Self-care doesn’t need to be an extravagant activity, consume lots of time or cost the world. It’s always the most basic and simple things that allow us to wind-down, clear our minds and reset. On the contrary, it doesn’t have to be something tangible, but rather a state of mind which can be entered and used at any time. We all define self-care in many different ways and it’s just about finding what works for you. For me, it’s all about quiet time, alone time and pamper time! And I find by allocating time for self-care makes me much more aware of my thoughts and intentions during that time, keeping me present and in the moment. Here’s my top 10 self-care list. I hope you find it useful, please let me know in the comments what your chosen self-care task is and which off my list you’d like to try.
1. Bath bomb and facemask
This is the ultimate evening wind down routine. Run a bath, light the candles, add a bath bomb, put on a facemask and you’re good to go! Pampering yourself doesn’t have to be a trip to the spa. When you’re in the bath there is physically no way of working (unless you’re insane enough to take your laptop with you!), so it’s the PERFECT excuse to completely relax, let go of the day and enjoy that time. Nothing puts you in a sleepy, relaxed mood like a hot bath. Not only does it help to relax tense muscles, but it’s actually scientifically proven to induce sleep. Your body needs to raise its core temperature in order to fall asleep, so a lovely warm bath just speeds up that process.
It sounds daft, but I always feel like I’m acing life whenever I’ve got freshly done nails haha! Surely that’s not just me, right? It’s the most unnecessary thing to put on a self-care list and it really doesn’t matter if it’s not done, I know that. But small things like this can go along away when it comes to feeling good, so it’s definitely worth a mention.
When it comes to reading, for me it takes a great story to really grab my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I often read non-fiction and I get a lot from them. However, when it comes to self-care, I’m looking for a book to offer me complete escapism. It’s impossible to give a book your FULL attention if you’re preoccupied worrying about other things. It allows you to lose yourself inside the story and immerse yourself into the lives of the characters, in turn taking you away from your busy mind and thoughts.
4. Walking or even hacking out
This is something I often forget about, but with having a horse to ride, I’m luckily reminded of how important fresh air is for your mental health. There’s just something about being outside, especially in the countryside with total peace and quiet, it doesn’t match up to any other self-care task. I’ve spent years working outside, but it’s not until you really begin to appreciate the breeze, the fresh air in your lungs, the smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of birds, that you realise the instant relaxation it brings you. During times when you might feel trapped inside your head, getting outside for a walk can be so freeing and help you step outside of yourself. Hacking Zeeno (when he behaves himself) takes this to another level, I’m sure those of you with pets can understand, but it’s like walking with your best friend. No judgement, no words, but they’re there with you, so you can’t ever feel alone.
Here’s a new addition to my list! I decided to take up playing the piano again after over 10 years. It’s going to take quite a bit of practice to jog my memory, but I’m determined to not let that frustrate me. I don’t want to put pressure on myself to learn complex pieces, I just want to use it as a tool to relax in the evenings. Things that require concentration are ideal for taking your mind off other things and in these early stages, it is definitely consuming my concentration! I’m first of all aiming to learn a few tunes that are familiar to me, because I find it very rewarding when a piece starts to come together, especially when it’s something you love and can recognise.
6. Meditation and Yoga
Once I’ve scheduled this time for myself, I’m strict to make sure I stay in the moment and focus on what I’m doing. With an activity like this, focus and relaxation are absolutely crucial and you simply can’t perform the activity without them. If you’re unable to accept giving yourself this time, then you’ll be in the wrong mind frame to perform the task and effectively waste your time. Putting your mind into meditation, yoga or even just breathe work is SOOOOO powerful. Once you decide to try it you must honor that and put your all into the process, it will take practice and it’s not something you can do half-heartedly, but when it works it really works!
7. Relaxing distraction
I get totally immersed into films and programs, so much so, if I’m sat with someone then I find it near impossible to hold a conversation while watching at the same time – Jasmine tells me this all the time! I genuinely get so invested into films and I simply can’t do two things at once hah! Which I suppose is a blessing in disguise, because as I say so often on my blog.. MULTITASKING DOESN’T EXIST – it’s a lie and I feel very strongly about that… If you hadn’t noticed. Therefore, putting on a film, some music or a podcast and allowing myself to focus solely on that, does amazing things for my brain. A film works very differently to music though, my mind wonders all over while I listen to music, I go into my own little world. Whereas with a film I’m just so engrossed in the story, I can’t worry about what I’m doing tomorrow or next week. I love it! I tend to listen to podcasts when I’m driving or at the gym, just because it’s so convenient, but if I could find enough time to sit down and listen to one then I’m sure it would have the same effect that a film or music does. Let me know in the comments if you’re a cereal podcast listener like me!
8. Relaxed house work
I don’t care what anyone says, house work is relaxing and peaceful, especially since ‘Hinching’ has become so popular. Cleaning our houses is somehow becoming a glamourous luxury and I’ve found scouring the shelves for Minkeys and Zoflora to be a regular occurrence! Personally, whenever I’m doing something that isn’t working, I do feel a little guilty that there’s more I could be doing. However, when it comes to house work, I know that it needs to get done and so I can’t feel guilty and I can actually enjoy it, does that sound weird? And because they are such mundane tasks that require little to no thought, putting on some YouTube while I fold cloths, make the bed, wash the dishes or clean the bathroom has become a very enjoyable way to relax. You even end up with a tidy home at the end so it’s a win win really! After all, tidy home tidy mind, right?
9. Goal setting/brain dumping
Getting my thoughts out onto paper and writing down all that I want to accomplish allows my mind to rest and refresh. By erasing all those small pieces of information, my mind no longer needs to remember them and I’m able to achieve complete silence inside my head. This is an activity which I carry out routinely and I find it so effective for staying calm and focused in my day-to-day life.
10. Time for NOTHING
Giving yourself time to be completely silent, alone and still is crucial for your mental health! I can’t stress that enough. I think I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite thing to do, yet something I don’t do near enough as I’d like. Unfortunately, many of us see self-care and time to do NOTHING as a luxury, so much so we don’t make it a priority. Here’s a little reminder to tell you just how important it is, that it should be one of your top priorities and luxury or not, you deserve it!
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