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(Written by Lauren Kenny fromwww.wooloftheking.com/)
Self-care is something I think about regularly and I am always looking for new ways to look after myself. It can be so easy to let yourself get stressed and to get caught up in other things in your life. A lot of the time we are rushing and we can forget to take time to pause and reflect on ourselves and what we need. It’s important to think about what you can do to look after yourself and your mental health. First, you need to decide what works for you to keep a positive mindset. See my post about staying positive in lockdown here.
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Practising self-care: Overview
- Looking after your body
- Finding ways to relax that suit you
- Listening to music
- Taking a break from social media
- Keeping in touch with friends and family
Looking after your body
One of my favourite ways to look after myself is to have a bubble bath. This always makes me feel so much more relaxed. I will usually use something from Lush in my bath, or bubble bath if I don’t have anything from Lush in.
Lately, I have been using the Garnier Ultimate Blends coconut hair mask and the Scrub of Your Life body scrub from Soap and Glory. Doing this, and having pamper nights just makes me feel so much more looked after.
My favourite moisturising product to use on my body after a bath or shower is the banana or pink grapefruit body yoghurt from the body shop. They go on so smoothly and dry quickly without going sticky.
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Finding ways to relax that suit you
Some people have things that relax them that others wouldn’t find relaxing, it’s all about finding what relaxes you and makes you feel more positive. One way I like to relax is putting the TV on and watching a film or series. I have a list of Netflix and Disney+ recommendations here.
Listening to music
I have a relaxing playlist to listen to after a stressful day. Listening to all my favourite artists can make me feel better instantly. My favourite artists to listen to when I want to relax are Lana Del Rey, Kehlani, Jhene Aiko or Summer Walker.
You could also think about what your happy songs are and make a playlist full of them to lift your mood when you are feeling down. One recommendation from me is Dancing Queen by ABBA. This song never fails to cheer me up if I’m in a bad mood.
I’m not going to lie – I don’t love exercising. I find it really hard to motivate myself to do it, especially if I’m feeling stressed. However, I do think when I do exercise, it does make me feel a lot more positive and that I have my life together a lot more. Lately, I have been doing Joe Wicks PE to keep active as well as walking. I have found that keeping up exercising has definitely improved my mood but I do think it can be hard to get into sometimes. Even doing one bit of exercise that you don’t normally do it makes you feel as if you are doing better already.
Forcing yourself to do too much exercise when you aren’t used to it can actually sometimes make you feel worse because you can want to give up or feel like you can’t do it. You need to make sure that you are exercising at a level that works for you and then you can make it harder and harder each time to match your ability. Everyone has different ways to practice self-care, it’s all about what is finding what works best for you.
Some people might find it beneficial to take a break from being productive while others may struggle being productive. For me, I like to have a balance of being productive and not being productive. Being productive makes me feel like I have my life together, however, sometimes you need to have a break and just do nothing. Your non-productive time can be spent doing one of the activities previously mentioned like watching TV or listening to music.
Taking a break from social media
This is something I don’t do enough of and really should. For my job, I spend a lot of time on social media creating posts and in my free time I spend a lot of time enhancing my own personal social media for my blog. My screen time is always so high and I think taking a break from social media sometimes could be really beneficial.
Keeping in touch with friends and family
It can be easy to feel isolated or lonely sometimes so it is important to keep in touch with family and friends via facetime, phone calls or even text. Every Sunday night, me and my friends from university have a quiz night over zoom and it just helps to stay in touch with friends. Alternatively, you can take a break from talking to people too. Sometimes it helps just to take time for yourself and keep up doing things that you are interested in.
Your body will thank you for keeping a balanced diet and you will feel so much more refreshed if you keep it up. However, sometimes we need to treat ourselves. I think self-care when it comes to food can mean treating yourself or detoxing and keeping your body healthy. It all depends on what you feel like your body needs. Sometimes you know when you need a big bar of chocolate to help you feel better, I know I do sometimes.
This is something else I don’t do enough of but taking the time to read a book is a good way to get away from everything else. A lot of the time while watching a film or TV I will go on my phone and scroll through social media, but when reading a book you have to put everything else down to be able to concentrate on reading the book.
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I recently started taking good care of my self from doing some exercise to listening to music. Thank you so much for sharing this, it really helped.
I love listening to music and dancing in front of the mirror, also bubble bath in a warm bath tub is so refreshing. These are all great ways to unwind. Thank you for sharing
Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes says
Thanks for sharing, a lot of these tips I already follow, I agree listening to music helps some days 🙂
Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes
Natasha Evans says
I’ve found that exercising has really been helping in lockdown even though I’m not really that into fitness normally. I love having a bath to relax and reading if I feel like I need a bit of TLC.
Tash – http://www.agirlwithview.co.uk/
Rachel Roy says
I’m terrible about taking time and space for me…you gave great ideas, though.
Rachael 📖💛 (@_Rachael92) says
Such a helpful posts, full of great ideas! I definitely find reading is my favourite way to relax xx
I’m happy to know that I am kn track doing all these things. Great post and great reminder!!
Jenny in Neverland says
I’ve been exercising so much lately and it’s 100% making me feel better both physically and mentally!
Great tips! I have a special playlist for when I need to unwind and it’s surprising how helpful it is. I also find reading really helps too because I’m focusing on the text in front of me rather than whatever is playing on my mind! Thanks for sharing 🙂 x
Music is my big thing, and I listen to different types of music depending on what is needed. I do like to read as well, both are a form of escapism.
Speaking of escaping…I’m in need of a serious social media detox. Outside of the “blogging community” I can’t deal with all the hate going around at the moment.
Great post! I love the combination of physical and mental tips you’ve got here rather than just one or the other. Definitely feeling like a long bubble bath right now, thanks for sharing!
Reading and listening to music are part of my self care routine as I find them so relaxing! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Taking care of your body physically is so so important for self care! It’s not always mental exercises/practices. Thanks for sharing!
Jaya Avendel says
It is awesome to see a mix of mental and physical reminders here! I love exercising, but sometimes watching a good show puts me in as peaceful a state of mind.
Thanks for sharing this
John Aiwone says
These are pretty much good practical ways to exercise self-care (sorry pun unintended)! Kudos to Lauren for sharing her ideas and kudos to you Amber for giving her the space to do so.
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
Some great tips I need to read more and switch my phone off!
Rebekka Kaur says
So, I loved everything on your list but what I loved the most was that you mentioned taking a break from talking to people! Everyone says that talk to your loved ones which is nice and I’m not against that but seldom people mention that you need to be with yourself sometimes! Thank you
Baby Boomer Super Saver says
Self care is very important but often neglected. I’m guilty of that, but trying to be better about taking care of myself. I have a very healthy diet, but need to drink more water and move more. I try to walk or hike daily.
Great post! Thank you for the tips! I feel like throughout lockdown I have been practicing more self care which I’m happy about!
Self care is so important; especially right now! Great post x
Paige // Paige Eades
interesting content do you write about depression also?
Thank you for sharing! such a helpful tips. I have been doing all of them lately and I am really glad with that 🙂
I’ve definitely slipped on keeping up with my self-care over the last couple of weeks, so this list is really helpful for bringing myself back into check. Getting back to the basics is so so important. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Ella-Rose – http://www.wanderingterra.com
A very nice post, I have enjoyed staying away from social media way too much, only to come back to a world full of conspiracy theories after a month. I think I will adopt the habit of not checking FB unless I have a notification.
Holly Choules says
Wow! there are some amazing tips here.
I’m always blasting music on my speaker, no matter what i’m doing. I really rely on it to be honest.
And I feel you. I’m also not the biggest fan of exercise. Whenever I do it I just want to collapse on the floor, haha. But by some miracle I’ve been using the Joe Wicks workouts consistently too!
Great article. <3
Izzy Matias says
There are many elements to self-care and I agree that taking a break from social media does wonders! One of the things that relaxes me is to watch Kdrama because it makes me laugh a lot 🙂
Leah Howse says
Great post! Exercising regularly is so so good! I didn’t do much at all before lockdown, but as soon as we were hit with it I decided I needed to start doing something, so like you I did Joe Wicks PE everyday, then I moved onto some of his other workouts. I also took up running and I run 3/4 times a week as well as working out – It really makes you feel so good and ready for the day (I go first thing in the morning).
Magical Travels says
Yep, I should start taking care of myself. Not so easy when you have a family. I’ll try, I always put my baby first.
As much as I hate exercising in the moment, there’s no better feeling than that endorphin rush afterwards is there?! I love it so much. Reading is definitely amazing to wind yourself down too at night. X
I love exercising as a way to relax! My friends think i’m crazy!
Great guide, Amber. So important to unwind at the best of times but at the moment even more so.
Such great ideas! Bubble baths are unbeatable 💜 I also think making some time for friends and family is a great piece of self-care. I used to keep self-care a very solo thing, but I find making a date with a friend or popping to my parents house for a coffee to be such a treat and easy conversation puts my mind at ease x
Ella-Rose ~ http://www.wanderingterra.com
Joe Young says
Music is such a great way to unwind, can improve my mood in a matter of seconds! I have a relaxed playlist I like to put on when I am looking to chill. But Dancing Queen is an absolute banger 🙂
Jenni @ I on Image says
Lovely post Amber! This weekend will be all about self-care. I have a sheet mask, new nail polish, good wine and new season of The Crown on Netflix. Have a good weekend xx