Self-Care Tips

Self-care is about the things we can do to look after our own mental health. The Anna Freud Centre has drawn up a diverse menu of strategies which might help you to manage your wellbeing.  Although it was developed with young people in mind, they are good strategies that could work for anyone.

If you are having trouble sleeping, the ‘Complete Guide to Insomnia‘ from the people at How to Sleep has a lot of useful information and advice.

It’s up to you to decide what helps.  If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, stop and try something else.

Get Self HelpSelf-help CBT

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been proven to help mental health problems.  The website offers CBT self-help information, resources,  therapy worksheets and free downloads of worksheets & handouts.  It is run by Carol Vivyan, a mental health nurse who has developed the site and collected the resources independently over the years since 2000.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that looks at

  • How you think about yourself, the world and other people
  • How what you do affects your feelings and thoughts

By making links between what we do, think and feel, CBT can help us make changes in the way we think (“Cognitive”) and the way we act (“Behaviour)”.  Making changes in what we think  will affect what you do and feel, and changing what we do, affects the way we think and feel.  Making these changes then can help us feel better.  CBT mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing now, rather than exploring the impact of your experiences in the past


Health in MindGuided Self-Help

Guided self-help (GSH) is a supportive approach from Health in Mind for people who are experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression, stress and other related difficulties. GSH is based on a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach. Clients work through self-help materials relevant to their specific problem on their own, with the guidance of a worker.

To find out more about guided self-help, visit their website, download an information sheet, or get in touch with Health in Mind on 0131 225 8508.   Guided self-help workers can meet you at a variety of locations across Edinburgh and Midlothian.



There are many ways of approaching and getting started with mindfulness for mental health.  The NHS Introduction is a good place to start.  Courses endorsed by the Mindfulness Association, or the British Association for Mindfulness-based Approaches are a good place to start. 

We have heard good things about SoundMind and Living Mindfulness.


Beating the BluesBeating the Blues

Beating the Blues is an online CBT course, costing £50, for people feeling stressed, depressed, anxious or just down in the dumps. The course is made up of 8 online sessions which last approximately an hour and help you to understand the link between how you think and how this influences your feelings and behaviours. The program teaches strategies to help you cope better in the short term and workable skills for life so that you can face the future with confidence.


wellbeingWellbeing Self-help Resources

The South Glasgow Wellbeing Services team  have developed a self-help website to help with a range of issues.  The site will tell you all about common mental wellbeing problems. and give you some ideas on how best to tackle them. The resources include booklets, videos and audio files.  Topics covered include:

Click here or on the image above to go to the Wellbeing self-help website.

Smartphone Apps

There a many apps available for your phone that aim to help with various wellbeing issues.  Click on the titles to be taken to their websites.

Headspace Meditation made simple. Some free content, then £72 a year.
CalmClaims to be the #1 app for meditation and sleep. Also mindful movement. $60 a year after 7 day free trial.
Insight TimerClaims to be the #1 Free app for meditation and sleep! ” The largest free library of guided meditations with more than 20,000 titles”. Also a useful start-finish meditation timer. Premium content available for $60 a year after 7 day free trial.
ShineDaily self-care made easy. Kick off the day with an empowering message and meditation. $54 a year after free trial.
Woebot Ready to listen, 24/7. No couches, no meds, no childhood stuff. Just strategies to improve your mood. Free.
SanvelloDaily tools for stress, anxiety, and depression. Free.
SleepioThis is the companion app for the Sleepio program, designed to teach you how to overcome poor sleep without pills or potions. 
Superbetter Increases resilience: the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult obstacles.

Self-Help Brochures

This is a series of short booklets written in simple language to help you understand and take some first steps towards overcoming your difficulties yourself.

Click on the blue title to download and open the booklet you are interested in. (You will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to do this.)

Better Sleep
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Eating Disorders
Low Mood
Obsessions and Compulsions
Problem Solving
Self Esteem
Self Harm
Self Help and Talking Therapies
Shyness and Social Anxiety