Self-care is crucial to our well-being. However, it is more often than not pushed aside for many different reasons: lack of time, lack of money, lack of energy, the list of excuses is endless. However, self-care is not about spending a weekend in a ridiculously expensive spa resort. Self-care is about taking some time for yourself and doing something for you. It doesn’t have to cost you anything or take a lot of time. Something as simple as walking around the block can be considered self-care.
So if you or your friend are in dire need of switching off and taking some time for yourself, keep on reading. If you aren’t convinced that self-care is that important, look up self-care quotes! One of my favourite is: “Self-care is a priority and necessity – not a luxury!” A lot of them are really cheesy, but they are all true. You cannot function properly if you don’t take time for yourself and recharge. A dead battery has never helped anyone! Enough rambling, enjoy this week’s post.
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is by switching off. In this case, it is often related to electronic devices. We are constantly connected, whether it be through messages, emails or social media. Turn your phone off for the night or leave it in another room. Going phone-free can help you switch off your mind more easily and, thus, help you relax.
Self-care is about allowing yourself to take a break. So take the night off! Do nothing that has to do with work or uni or school or chores or any source of stress. The world will not go up in flames if, for a few hours, you aren’t answering your emails or doing homework. So give yourself a break and do not feel bad for taking some time off, you are working hard enough already. If you are going through a stressful time (exams are coming up or you have a big presentation at work) and can’t afford to take a whole night off, take 15 minutes for yourself and hit pause. You will feel much more focused and energised afterwards.
Catch up on sleep
Taking good care of yourself is often linked to listening to your body. One thing that suffers a lot, especially during busy times, is sleep. Think about how many hours you sleep every night. Is it between 7 or 8 hours? Is it 6 hours or less? Different people need different amounts of sleep. However, we tend to get less sleep than we need, especially when we have upcoming projects, exams, hand-ins or have to get up early. My top tip, listen to your body and if your are tired and unfocused, go to bed early.
It also helps to have a nighttime routine. It’s almost like a set of activities that gets your mind ready for sleep. This can include anything like taking a shower, having a cup of soothing tea, reading a book, watching a show, putting away laundry, etc. Anything that makes you relax.
As mentioned previously, watching something can help you unwind after a long day. I suggest you watch something that is going to relax you further. Right before going to bed is probably not the best time to watch a game show or the latest thriller. Go for something that’s rather light-hearted and “easy” to watch. For example “Friends”! I’m currently watching and, oh my god, it’s the best. You can also catch up on your favourite Youtubers or even find calming videos (medidation or yoga for example).
When I’m not feeling at my best, I require a little more attention. I usually need more cuddles and more comforting words. Pampering yourself is one of the best ways to give you that extra love. You can have a long shower (exceptionally!), do a hair mask, shave your legs, use a face sheet mask, put on some scented candles, play your favourite music, cook your favourite meal, watch your favourite guilty-pleasure show or movie… just treat yourself like the queen – or king – that you truly are!
Work on your hobby
There is just one condition for this one: it has to be a relaxing hobby. So if you usually like to jump out of planes or surf the biggest waves (the only two “hardcore” hobbies I could think of, lol), avoid this tip. Otherwise, get your colouring book and pencils out, knit a scarf, paint something, do a puzzle, read a book or just lounge on your couch in your comfiest PJs. As long as it will help reduce your stress levels and calm you down, anything goes.
Speak to loved ones
Whenever you’re feeling down or stressed out about something, talking to a loved one can help. You can talk about what’s on your mind or you can also ask them to take your mind of it. You can call or video chat them and listen to your mum ramble on about something that happened in the supermarket. Or you can meet up for dinner – or invite someone over and order in! – and enjoy their company. Some friends and members of your family are good at calming you down. Seek out these people rather than your overly-stressed friend that would just make you feel worse.
Sometimes though, self-care can mean taking a night off from others. So if you had plans to go to the cinema with your friends but you’d rather stay at home, tell your friends. You can choose not to do something if you don’t have the energy. Your loved ones will understand if you just need a chill night at home so do not feel guilty about cancelling because that would clearly defeat the purpose.
Plan the next day
I know many people get anxious about things happening in the future. Whether you have a big exam, a social event, a date or just many to-dos, write them down! Putting your thoughts down on paper can help you relax and get things off your mind. Say you have a long list of things you have to do tomorrow and you’ve also got a couple of appointments. Take out your planner or download a calendar app on your phone and put everything in there. That way you won’t forget the jobs you have to do and you will not miss your appointments either.
You can also lay out your outfit and pack your bag the night before to make your morning run even smoother. That way you will be sure to have everything you need for the day and you won’t be forced to wear mismatched socks because you didn’t put your laundry away properly!
Journal or read
Reading or journaling is very relaxing. You probably know the feeling of sitting in bed with a book and your eyes grow more tired with every line you read. As mentioned above, you can write down thoughts and feelings you have in your journal to lessen your overthinking. You can read a book that will make you tired and ready to sleep. If you’ve got an exam or a presentation in the morning, read over your notes for a bit. It’s scientifically proven that reading something before bed will help you remember it better. It really does work and is how I got through most of school!
So this is all the tips I have on self-care today. There are so many other things you can of course do and I strongly suggest you follow @theself_carekit on Instagram: you’ll find daily posts about self-care and I’m sure it’ll help you feel a little better on those rainy days – literally and figuratively. If you have any things that work for you, please feel free to share them in the comments down below or comment on my latest Instagram post! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have read this far, thank you so much! I hope you have an amazing week and take good care of yourself. See you next Sunday!