Self-care sounds a bit fluffy, doesn’t it? It’s a funny term, and I’m not sure I like the name, but I do like the concept, even if it has taken me until now to realise it.
What is it?
Self-care is the name given to any actions you personally perform to take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. It can be a struggle for a lot of people.
As humans, we often think of self-care as an afterthought. We’re so busy holding down a job, keeping on top of housework and caring for our loved ones that we tend to forget that we need a little bit of TLC every now and then too. There is a lot of focus these days on not being complacent, and I think part of the reason we don’t indulge in a little self-care every now and then is because we don’t want to seem lazy or comfortable where we are.
Social media often pushes us to go out and chase our dreams, to never stop working on yourself, to keep going until you have exactly what you want. This is a great mindset to have, and it’s one I’ve been working on a lot recently, but surely without taking time for ourself, we’re never going to reach our full potential? We look at taking a nice long bath, or getting our nails done, or settling down with a good book as a treat if we tick off everything on our to do list. In reality we should be looking at these things as something that needs to be done; we need to start looking at a little self-indulgence as a necessity.
I’m not used to stopping, I’m normally all systems go from the moment I wake up, and I don’t stop until I practically fall into bed in the evening. Keeping myself busy keeps my anxiety under control, and it helps pull me out of bad mental health days because I have commitments I can’t avoid. I had an operation on Thursday and I’ve spent every day since in a strop. I’ve had no choice but to stop. Today is the first day I’ve been able to sit up and stay awake long enough to write intermittently, and I haven’t yet got through an entire episode of 90210 for nodding off as soon as the intro rolls. I am exhausted, and only today am I accepting that sometimes it’s okay to stop.
The next time you’re plan free, may I give you some suggestions for self-care?
- Spend all day in your pyjamas. I would suggest doing this on a Saturday, especially if you work Monday to Friday. This way, you won’t feel bad when you’ve wasted the last day of your weekend.
- Block out two hours in the morning to watch a couple of episodes of that Netflix documentary you’ve been meaning to watch. You’ve had some time to yourself and you can carry on with your chores without feeling like it’s all you do.
- I’ve learnt to take my time doing my evening skincare. I always put on some music or catch up on Youtube while I double cleanse, tone and moisturise. Sometimes I do it in total silence, as it’s a nice, quiet moment to myself. It’s cool to be able to really pay attention to what I’m doing and what my face looks like – I’ve even become slightly more accepting of myself because of it.
- Buy some luxury bath goodies and have a really expensive and luxurious bath. Take your time getting the water to the right temperature, buy some bath salts, pop in a bath bomb and fill the tub with bubbles. Put on a face and hair mask, and relax. Breathe in all of the smells and allow yourself to be still for a while.
- Take an entire day out to do nothing. It’s okay to do that. Everybody needs time to collect their thoughts and recoup – especially if you’re anything like me and become physically exhausted after being around people for too long.
It’s really important to take time for yourself and learn to not feel guilty for doing so. It’s paramount to our mental and physical wellbeing, and I have accepted that these next two weeks will be time for me and only me. Is there anything in particular you do to take care of yourself? Let me know in the comments!