First it was #mindfulness, then it was #hygge, now the buzzword of the moment seems to be #selfcare. In no way am I criticising this – I actually think these “trends” that should be common sense are beneficial – it’s kind of sad that enjoying pleasant things and taking proper care of ourselves is fashionable rather than something everyone just does. But if we need hashtags, magazine headlines and blog posts to remind us to take a step back, switch off and do something we enjoy and makes us feel good, then so be it – as long as we actually do it.
Self Care is different for everyone, but there are some basic things that everyone should be doing to take care of their bodies and minds, for overall health and wellbeing. However, I suspect many people (myself included) neglect the most basic things:
- Eating regular, healthy meals.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Doing, and enjoying, exercise.
I, personally, don’t do any of these things, but I’m working on it. I’m also working on being more organised (a future blog post) – I think these go hand in hand. If I’m organised, I can make sure I’ve prepared a healthy lunch and that I can go to bed early.
Other things I think are important for people to feel good and “together,” (personally I feel 100% better when I don’t feel like I’m just barely holding everything together) are these little things:
- Doing a load of laundry: it’s not particularly enjoyable, but what’s better than having a wardrobe full of clean clothes?
- Making lists: even if nothing ever gets crossed off, or the list is promptly forgotten about, something about writing things down gets them straight in your head.
- Tidying up: it reminds me of being told as a child to clear up my room, but having a clean space really does feel good.
Now on to the fun stuff: things we can do without any pressure, things that aren’t “chores that will make us feel better in the long run,” things that we can just do to feel good here and now.
- Have a bubble bath, complete with candles and face mask.
- Choose and read a new book, or reread an old favourite.
- Doodle in a notebook or colour in.
- Reach out to friends.
- Go outside, wander aimlessly, spend time in nature.
- Turn off technology: spend a few hours without the Internet.
- Do yoga or stretch.
- Listen to your favourite music.
- Plant flowers, or choose a bunch from a florist.
- Get a massage.
- Mind-map your dreams, goals and accomplishments.
- Make a cup of tea and enjoy drinking it.
- Watch a movie: alone in your house, in the cinema, or with friends.
- Go on a day trip.
- Go out for a coffee and people-watch.
- Make a mood board.
- Spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
- Go swimming.
- Bake, decorate and eat a cake.
- Look at the stars.
And don’t forget to…
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Take days off work when you’re ill.
- Take a break in your work day.
- Say no to things you don’t want to do.
- Go easy on yourself.