Self care. Two little words but such an important part of our lives. Self care is defined as "care of the self without any medical intervention" according to Oxford Dictionary, 2016 however, I don't feel that this definition does this term much justice. While it provides the reader with an understanding, it does not explore and encompass the whole meaning. So what exactly is 'self care'? For me, it is spending time and taking care of oneself in a non-judgmental and selfless way, understanding and attending to the needs of the mind and the body. Think of this as a gift to yourself. In a world that is fast pace, we can sometimes neglect ourselves and can result in feeling 'burnt out.' I have put this mini guide together with some ideas and tips on self care for the mind and body and I hope you find it useful (you could add this to your favourites or bookmark this page so you can always find it when you need). There are lots of books, apps and websites full of different techniques which is fantastic but I am hoping to keep this post simple and inspiring. So keep reading if you'd like some useful tips and ideas.
Check in with yourself
Ask yourself; how're you feeling? Take five minutes to sit comfortably and focus on yourself and any thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing. Almost like an appointment, it's great to make a little time each week for yourself. Also, this is a great time to try some deep breathing techniques, body mapping or scan or to simply sit and meditate for 5 minutes. There are lots of apps that can help you to do this, simply search for 'mindfulness' in the app store.
Self Care for the Body
Give yourself a mini facial.
Paint your nails.
Go on a walk.
Indulge in moisturizing your whole body.
Take a nap.
Drink a cup of tea or a yummy hot chocolate.
Enjoy a hot bubble bath.
Prepare a scrumptious meal.
Self Care for the Mind
Talk to a friend or family.
Enjoy a colouring book.
Spend some time outside.
Read a book or magazine.
Listen to music or an audiobook.
Watch a movie.
Play with your pet (and give them a cuddle!)
There are plenty more things you can do but in all honesty, do something you enjoy and find relaxing. After all, this is self care for you.
Sounds obvious, but it can be seen in most places: school, college, work and even online. It's OK to step away from drama and negativity.
Keep the space around you de-cluttered
Tidy home, tidy mind. This really does work and there is plenty of research that shows this. Take 5 minutes to do a mini de-clutter and this way it's much easier to keep on top of.
Establish a bedtime routine
Sounds rather patronising, but having a bedtime routine really does work and it is well known that not getting enough sleep can affect our mood. I like to have a nice cup of hot chocolate or Horlicks around an hour before going to bed (or if I am in a really luxurious mood, I'll whip up my special hot chocolate recipe!) Then I take all my makeup off and sometimes I enjoy incorporating a mini facial. In the comfort of my pyjamas, I'll read a book or a magazine and I try to stay away from any technology (phone or iPad) as anything backlit can have the opposite effect and make you more awake.
I hope you find this mini self care guide useful and helpful and if you have any questions or would like to share your own ideas, please leave them in the comments section below.