If you read my post about 5 Things I Learned From Sarah Knight, you might just have cottoned on that I’m a rotten, time wasting procrastinator a lot of the time. I get sucked into thinking I have no time for anything a lot. Something I’m trying to enforce recently is that I do, in fact, have time for things, if I really care about doing them. And if I don’t, I usually just don’t bother at all and find something more exciting to do with my time. One of those things I do try to care a lot about is self care. I don’t practice it nearly enough unless my mental health seems to really be suffering, and by that point, I’m usually so burnt out it takes me a week to recover.
Lately, I’m trying to carve out some time to do things that make me feel good, that I enjoy doing, or that are in some way boosting my confidence or well-being in other ways. Here’s a list of 15 ways to practice self care:
- Yoga. Yoga is something I’m only recently getting into. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but it’s nice sometimes to push myself and I find myself bringing things I learn off the mat and into other situations too. Yoga With Adriene will forever be my favourite ways to practice self care.
- Journalling. I got this Best Self Journal from Paperchase around New Year and never took the time to fill it out until recently because I got stuck on one page. I eventually stopped caring for the order I was filling it in and have since found it much easier.
- Meditation. Something I was told to practice when I first started seeing doctors and counselling for my panic attacks as a teenager. I didn’t take it very seriously and found it super hard to concentrate and gain anything from it until I started using it with yoga recently.
- Aromatherapy. I’m no expert, but I picked up an arm load of Tisserand aromatherapy roller balls recently. I now almost always have one about my person.
- Exercise. Probably one of the most cliche self care exercises ever, but the science behind exercise doesn’t lie pals.
- Cleaning. I’m literally the messiest person alive but I’m trying to be better. Sometimes just a quick refresh of the room helps, other times it’s a “bin all my belongings” kind of day.
- Eating well. Again I’m the worst for forgetting how eating well impacts me and accidentally inhaling a whole pack of Oreos, but it does work. My skin gets better, my confidence grows, I’m usually more hydrated and infinitely less dragon lady.
- Walking. Again this is super cliche but walking to and from work, or walking with Daisy helps me either set myself up for the day or decompress for it. It’s a good time to have a good mental chat with myself (or the dog, she’s a fantastic listener).
- Writing. When I’m seriously into blogging it helps a lot even if my posts aren’t really related to what’s bothering me, but more recently I’ve started jotting little things down and carrying a notebook with me so I can deposit a thought and be done with it. I also like to record poems or quotes that I like so I can revisit, or take notes from podcasts or articles so I can try properly digest them later.
- Doodling. Honestly, there is not a creative bone in my body and this one can be a bit hit and miss because I seriously can’t draw, but I’ve started doing some teeny tiny doodles recently and I find it quite soothing when I’m not disappointed by my lack of artistic talent.
- Learning to say no. This one mostly relates to work. I had a review there recently where I was told my biggest weakness in the workplace is that I care so much about supporting other people that I forget how to look after myself, and it’s something that’s true in most areas of my life. I’m slowly, slowly learning to say no to things that don’t serve me, to people who don’t necessarily return the support, and to things I just really don’t want to do. It’s definitely a process, though one worth going after.
- Reading. I’ve loved reading since I was little but since going to university my reading became strictly academic and since then it’s something I stopped making time for. Recently I’m making myself find the time to read books I enjoy or will learn something from.
- Take an extra long shower. Exfoliating, dealing with whatever hair removal I’ve been ignoring, doing a face/hair mask and moisturising until I’m slick as a dolphin almost always makes me feel 100% better.
- Drink more water. Keeping hydrated is one of the most basic ways to practice self care and yet one I always seem to forget. Almost ever time I feel truly shitty, I’ve also not had a thing to drink all day. I’ve started carrying a little reusable water bottle from Primark with me to make sure I remember to drink more, and when I do forget I’ll usually try to polish off two or three more of them before bed that night.
- Try to see friends. I’m one of the least social people I know and usually prefer to work through my shit on my own, but sometimes going for lunch or to window shop with a friend is exactly what I need.
What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? Share them in the comments!