We all need to look after ourselves but being parents it can be hard to justify the time for self-care. There are always jobs to be done and time to be spent with our wee ones even I use to struggle to switch off and would feel guilty for having time to look after myself. I felt I didn’t deserve it but after running myself into the ground the last year trying to work and look after Thea I now prioritize my self-care. I know it helps my family and myself it makes me a happier and healthy version of myself, not a sleep-deprived grumpy old git.

But as I have said it’s not easy you feel guilty and I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out what and how i should be looking after my self-care. I remember at first sitting in a bath thinking is this relaxing is this really helping me but I learned through time to make changes to certain activities make them personal to my needs and not just copy everyone else’s self-care ideas. So I will share what I do to look after my mind and especially my anxiety. This list may help you but remember not everything on here will help you we are all unique but there may be some parts you think you may enjoy so take them away and start your own self-care journey.

1)Walking 2021s top new pastime. I love walking but it’s hardly relaxing at the time of writing this , I live in a city so it’s busy it’s noisy and everyone is walking so at 1st this was hardly self-care more like hundreds of people trampling all over my anxiety. So I had to adapt to early morning walks or nighttime walks and when I made these small changes I truly started to appreciate walking and nature. I can walk 1st thing and the only noises will be the sound of the river and the morning wildlife it is bliss it puts a smile on my face and it’s a great start to the day. Nighttime again I have learned a walk around Glasgow University staring at the stars is a truly magical experience and love that I am exercising but my body and mind feel refreshed.

Fresh air great for clearing the head
Living the dream having a bath without your child having a poo at the same time

2) Okay let’s get back on the baths so I had to learn to enjoy baths and not just be like why I am sitting in warm water when I have 200 things to do. I had to learn to let go and relax and not feel bad for it. The turning point for me was my back during lockdown my back went no physio was available to me so I started baths with bath salts to improve this situation I also thought why not use this time to listen to podcasts it will take my mind off my worries and I might learn something. At first, I started listening to my sports podcasts but I found these wound me up instead of getting me to relax, so I started going through my social media looking for podcasts on Men’s Mental Health I think at this point of lockdown I felt quite alone and sad I was missing interaction and I didn’t want to be alone anymore. A good podcast can really lift your spirits and let you know others are suffering too. So what did I listen to well here’s one of my faves.

Lads Dads & A Couple of Beers Podcast this podcast is great, it can have you laughing and crying in the same podcast. It’s honest dads talking about MH with some great guests. I feel I am really part of the show I have a great connection to this podcast so please check it out. I know having an ice-cold beer with my bath it’s improved this self-care activity 10 fold. Please check Lads Dads & A Couple of beers out on Instagram, I-Tunes, and Spotify

LadsDadsand _CoupleofBeers @instagram

3)Lose yourself in Films- I love losing myself watching a movie tbh I love any sort of genre but if I want to relax I like a marvel, or some action, or a classic Comedy with Will Ferrall in it. I use sky Cinema they have a new movie most days and a brilliant catalog of movies to choose I currently pay £11 for the package. I you want the whole cinema experience you can’t go wrong with Cineworld’s unlimited viewing month pass starting from £9.99

Marvel and Chill

4) Wild Swimmimg – Be it in the sea or a loch you can’t beat that feeling of submerging yourself under ice cold fresh water and generally the scenery is stunning too in these locations. It’s great for resetting your mind and you feel like the weight of the world has been taking off your chest. Just make sure to ease into it the first few times go with a friend get the right kit and make sure you have a warm drink for after.

Swim time

5) Go and meet some friends I don’t do this as often but every so often I will go out for a couple of beers and catch up with mates. Go to a new bar or restaurant and just unwind with the Thea or Harriet. It’s important to have a break and mix with other people as if we need an excuse after Covid. Spending time with other people laughing and making memories is so important for your soul.

Cocktail time

Well there’s are start for you I will bring you part 2 and another 5 ways I take care of myself in the near future!

Take care

Tony D