From what I have read online, in magazines and through word of mouth, 2018 is set to be the year of self-care. It feels almost like a millennial trend, the current craze. I know you might be thnking ‘yoga retreats and massages – who has time for that!?’. But it’s not always that full-on. I’m very aware that people are talking about self-care much more, and I’m very happy about that.
There seems to be a stigma attached to being busy. We hear “Oh, I only got 4 hours sleep last night. I was in the office at 6am and left at 9pm. Now off to spin class and then out for drinks, then tomorrow I’m going to London for meetings, and I haven’t had time to eat for three days……etc.”. Its like we should brag of not having time to ourselves. I’m sure lots of people have the stamina to live that way, but I definitely do not.
I have no shame in admitting that I don’t have the physical strength or mental power to keep going at 100% all of the time. Does anyone? Being busy all the time works for a while, but it begins to take its toll. You get run down, less productive, poorly and exhausted. This is where self care comes in!
I’m completely aware that the term ‘self-care’ doesn’t always mean bubble baths and new slippers. Sometimes, taking care of yourself might be managing to get up and wash your hair. It might be putting fresh clothes on, or remembering to take time to eat. It all depends on your current head space.
I’ve put together 12 ways you could incorperate self-care into your week. It is so good to be kind to yourself and your body. Sometimes watching a funny, favourite film and having a smile can make a bad day, much better!
1. Reach out to someone.
Whether it is to share a problem, or just to chat, reaching out to someone will lift your spirits! Talk to your best friend, your grandmother, or even your dog. A proper chat always makes me feel like a weight has been lifted. Sometimes a deep talk about life is needed, or maybe just a rant about how a seagull swooped down and grabbed your snack you’d just bought out of your hand (this actually happened to me last month haha!).
2. Fresh bed sheets and fresh pyjamas.
New, crisp bed sheets will be a delight to climb into. Sometimes the little things make the most diference. If I’ve had a bad week, new sheets, a fluffy blanket and some soft pyjamas can make things feel a lot better. Take a few deep breaths as you sink into your lovely, comfy bed. It always makes me feel more peaceful.
3. Time to yourself
We all have different ways to take time out by ourselves. It might be going for a walk with your headphones in, or a long bath. Personally, I like setting time aside to watch a comforting film or spending half an hour writing down anything that is on my mind. I think being in my own company for a while is a good way to have some time out to relax.
I always notice that I’m not fully looking after myself when I stop exercising. I feel like its quite a common thing to forget about. The Blogilates Youtube channel is great for quick, at-home workouts, and the Yoga With Adrienne channel is perfect for yoga beginners. I also love the feeling during and after a run – just 10 minutes with my headphones in is often just what I need. Even if I literally have to force myself out of the door, I always feel better afterwards.
5. Treat yourself
If you feel like you need a bit of TLC, don’t wait for someone else to treat you. You can treat yourself! I recently faced a fear of mine, and felt super proud afterwards. I bought myself a new bottle of skincare from The Ordinary as a little reward. It might be a little bar of chocolate, a new film to watch, or that junmper you’ve had your eye on for ages.
6. Get outside
Fresh air is absolutly amazing. Even if you can’t go for a long walk or a run, sit outside for a while or maybe go for a drive with the windows down. Sitting inside doesn’t do much for a negative mindset, or at least for me it doesn’t! I get major cabin fever if I stay indoors too long. Breathing outside on a cold day
7. Write it all down
There is something so theraputic about writing things down. I use my bullet journal most of the time, but sometimes I’ll find any piece of paper to scribble down my thoughts. Sometimes its a list of all of the tasks I have to complete this week, or just a few of my thoughts. ‘I’m feeling X about Y…’ style notes will help you figure out how you want approach any tricky tasks.
8. Do absolutely nothing!
There’s no shame in having a completely lazy day every now and again. Eat pasta while watching films, stay in bed with a new box set or stay in your pyjamas all day. Sometimes self-care is getting yourself up and starting the day, but sometimes, the most important thing is just to rest and recover from life. Titanic is a perfect lazy day film (nice and long) and I just watched The Sinner on Netflix which was total escapism from real life (well worth a watch).
9. Find an animal to cuddle
I’m not quite sure why, but there is something incredibly happy about cuddling an animal. My lovely bunny Arthur, is so calming and somehow kind – sitting with him for a few minutes always makes me feel warm and happy! If you don’t have a pet to cuddle, definitely borrow one. Ask your neighbour if they’d like you to walk their dog, or even head to your local pet rescue centre. My mum and I went to ours to cuddle the cats once!
10. Go to bed really early
Sleep is so important. Yet lots of people aren’t very good at it. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to bed, planning an early night and then found myself still on my phone a couple of hours later. At least once a week, I try to go to bed really, really early. The Feather and Down pillow spray is amazing if you can’t sleep! Get a good book and settle down early. I always wake up feeling better.
What are your thoughts on self-care? Gimmick or important? Share your ways to relax and look after yourself in the comments – I’d love to join in the conversation on this!