As we come to the end of Mental Health awareness week, I want to discuss something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently – self-care.
What Is Self-Care?
If you look online, you will find that there is not actually one single definition for self-care. This means that it is subjective, and YOU can make the rules!
But, just to put it into basic terms, self-care is the act of looking after yourself and your wellbeing. It’s doing something for yourself. Something that makes you feel good and that you enjoy doing. It’s a time that you spend doing exactly what YOU want to do, without any guilt. It’s not a time to be spent thinking about work, housework or jobs that need doing (unless housework or DIY is self-care for you, in which case, carry on!)
Most importantly, and I want you to repeat after me – SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.
There are many different areas of self-care. However, the main ones are; Mental, Physical and emotional. Or Mind, body and soul, if you will.
What If I Don’t Have Time For Self-Care?
There is no such thing as not having enough time for self-care. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – to HAVE time, you have to MAKE time.
Did you know that every weekend on a Saturday, I get three whole hours to myself to do whatever I want? And on a Sunday, Darren gets three whole hours to do whatever he wants? For three solid hours, we get uninterrupted time to ourselves. I cannot tell you how much of a difference it has made to our mental health. However, we do have to make the time to do it; we don’t just have the time. We make sure that any jobs that need doing have been completed, and we try to arrange plans for around our ‘quiet time’. Obviously, it’s not always possible, but mostly we can work something out.
So, Where Do I Start?
Knowing where to start with self-care can be the tricky part. So, I want you to stop and have a think for a moment. What do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy? Do you have any hobbies? Or something that you used to do but don’t have time for anymore? What is it that makes you feel relaxed and content?
It doesn’t matter what it is or how embarrassing or weird you think it is. If it works for you, what does it matter!
However, if you are still unsure what to do, keep reading as I’m sharing my top ideas for practising self-care.
- Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
- Do a facemask
- Cover yourself in your favourite moisturiser
- Have a long bath or shower
- Get your hair cut
- Put on your favourite outfit
- Do your makeup
- Wear your favourite jewellery
- Have a few sprays of your most expensive perfume
- Listen to your favourite song on repeat
- Read a book
- Dance like nobody is watching
- Write in your diary and do a braindump
- Cook or order your favourite meal
- Read trashy magazines
- Watch your favourite movie or TV show
- Take a nap
- Do some colouring
- Sit in the sunshine
- Do some breathing exercises
- Practice some yoga
- Do stretches
- Call you mum/dad/sister/brother/best friend etc
- Do some gardening
- Have a digital detox for an hour or two
- Write a letter or poem
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Go for a walk
- Look at photos from good times
- Make a list of things that you are thankful for
- Make a list of things that you like about yourself
- Compliment yourself
- Do some housework
- Clean out your kitchen cupboards
- Light some candles or wax melts
- Sing your heart out
- Sit in silence with a cup of tea or coffee
- Have a nice big cuddle with someone (within your bubble, obviously!)
- Listen to an audiobook
- Unfollow toxic people on social media
- Clear out your inbox
- Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return
- Listen to a podcast
- Go on a picnic
- Do some exercise
- Doodle your heart out
- Declutter a draw or cupboard
- Read some inspirational quotes
- Go for a bike ride
As you can see, self-care can mean absolutely anything. As long as it makes you feel good and it’s good for your Mental, Physical and Emotional health, then carry on! Don’t let anybody tell you that your self-care routine is silly. Do what works for you.