I’m a marketeers dream when it comes to self care. I’ve got all the candles, bath salts, essential oils, journals… You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Day to day I tend to think about self care quite alot, it’s at the forefront of my mind now. Last year I realised as lovely as all the little things are, self care means so much more than lighting my favourite Jo Malone candle and having a quiet night of reading…
I started seeing self care by the true definition. I wanted to work out what made me feel the best I possibly could day to day, and figure out how I could sustain that.
Essentially, I had to figure out what made me tick. I wanted to be armed with a few things I could pull out the bag that were guaranteed to make me feel good. I wish I had thought about self care more and how individualistic it is sooner, yes there’s staple things like sleep, eating well and exercise than generally make people feel good, but even still it’s so much more than that.
I know gratitude journals and the like seem to be a bit of a fad at the moment (as I said, a marketeers dream over here), but taking just a couple of minutes to think about what you’re grateful for feels bloody good. For me it was a daily reminder of how lucky I am, and a way to focus on all the positives in my life. Doing this also helped me think about moments of the day that didn’t make me feel good. I wrote those down and noticed the same things cropping up, here’s a few…
Being aware of little things like this has given me the chance to change them. I can imagine for some people, the things I’ve listed won’t resonate. For me being disciplined (because changing habits is way harder than I thought) changing all of those things starts to make a massive difference.
Hear me out with this one. I asked myself the question, what does my dream day look like… It involved family and friends, amazing food (how could it not?), live music, a beautiful sunny day and being outdoors. Of-course, I’m guessing for 99.9% of us living out this dream day everyday isn’t going to be possible, but I guarantee you can pull something from your dream day and live it every single day. An example of this for me, I love being around my friends and family, I live on my own at the moment so to get around this I FaceTime/ call them everyday. I make time for this because I’ve noticed it makes me happy, I feel less stress and refreshed so I actively make sure to do it.
Quick disclaimer because I feel like this is so important, and I would never want to make anyone feel bad and like they should be doing these things (trust me, I’ve been there). This is what work for me. I know I’m in a privileged position, and live on my own so have quite a lot of flexibility with my routine.
I’m going to make another estimate, I reckon more than 70% of us wish we spent less time on social media. The response to my post when I took a week long break from Instagram, made me realise how many of us are in this camp of wanting to spend less time scrolling. I’ve done two things to stop this, firstly I don’t go on Instagram at all for the first hour of the day and I don’t go on last thing at night. I’m still slowly moving away from continually checking my phone, but even doing this has made a small difference. For the morning, getting a separate alarm clock and keeping my phone in another room worked well to wean me off scrolling first thing.
Basically making sure I eat more than vegan mac & cheese for my tea and actually get something that has even a small amount of nutritional value…
The irony of this next one is real, but around February last year I dislocated my shoulder… While at the gym! Before that the gym had kind of been my safe haven, it got me out of the house in the evenings instead of just being on my own, a form of escapism in a way. Obviously I couldn’t go for a few months after injury, and the combination of longer evenings and lack of endorphins left me in a pretty negative head space. Looking back now it’s clear I needed to move more, I was missing that feeling of being physically fit. From this getting in a workout has become a priority for me whenever I can, it’s so much more about what it does for me mentally rather than physically (although I definitely wouldn’t say no to having abs, maybe one day). I’ve been using the Tone & Sculpt app (gifted, but not been asked to mention it) and it’s changed the game. I know exactly what exercises to do on what day, and it’s slotted into my routine perfectly!
Basically I’m checking in with myself throughout the day instead of just flying through it. Taking a moment to just breathe and slow down.
I thrive around other people, it’s what really recharges my batteries so to speak. I’ve noticed this since living alone so I’m actively making an effort to meet new people in Lincoln, but also just make sure I don’t have a weekend completely on my own. An example is this weekend, I’ve filled up my Saturday by getting my hair done in the morning and I’m doing something work related in the afternoon. I’m forward planning and thinking ahead rather than just letting the weekend arrive and feeling lost with nothing to do. I’m writing things down on a calendar so I know I’ve got things to look forward to if I’m feeling a little deflated mid week. They sound like small things but this has made the biggest difference for me.
I’m sure this time next year my self care routine may look a little different, but right now this is what’s working for me and helping me feel the best I can, not just on a one off, but everyday.
What does self care mean to you?
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