Making time for self-care
We hear it a lot, but it really is important to make time to take care of yourself regularly. Recently a friend of mine told me that I really am a ‘Self Care Queen’, and I had never really thought about myself that way, but I figured I would share my perspective on it all and maybe it’ll help you find ways to do things for yourself.
I am a super organised person (and usually, a very busy person) so I like to plan out my time to make the most of my time. Now this already might have started to sound too stressful, it’s too much work to manage all your time, right? But the extent to which you do this is totally within your control. It could be making sure to do one thing just for you every week, or you could be mental like me and structuring your lockdown days with 7 daily tasks (I’m not even joking).
Not all self-care is chilling in a bubble bath (although that is great) sometimes it’s about making sure you do what’s best for you. I suppose you could split those actions into Chilled or Active things. It is very important to make time to just chill out and do nice, relaxing things, but I think it’s also very important to make yourself do things that will make you feel better overall. I.e. making and eating home-cooked meals might seem like a lot of effort in the moment but future you benefits by feeling better and saving money. Think about the favours Current You could give to Future You and you’ll be able to smugly revel in your kindness to yourself later on.
I also like to split types of self-care into three categories: Body, Mind and Soul, in order to cover all the bases. But what do you mean? Don’t worry, I’m coming to it… So my challenge for you is to find one thing each to do every week where you care for your body, mind and soul (whether that’s Chilled or Active is totally up to you and what you can be bothered with!).
Here’s some examples to help you think of what might be best for you:
Body What can you do to take care of your body? The physical vessel in which you live. What are you doing with it? What are you giving it?
· Cooking a proper healthy meal instead of getting a take-out
· Dancing around to your favourite songs // Go to a dance class (when that’s allowed again)
· Get on the home workout game (I love the app FitOn) // Go to the gym (when that’s allowed again)
· Stretch your body! It could be 5 minutes of winging it when you get up or get into a regular yoga practise (we sit down and hunch over screens SO much in our lives so you could give that body a stretch every now and then)
· Skincare routine, or even just a wee face mask moment
· Spend a period of time without make up/a bra/anything that restricts you (a bit easier in these lockdown days)
· Take a big ass bubble bath
· Lie down and listen to a great album
How can you look after your head? How can you clear the stress piling up in there? How do you keep the muscle active and keep learning?
· Learn a language (that poor Duolingo owl misses you!)
· Learn sign language (how can we expect d/Deaf people to communicate with us if we aren’t willing to meet them halfway? Also the BSL website has a pay what you can deal going on at the moment)
· Learn a new skill (something related to work, something related to the thing(s) you’re passionate about, something you’ve always wanted to know more about, why wait? Seek out ways to learn more!)
· Speak to your friends about your feelings, set up a time that is your mutual therapy session // find your way to actual therapy (I think TalkSpace is a decent option for remote therapy)
· Read a great book (if you’re not an avid reader try audiobooks)
· Listen to a podcast (there’s a huge variety of topics out there from education to comedy and I always think it’s a great thing to put on when you’re doing something with your hands i.e. driving, cooking, cleaning etc)
· Try meditation (I know a lot of people who swear by Headspace)
Soul Step beyond the day-to-day and think about the wider themes of your life. What and who do you care about? Are you taking the time to focus on these things? How can you make your life overall and the world/community you live in a better place to be?
· Actively spend some time trying to learn more about other people’s perspectives so you can empathise with those who have different backgrounds to your own
· Spend time researching equality and the barriers to it that exist (there are a ton of anti-racism resources kicking about just now in every form imaginable, there’s no excuse for ignorance)
· Spend quality time with your family/friends with no distractions (lock away your phones!)
· Take some time to appreciate your surroundings (personally, I like to go for a walk and pay attention to the little beauties of life)
Obviously, you do not have to do all of these things, but they are examples you can steal or maybe it gave you an idea of something you might like to do. As I said I challenge you to integrate at least one from each category into your weekly routine in order to take care of yourself!
What’s your favourite way to Self-Care? Tell us in the comments!
Words by Katie Daniel