I’m a firm believer in self care, but I’m not always the best at practising it myself. When I get caught up in uni work and other responsibilities, I revert to my bubble of work and forget to do the things that make me feel at peace. This month I’m making a conscious effort to really take care of myself. Here are the (not so ground-breaking) ways that I try to practise self care on a daily (or at least weekly!) basis.
Fill your body with nutritious stuff – but remember that cake is also good for you. I always feel more energised when I eat lots of fruit, vegetables and other nutritious food (and luckily I love the flavours!). However, cake and chocolate can also be wonderfully beneficial — food is great and there to enjoy, and a piece of cake will definitely brighten up your day.
Get enough sleep. I don’t function well without a good night’s sleep, and although I know some people can get through a day fine with little or no sleep, in the long run sleep is so so important. I’ve started listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks when going to sleep, which helps me immensely. Instead of spending an hour or two trying to stop my brain from thinking (not an easy task…), I embrace the Harry Potter world, fall asleep calm and content, and wake up refreshed and energised the next morning.
Get outside. Having grown up near nature, living in a city is not always the easiest. Seeking out those green spaces in the city helps me to recharge my batteries, and I have found that I’m much happier on the days that I’ve made this effort.
Move about – in whatever manner that makes you happy. For me this means going on walks (preferably somewhere green!) and dancing. For someone else it might mean running, yoga, going to the gym or practising some sort of sport. I always find that there is a correlation between my mood and how much I’ve moved in a day, so it’s definitely worth making the effort.
Read a book – or watch tv-series or films. One of my favourite ways to switch off is to read a good book and although it’s sometimes tricky to find the time, it’s so worthwhile to do so. If you’re not an avid reader, finding time for your favourite tv-series and films is also a fantastic idea.
Make homemade meals. I find cooking really therapeutic and relaxing. When things get busy I don’t dedicate much time to it and usually make the easiest, quickest meals I can think of, or buy something pre-made. Taking the time to try new recipes and spend a little bit more time in the kitchen really makes a difference to my day.
Talk to friends and family. I can become quite unsociable when I’m in the middle of essay-writing, but taking time to catch up on skype with friends and family, or have coffee with local friends, is a lovely way to switch off from your responsibilities. Even as an introvert, spending time with people can be energising.
Pamper yourself. Have a hot shower or a bath. Put on a face mask. Have a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine. Have a delicious meal or some cake. Fix your nails. Whatever works for you — treat yourself well.
Be kind to yourself. Instead of telling yourself that you’re not good enough and criticising yourself, try to praise yourself for what you do well and for who you are. It’s easy being your own worst critic, but it’s a vicious circle!
How do you practise self care?