I was recently privy to a conversation between two colleagues, talking about a new film that one of them had recently seen. As she was talking about how great this film was, she was interrupted by her colleague declaring that she hasn’t watched films for years and actually feels guilty spending time on the sofa because there are always things to be done around the house. I don’t enjoy this culture that we seem to have, where people compete for who is busiest. Who is more rushed off their feet, who never has a second to spare and if they do, why do they? Why do they have time to watch movies, read books or have friends over? Who decided that taking care of yourself is considered a luxury?
Clearly there are times in life where your circumstances mean that your amount of free time is incredibly limited. Newborns, young children, holding down multiple jobs, I completely understand how sometimes life takes over and worrying about fitting in a bath isn’t top priority. However, I do still think the far majority of people could make time for some self-care practice, if they realised how important it was. There will always be emails to answer, toys to tidy away, letters to shred and dinners to make from scratch. Dust will always fall and whilst a tidy house may indeed make a tidy mind, we all deserve a chance to pause, breathe and reflect.
Often when you see the term ‘Self-Care’ you think of face masks and massages but actually the practices are endless and, since we’re not going to be able to get to a spa any time soon, it’s important to find other ways to bring you that same level of peace. Often, the kindest things you can do for yourself have nothing to do with pamper sessions (although I wouldn’t say no!) and everything to do with removing negativity from your life where you can. I’ve listed some of my favourites below.
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Top 6 Self-Care Methods
Take 30 minutes a day to do something you love: Read that book, listen to a podcast in the bath, be creative…it doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it’s something that makes you happy.
Social Media detox – Take a day away from your Social Media apps. The constant stream of news and other peoples picture-perfect lives can be a lot and you often don’t realise the damage it’s doing until you take a break.
Review who you follow – Make sure the people you follow on social media are accounts and/or individuals that either bring you joy or valuable information. Anyone else can, and should, be removed (or muted at the very least).
Move your body – I’m a huge advocate of exercising for your mind rather than your body but don’t be put off, this doesn’t always have to be an intense workout. I love basic Yoga videos on YouTube and stretching with some relaxing music is really calming, even if only for 10 minutes.
Get some fresh air every day – This one is so important, especially for those that are working from home every day at the moment. Sometimes, getting yourself outdoors if you don’t “need to” is harder than you think, but it’s a wonderful way of taking a moment to breathe.
Journal – Keeping emotions or stresses bottled up inside can only last so long. Talking to other people about these things is so important but if you don’t feel ready or able, writing in a journal is an excellent way to let some of those stresses or worries free. I did a post on this very subject that you can find here.
And the most important, and compulsory, form of self-care is to be kind to yourself. Life isn’t easy even at the best of times and it’s made ten times harder if you let that negative voice in the back of your head make its way to the front. We’re all just doing our best, so make sure you are acknowledging your achievements, no matter how small. I’ve said it before, but sometimes just making it through the day is a win, so take a minute to say you smashed it!
Benefits of Self-Care
- Increased positive thinking
- A reduction in anxiety
- Finding outlets to relieve stress throughout the day can result in an improved sleep pattern
- Taking time for yourself will give renewed focus, increasing productivity levels
- Improved relationships
- Learning how to recognise your real emotions/feelings.
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Sometimes it feels easier said than done, but you need to prioritise yourself. No matter the job, situation or environment you find yourself in, you can’t pour from an empty cup so eventually, something is going to have to give. Just remember, in order to be the best version of yourself in work, life or relationships you need to feel like the best version of yourself.
Say it with me: Self-Care isn’t selfish…it’s necessary!
What do you do for self-care? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,