Self care or self indulgence?

This year, well very recently this year, I have been trying all manner of things to help with my mental health, IBS and all the wonderful symptoms that come with it (as well as my suspected endometriosis – I’ve only been asking for help for 10+ years but what does that matter?!).

I’m just gonna talk through some of them, whether they were helpful or not and whether I feel they were a huge waste of money!

A weighted blanket – people have been talking about them for a while now and I’ve always been pretty interested but put off by the price. I’m a classic over thinker, my anxiety gets out of control and affects my everyday life, the ability to eat or sleep properly or concentrate on anything at all. So, I kept going back online, checking them out, reading reviews and pondering if it was worth it. Lately, with the pandemic, the political poopstorm and the stress of work my anxiety has gotten really bad again and I thought what the hey! I asked my friends and family on social media if anyone had experience of them and what ones they would recommend and I ended up ordering one off of Amazon for just under £40.

Firstly, it turned up the next day even though it should’ve been a week so I was pretty happy with that. It sounds stupid but I’m gonna say it anyway, it was surprisingly heavy! I got it upstairs the day after it arrived as my dad had dragged me out on a very hilly 10K walk with the dog even though I’d suggested a casual stroll, and I was knackered. Unsurprisingly I was feeling pretty anxious after work so I got my blanket out, spread it out on the bed and got under it.

I completely understand why people say it helps them fall asleep as it is very comforting having the weight on you and it does feel a bit like a cuddle, but it’s also very warm. I didn’t fidget anywhere near as much as I would normally and I just led there and focused on my breathing, listening to some music, I even did a quick meditation video. As I’d done this straight from work I didn’t want to fall asleep but I think I easily could have if I’d stayed there or not been focusing on other things that needed to be done once I was done ‘relaxing’. I haven’t tried it when I go to bed yet as I run hot anyway and I don’t think it’s practical when you have a normal quilt and someone to share the bed with but I am going to use it again the next time I’m feeling particularly stressed as I definitely felt better after using it. Verdict – happy I bought it but probably wouldn’t have spent much more than that on one, but each to their own.

CBD – I tried CBD oil but just can’t get on with it taste wise as it’s so strong so I got a vape pen and some CBD e-liquid. I got it in a strawberry flavour and a mint flavour in about a medium strength. I’ve probably spent just under £50 on all the stuff but I did get two vape pens and a spare bit cause it was on offer – just in case. It definitely helps with the anxiety which also helps prevent a lot of the cramping and muscle pain. Lots of people say it works wonders and lots of people say it does nothing and it’s a placebo. Personally it does help me so I will continue to use it though I try not to use it too often. I’m also of the opinion that even if it’s a placebo affect what’s wrong with that if it makes you feel better? Verdict – helps me, would recommend.

Brownies – Yes I am trying to be healthier overall but f*** it, I love chocolate, and I love brownies. Everything in moderation right? At the start of lockdown I was really overwhelmed, we had to self isolate as we had some symptoms and so obviously couldn’t leave the house. One of my bad habits is online shopping, and splurging on things I haven’t really thought about or don’t really need to cheer myself up. Occasionally I completely forget how many things I’ve ordered and we’ll have a week of things being delivered and my partner sighing and asking what I’ve ordered this time (I’d like to point out lots of times I’ve ordered stuff for him, the dog, or a friend or family member as that also cheers me up).

Anyway, I was browsing random stuff at about 2AM one morning and I came across a website that delivered a monthly box of brownies. Amazing I know. This led me to look up a few different sites who offered deliveries so I could compare prices and recipes and then I landed on one I just had to try. You can order slabs (slabs!) or boxes with like four or eight brownies and you can choose your flavours. Because I am greedy but also not willing to pay almost the same about for eight different pieces when I could get sixteen pieces, I went for the slabs. They were on offer if you got two so I chose peanut butter brownies and triple chocolate brownies.

When they arrived, I was ecstatic. They were huge (obviously) slabs of brownies. As soon as I opened the box the smell just hit you and it was divine! We tried a peanut butter one immediately and we both loved it, we boxed some up and then froze the rest so we wouldn’t gorge. Because they were so nice and I had a good experience with the company I decided I’d send some gift boxes to some family members to say yes COVID sucks, but I hope you’re ok, I love you and here’s some brownies. I think I’ve sent four boxes out now and we did recently make another order for ourselves. The brownies are so good and still amazing after being frozen, the owners send cute little thank you notes and it felt good to support people during lockdown, family and businesses alike. Verdict – a somewhat pricey treat but literally the best brownies I’ve ever had and would totally recommend. In fact, the website is gourmetbrownie.co.uk check them out 🙂

An acupressure mat – crazy looking spiky yoga mat is what I thought. My sister got one for her chronic pain so I decided to give it a try for mine. Was a weird feeling first laying on it and I couldn’t believe that people fell asleep on them but five minutes later I was SO relaxed and my back was no longer in agony. I’d recommend, I got my whole family to try it and they all want one now. You can search online and find dozens of versions ranging in price but I got one for less than £15 from Amazon and can’t imagine why people pay upwards of £50 for one.

Jewellery – I’ve always loved alternative and funky fashion/ jewellery. I recently purchased two sets of dinosaur earrings, they are freaking awesome!! I also have some Pride hoops, funky scaffold bars and some eco friendly leaf earrings. Maybe it sounds dumb to other people but they just make me happy, especially if I’m feeling down.

I bought a crystal heart pendant on a silver chain. It’s a Reiki energy charged selenite crystal. It’s supposed to provide clarity of mind and clear negative energies. It can be used to create a peaceful atmosphere around the home and emits a very pure vibration. Lots of people think crystals are BS but the necklace is super pretty and I love wearing it so if it helps then it’s a bonus but even if it’s just a necklace, I still love it.

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