more relaxed.

mental health blogger self care

De-clutter your space

I love to set a timer for 10 minutes and go around my flat with a bin bag. I throw out all the rubbish, empty the bins and fill a basket of dirty washing. Before I know it I’ve got a wash on, dishes done and I’m dusting and sweeping the whole flat. When my space is cluttered it often plays on my mind and I procrastinate because I just hate doing housework. The 10 minute trick is just enough time to get the basics done and make me feel a little more organised.

Change your bed sheets

For me, good personal hygiene goes hand-in-hand with effective self-care. I love the feeling of getting into bed when the sheets are clean, and it’s even better after a long bath. I try to change my bedding once a week but you can do it more frequently especially if you have pets who like to snuggle.

Read an inspirational blog post

When I feel lost and worried, I like to read about how other people are coping and what they’re doing to learn more about themselves and their mental health journey. I love this post by Grace called Accepting Who I Really Am and this one by Emily on The Pressure of Happiness. Somehow knowing that I’m not the only person with anxiety makes me feel better.

Phone a friend

Living away from home has made me appreciate how important it is to have the right people around you and on call when you need them. I try and surround myself with positive, creative, can-do people who inspire me to do better. It only takes a few minutes to call a friend and catch up, and talking to someone who really gets you can remind you of what you want and what you believe in, things that we often forget when we get caught up in daily life.

mental health blogger UK self care

Get some fresh air

We all know that getting moving outside is good for our mental health, but so many of us just don’t make time for it. I honestly think that just 20 minutes outside everyday can give you a noticeable boost in energy, especially if you work sitting down in an office for most of the day. I also find it improves my creativity and helps me think through problems without distractions.

What quick self-care tips can you recommend?

Easy healthy food hacks for when you can’t be bothered cooking

healthy food hacks lazy easy no cooking

Since relocating my entire life to Birmingham my healthy eating game has been below average. I’ve indulged in several celebratory meals, family takeaways, and midnight stress eating sessions – involving a jar of peanut butter- and to be honest it’s been fantastic. For the past few weeks though, I’ve been trying to get more micronutrients in because I’m feeling sluggish, my skin is horrendous and I know I normally feel more upbeat and motivated. Like most people, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day and when it comes to cooking I can’t really be f****d at the moment. I have managed to step it up though and eat more fruit and vegetables with a few super basic hacks.

favourite healthy snacks what I eat in a day

Get stocked up 

My first secret to staying on track is to always be fully stocked with ‘grab and go’ style food, or at least that require minimum preparation. I always have carrots, peppers and cherry tomatoes in the fridge as they can be chopped up and eaten raw – great for when you want to mindlessly munch on something in front of the TV. That’s a mini-hack right there too; if you can eat it raw then do it, and collect 100 lazy points from me. For breakfast, porridge sachets are a great cupboard staple. I always opt for the plain oats and add fruit and honey to sweeten. For dinner put some pre-cooked rice sachets, pre-chopped veg, fresh spinach, cooked prawns and chicken in your trolley as well as a jar of Lazy Garlic or Lazy Chilli for flavour. My fruit bowl is always full of bananas, satsumas, apples and grapes for an easy sweat treat. Oh and I even created a free shopping list for you to use which you can see here.

favourite easy healthy snacks lazy no cooking

Get snacking

I’m all about snacking in between meals, it keeps me happy, satisfied and means my main meals are normally smaller (and less time consuming) to prepare. When I start work at 7.30am I normally have lunch around 11.15am (I work in a deli so it’s impossible to take a break at a regular lunch time) but then I don’t eat dinner until my husband gets home at 6pm. Naturally, a snack needs to be had in between these meals otherwise I get cranky AF. It’s always tempting to reach for cereal bars and chocolate especially after a full day at work, but I try to wait until I get home and make a plate of chopped veggies, salad, fruit and some humous. I love the cute little mini pots of humous as they stay fresh longer and can be taken to work without making a mess. I also love that Pip & Nut have invented these handy little sachets of their nut butters which I like to have with fresh apple. It means I don’t need to use any will power to stop eating the entire jar and again, they can be popped in my bag for work or travel. Other ready to eat snacks I rely on are sugar-snap peas, boiled eggs and greek yoghurt. Coconut yoghurt is great too if you can source it, and of course Nakd bars are a regular choice for a quick nibble on the go.

easy food for no cooking healthy

Cook once a week

My ultimate life hack for those who hate to cook is to do it all at once. I know it sounds horrible, right? But honestly, if you just set aside 2 hours on a Sunday you can batch cook a few chicken breasts and a one-pot meal and I promise you’ll only have to use the microwave for the rest of the week. I normally cook about 8 chicken breasts and make a large pot of chilli, and chop up some carrots and peppers ready for that ‘grab & go’ meal as required. You can also prep ahead overnight oats or boil some eggs for breakfast, both will keep for about 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container. This should get you set up for most of the week then at the weekend you can get back to eating leftover takeaways for breakfast and cereal for dinner. Or is that just me?

Don’t forget to check out my free shopping list