There is no doubt that our emotions have faced a unique strain and challenge over the past year.
Self-care is one of the frequently cited ways of managing this pressure but there remains a very traditional narrative around what exactly self-care constitutes as. We love facemasks and they can definitely provide some relaxation or a much-needed boost, but they are far from the only solution.
To help you take a step back and breath during these testing times, why not try one of our self-care suggestions!
Physically take care of yourself
Okay, I know it can seem like people are always harping on about these less exciting aspects of taking care of yourself! But it is with good reason. Getting some fresh air and exercise, eating nutritious food and aiming for approximately eight hours of sleep a night all have huge benefits.
So, before you go any further with your self-care plans, complete a quick mental checklist. Have I eaten anything nutritious today? Have I let the house recently? Did I get sufficient sleep? If you find you have not ticked any of these steps off, they can be a great start to taking care of yourself.
Clean or organise something
This constitutes a double bonus when it comes to self-care because you carry out a self-care activity and the result is also a sign of taking care of yourself! To clarify, this does not imply an enormous spring clean that you inevitably regret starting. Instead try a small area of your house or room. This will also increase your feeling of having accomplished something. If organising things is more your style then we have some great tips to get you started.
Okay, I’ll concede, a standard shower might not seem quite as self-care suited as a posh and luxurious soak with a bath bomb and face mask. However, if you are stuck for time this is a great way to refresh your head and your hair!
Unlike many of our traditional self-care rituals that can require much time or effort this is an easy and effective option.
Cleanse your social media feed
I abhor the cleanses and detoxes that are frequently marketed as tools to improve our ‘aesthetic health’. However, there are certain cleanses that can be beneficial to your mental health and those are digital ones. We have previously explored how to have a digital detox and it’s a suggestion we highly recommend.
Beyond this, a digital cleanse can offer long-term benefits. If you are sick of watching people flout the Covid rules or fed-up of an overtly filtered feed, then this is a great self-care step. Aim to cultivate your social media feed with accounts and figures that instill inspiration or offer humor.
Take a guilt-free break
An entire month of marathon watching Bridgerton and TALTBILB might not be the best idea. But giving yourself permission to take a break and watch a romcom or escapism fiction is a perfect way to calm your mind. We often refer to these less-intellectual pursuits as guilty pleasures. This is a misleading term because there is absolutely nothing shameful about taking a break and watching something familiar or calming.
Refocus your train of thought
Our traditional focus on self-care can be quite narrow and focus on ways of relaxing our mind. This might suit some people but like everything in life it is not for everyone. If you find your brain is racing with what-ifs or having yet another pandemic panic, then try to distract yourself. A simple way to achieve this is by making your mind concentrate on something else instead. A detailed arts and crafts project or some online riddles can provide great ways of derailing your brains train of thought.
Watch something funny
This is a slight contrast to the digital detox suggestion. However, unless you have some serious willpower, instinctively putting your phone down every single time you want to give your brain a break is probably a bit unrealistic. To vary it up why not find some heartwarming clips on YouTube – adorable animals are great for this! Alternatively look up some good news or articles online.
Do you have any other self care suggestions?