The mainstream perception of self-care tends to involve splurging – a one-off luxury. When I talk about self-care, I refer to the everyday little things that help manage my well-being in the long run, without breaking the bank. Check out my staples below!
1. Run a bath
Let me tell you, having a bath is a novelty. As someone who was brought up on the comfort of a bubble bath, I know I lucked out with my shower. Like Willy Wonka takes to chocolate, I tend to scout hotel rooms with baths. It’s my not-so-guilty pleasure. It’s simple, feels luxurious and I get an hour (or until my fingers prune) to read a book, shave my legs or enjoy a facemask. If I’m feeling spontaneous, I’ll add a glass of red and a few candles to the mix. Bliss.
2. Have a daily dance party
Without fail, I love to whack a tune on and dance like nobody’s watching. Sometimes I’ll do it first thing, other days in the evening. It helps me relieve any tension I’ve built up over the day and quite honestly, I just enjoy it. There’s just something so freeing about having a shimmy. Volume at full blast, it’s the perfect three-minute distraction from the world.
3. Turn your phone off
YES, self-care can really be that easy. Our phones and devices are pumping out non-stop information (normally not the good kind either). So give yourself a breather. Turn your phone off for the evening and enjoy your environment and those around you. If you’re hesitant about unplugging, check out the five things I learned from being offline for seven days!
4. Write a gratitude list
No doubt you’ve heard this one before, but I bet you’re still to give it a whirl. Pen and paper have been my sidekicks since I first learnt to write. And they’ve never left my side. You don’t need to be a writer to be able to journal. Start with bullet points with intentions or one-word emotions and work upwards.
5. Move more
As a Londoner, I find this one so vital to my mental health. I love going for a walk and getting air into my lungs. If you don’t want to go to the gym – I don’t blame you. But you could find an alternative, for example – I love attending KOBOX, but even better – I LOVE to bowl. Anything to get those endorphins going.
6. Sleep is self-care
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves, and better still it’s completely free.
7. Do something that made you happy as a kid
When was the last time you felt deliriously happy and carefree? I’ll bet it was when you were a kid. Sure, there’s a lot we can’t replicate (like making mud cakes), but even re-adopting a hobby you used to love could make all the difference. Some people swear by adult colouring books. For me it’s painting. There are no rules when you start from a blank canvas and it’s invigorating as hell.
8. Say no
If you find yourself regularly putting other people’s needs before your own -saying ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’, you might benefit from working on creating boundaries. I’ve gradually been doing this over a 10-month period, and it gets easier. I often find that you don’t need to dish out an explanation either. You’re just allowed to say no. I’ve also found that when I do say yes, it comes from a genuine place.
9. Believe you deserve it then go get it
Start your morning with positive affirmations, ‘I’m worthy’, ‘I’m enough’ and ‘I’m deserving’. Let’s re-frame the negative self-talk and chase whatever it is that makes your heart full.
When stress starts to add up, take a solo time-out. As women, we don’t talk about masturbation enough – but yet it’s so essential to our self-care routine. Again, not expensive and by focusing on one thing, you ultimately relax.