Self care tips are much too frequently interpreted as something involving a new beauty and pampering regime. Look, I’m not saying that having a bubble bath, doing a face mask or getting your hair done won’t make you feel much better. And, sure, it does mean that you are taking time out of your day to do something for yourself. But, self-care practices go far beyond actions to do with aesthetics.
To me, there are many self care tips worth knowing which is why I am writing this. To me, it’s vital knowledge, because practicing self care in daily life is important. It gives you time out of your busy schedule to do things that revitalise your mental and physical well-being. A practice that increases your energy levels, aids in reducing stress – thus positively impacting productivity and boosting your own happiness.
I was knocked with extreme exhaustion and distress in my late teenage years. I automatically assumed it was something to do with my body. Really, I thought that all I needed to do to be back on top form was to take some extra vitamins and exercise even more than I was each week. However, after doing these things and having no major changes occur as a result, I knew this wasn’t the case. It soon became clear that these issues had stemmed from a problem with my holistic well-being instead.
I struggled to come to terms with the fact my mind was the culprit. So, I began to take control and care for myself in ways I hadn’t done before. Surprisingly to me, my mental health improved drastically. The self care tips that worked best for me are included in this list. I felt amazing. Altering my life in this way was truly revolutionary.
Prioritise self care tips
It’s almost my 21st birthday and years later, I’m still figuring it all out. I work hard on my physical and mental states every day in an attempt to stay on track. Sometimes, things can take years to deal with and overcome. Everything takes time; it’s unlikely you’ll fix yourself in one night. Everyone takes different times and routes to rebuild themselves. Be patient – you’ll get there.
I read a quote by an American writer, feminist and civil rights activist called Audre Lorde which really hit home. It reads, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”. I love this quote. It tells us that taking care of ourselves is not an indulgence – it’s essential. It is something that must be done. You shouldn’t feel bad or selfish for doing so. Or, even worse, guilty. It’s not cringe worthy or uncool; it’s the best thing you can do for yourself – short and long-term. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Focusing on self-care may just be the thing that saves you — and that is radical.
I’ve made self care a priority in my daily life and have implemented certain exercises to ensure I stay on top of everything. So, here they are – self-care ideas that go beyond running yourself a relaxing bath. I hope they help you.
Tip #1: Be in good company
There are people that, whenever I am in their company, I feel relaxed, safe and genuinely content. They enrich my life completely. Two people that I can always count on to make me feel like this are my mum and my best friend. Without a doubt. They make me cry with laughter, inspire me to better myself, motivate and empower me to achieve my dreams. Luckily, I live with my mum and my best friend is only a short drive or phone call away so they can help me to fill up on self care all times of the day. It goes without saying, I’m there for them 24/7 too.
One of my self care tips would be to work out the people in your life who make you feel fulfilled in this way. Then, to find a way to fit them into your schedule as much as possible. Even if all you can sometimes manage is a FaceTime call, it’s better than not speaking to them.
Tip #2: Toxic relationships
On the other side of great relationships are toxic relationships. This could be with friends, family or your partner. Whichever it is, occasionally, you’ll have to end it if only to improve your well-being. Perhaps they have said hurtful things to you or they brush off your brilliant successes like they were nothing important. Maybe, your behaviour changes when you are around them. Or, you feel as though you are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid any arguments or awkward criticism. None of these are signs of a healthy relationship. These people should be uplifting you, not making you feel awful whenever you’re in their company.
If any of what I’ve written is making you think about your own relationships, try to tackle this toxicity in your life today. Or, just be wary for the future. Remember, toxic people won’t help you to grow, they’ll knock you down and be a detriment to your mental health in the long-term. They won’t be boosting your self care up, that’s for sure. Surround yourself with positivity and people who cherish you (that don’t demand any approval) and you’ll be fine.
Tip #3: Sleep
Particularly in today’s generation, when everything seems to be go-go-go, sleep can be greatly neglected. Even though sleep has a massive impact on our mental and physical well-being it’s not taken seriously enough. I’m aware that if I don’t get enough sleep each night – I like to get around eight hours – I find it challenging to function during the day. My energy plummets and consequently, so do my productivity levels. I end up just feeling groggy and, honestly, a bit of a mess. Getting enough sleep is a simple human need. Hence, why confronting this issue and listening to what your body wants is vital. It’ll make you feel much better, especially if you are consistent with your sleeping pattern.
So, if you need a nap, have one. Or, go to sleep earlier instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media (we’ve all done it). Have that blissful Sunday morning lay-in. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll wake up ready for a productive and happy day.
Tip #4: Read a book
This might be entirely boring to some people, but to me, there is nothing better than reading a brilliant book. Something about it is so relaxing and peaceful. It is a great way to unwind after a long day. I typically read just before I sleep – rather than lying in bed on my phone for 30 minutes. Not only will it make you feel calmer and spark your imagination, it’ll improve your linguistic skills which is a great bonus.
A 2009 study out-taken at the University of Sussex has stated that reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent. How great is that! Dr. Lewis, a neuro-psycholist, who set up the test stated, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination”. I must say, I agree with his every word. The self-care tips are piling up already!
I don’t think I read as much as I should, or even want to, but when I do, I love it and wonder why I don’t read more. Perhaps it’ll be one of my new year resolutions – I think I could stick to that. Why don’t you make it yours?
A book series I’m currently reading is called “The Oxygen Thief” and it is written by an anonymous writer. I recommend you purchase a copy for late-night reading – you won’t regret it. It’s fantastic and so unlike any books out there right now. No doubt about it, it captured me from the first sentence.
Tip #5: Exercise
Perhaps one of the biggest clichés ever, but, after I exercise, I feel so good. And, typically extremely worn out and ready for some post-workout food fuel. I can’t be the only person who thinks, “Do I have to exercise today?” and after I complete the workout, I wonder why I ever thought it wouldn’t be a good idea?
Find a type of exercise you enjoy – whether that be walking, going to gym classes or even yoga – and put your all in. Go as frequently as you can. It’s a simple way to wholly practice one of my top self care tips internally and externally. My “thing” is dance. Every Saturday morning, I do a two-hour dance class and I’ve done this for over a decade now. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love learning new routines and rehearsing for our annual show. Knowing that I’m doing my body a favour by moving about makes me even gladder about my choice to attend!
In-fact, just 15 minutes of exercise a day can help with anxiety and depression. This is because it greatly helps to lower stress hormones, reduce tiredness and increase energy due to emitting endorphins. Therefore, easing some of the side effects of these conditions. I’m not saying it’ll cure them by any means. But, it’ll help to improve your mood and boost your confidence which will do you no harm as it should only improve your mental state.
Tip #6: Keep track of your successes
Let’s be real, there’s nothing better than a good old to-do list. Ticking off each task as you go and swiftly moving on to the next without giving the completed chore a second thought. At the end of the day, all those important things you had to do are done and you feel on top of the world.
But, do you ever stop for a second to notice your accomplishments – big or small – over the year? Truly sit down, measure your progression and realise what amazing things you have achieved. Both professionally and personally, of course, as they are both equally important. For instance, doing well at work and getting that promotion everyone wanted. Or, switching to a job more suited to you because the old one was pulling you down. Perhaps you helped a friend in need or volunteered at a charity shop over the summer.
Get rid of those negative thoughts
Maybe, like me, you have struggled to deal with the fact that you aren’t where you want to be just yet. Maybe you feel guilty or shameful because of it. Perhaps it’s because you aren’t where many people your age are in their life and you can’t shake off why. Or, your five-year-plan didn’t pan out the way you thought and you’re worried about the future. Ridding your mind of these thoughts and disregarding the way in which society conditions our notions of success is one of the most crucial steps towards self care.
When I think negatively, I like to bring my thoughts back to where I am now and what I have attained so far. It makes me feel proud of myself. I then comprehend that it’s just a matter of time until I get to where I want to be. Why should I be ashamed or guilty when I can focus on what’s positive in my life right now instead? Everything takes time – sometimes more than you had planned – but that’s life for you.
Whether you finally managed to do that hairstyle on yourself you liked so much, received your first pay-check or just got out of bed on a day when you felt horrendous, you deserve a pat on the back. Counting all your accomplishments helps to put everything into perspective and you begin to appreciate yourself that much more. It’s not selfish to do that, it’s healthy.
Keeping track of your achievements is one of the best self care tips to make as part of your everyday self care routine. It’ll surely aid in boosting your mood, confidence levels and change your outlook on life tremendously.
Tip #7: Take time for yourself
Occasionally, it’ll do you good to scrap your to-do list and take some time for yourself. Doing something deliberately not on your list is extremely important and one of the best self care tips in my opinion. It doesn’t make you greedy or unproductive to take some time out, it’s important for self-growth and long-term happiness. Taking care of yourself in every way is vital. Particularly when everything gets a bit too much, it’s even more beneficial.
It’s not realistic (or fun) to sit at an office chair all day. So, do something you enjoy, whatever that may be. Meeting up with friends, going to the cinema, shopping or even, just binge-watching films on Netflix all afternoon, the choice is yours.
Tip #8: Music
Music is one of my favourite things in the world. There’s a song for every mood and every moment at the click of a button – a benefit of living in the 21st century! For me, music is a vital part of my daily self care routine. Putting on a playlist whilst I get ready in the morning makes it all a little less boring and more bearable.
Music makes me feel great and, admittedly, allows me to live out my childhood dream of being a popstar. Don’t judge me, we all wanted to be a singer at some point in our life! And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel liberated after belting out their favourite tunes (mine are Ariana Grande). Unfortunately, I think dancing around my room and singing along to a karaoke track is the closest I’ll get to pop stardom. But, hey, it makes me feel good. Out of all the self care tips, this is certainly one of my favorites. By a mile.
Now you’re set!
So, there you have it, my ultimate list of self care tips. I hope you give some of them a go and, fingers crossed, you benefit from practicing them. Give yourself that daily dose of compassion and inspire greatness every minute of your day. You can handle everything life throws at you – the good, the bad and the ugly. Just make sure you take a second to breathe.
I know this article surrounded self care tips beyond face-mask pampering sessions, but, they are good (and enjoyable) to have occasionally. If you are looking to purchase some new products ready for those pamper sleepovers with friends, check out this list of wonderful vegan skincare. They are sure to make you feel refreshed, squeaky clean, glowy and beautiful from the inside out.
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