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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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