I’ve mentioned numerous times about the fact that my “word of the year” is balance, and one of my pledges to myself was that I’d make a conscious effort to dedicate more time to self-care. Self-care is a pretty personal thing and everyone has their own idea of what it looks like to them, but my typical self-care routine is very focused on taking time away from my laptop, my phone or whatever else is inducing any stress or anxieties in my life at that current time and instead taking a moment to look after myself in both a physical and emotional sense.
A lot of my self-care ideology revolves around my bed, and my default method of easing my mind and looking after my body is getting an early night. It’s not always possible, but settling down in bed is my favourite time of day and I’m a little bit of a granny when it comes to bed time. Sometimes I just need to drop whatever it is that I’m doing and head to bed no matter how early it may be, often to get lost in a book or my current TV show of choice, or sometimes just to go straight to sleep. I place great importance on the value of a good night’s sleep and it always helps to ease my worries.
Have a drink
This may seem like such a small factor, but I often find that dehydration has such a big impact on how I’m feeling. I do sometimes forget to drink enough water and that leaves me feeling cranky, tired and usually with a headache, so grabbing a drink of water can do a world of wonder for my body and mind. It’s not just water, though, in true British fashion I find a good sugary cup of tea extremely comforting and taking a moment to sit and savour a cuppa is a welcome moment of peace in my day.
Find a distraction
In my case, it’s usually The Sims, or a good book, an episode of my favourite television show or an afternoon of baking if I’m feeling energetic. Whatever it is, having something to entirely dedicate myself to as a bit of a distraction from whatever happens to be bugging me is a game changer. When I’m an hour deep in to a Sims binge I’m not really thinking about that annoying email or the little bit of coursework I can’t figure out. It’s a step back, which often leaves me with a clearer mind and feeling more productive when I’m ready to return to the “real world”. I’m out of my gym-going habits at the moment, but exercise was another great way to help air out my mind, it can be an amazing way to blow off some steam in my case and is something I’m very keen to get back in to now I have some more free time.
Simple things like washing my hair or taking a shower are easy ways to take my mind off something, and make me feel so much better. I think that taking the time to look after yourself by focusing on a skincare routine, painting your nails or having a bath help me refocus and clear my head as it’s difficult to be distracted by other worries when I’m looking after myself like this. Personally, I really value skincare in terms of self-care, as it’s a little quiet moment where I can totally indulge myself and look after myself at the same time. You can’t reply to emails whilst cleansing your face, after all.
I find that this is one of the more “controversial” methods of self-care, which is understandable - because why should you have to spend money to feel a bit better within yourself? However I’m also a firm believer in retail therapy and am very prone to treating myself, be that to a slice of cake or a mouth-watering takeaway lunch on a day when I really should be eating the less enticing salad I’d brought with me, buying a new book, the latest expansion for The Sims or some pretty new makeup. Even though I am also incredibly prone to buyer’s remorse (I used to feel so guilty if I spent more than £15 on two weeks of food shopping!?!) a little treat every now and then just gives me a little boost of happiness that is often needed.
Finally, the most important part of my self-care routine is doing things because I want to do them. Or, alternatively, saying no to things because I don’t want to do them. Being selfish is like the ultimate act of self-care in my books, and although it’s not something I would massively recommend undertaking in all aspects of your life, sometimes being a bit selfish isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are so many nights that I’d much rather have a bubble bath and get an early night instead of going out, so sometimes that is exactly what I do, and it’s the best.