I don’t know about you but I have a teeny weeny habit of being a little bit hard on myself at times. I berate myself about a multitude of things throughout the day and then scold myself some more for all the prior berating. It’s an awful cycle and really doesn’t do one any good. Sentences often start with; I need, I should, I would, I could…
I notice Woman, in particular, going out of their way to take care of everybody else first before attending to their own needs and we just become so frazzled! What’s worse is being frazzled and then giving yourself a hard time because you haven’t gotten around to this or that and then the never ending list rears its pimply ugly head again and if you’re like me it’s usually at 4 am when I can’t get to sleep and my cat has just decided to jump on my back from the cupboard – oh yes, that happened this week!
I’m not saying you should become selfish ‘Scroogettes’ but a little self-love is going to give you the boost you need to be happily available to others in your life and prevent you from flipping out.
So when the pressures of life keep knocking at the door and you know that it’s time to treat yourself to a little more kindness, I have some super simple self-care ideas to help you feel better and set the reset button on all that background noise; pick one or more along with a nice deep breathe!
I love a bath – there are no half measures either. It’s a candles, salts, bubbles, music, wine affair and is probably my #1 me time escape.
2| Steam & a face mask
Got 30 mins? Have a facial steam with your fav essential oils for 15 mins followed by a face mask. If you don’t have 15 mins, try dabbing a bit of lemon balm oil on your temples…wonderfully uplifting stuff that.
3| Read a book
No distractions, okay? Find a cozy spot and get stuck in. Perhaps it’s worth picking something uplifting with a positive message and helpful advice and let’s give war time and bell jars a wide berth.
4| Eat Clean
Healthy eating is a massive part of self-care for a number of reasons that should be obvious. Make yourself something really healthy and delicious to eat or consider being a vegan for the day. If you are low on energy, not feeling great, take a good look at what you are eating, I can guarantee this is where a MASSIVE part of our health problems take root. Loving yourself means feeding your body with fresh healthy foods that give you energy and vitality. Try out my favourite green soup – I love it because you don’t have to cook the veg much as you are going to blitz it. I don’t add the milk, just veg and about 2 cups of health foods veg stock – it’s seriously easy and seriously good!
5| Gratitude list
When I feel a bit low or super flustered, I write down what I am grateful for, it is a great way to realign your thoughts and assess what’s really bugging you and puts things in perspective. It helps bring you round to the things you like about yourself and your life which we often need reminding of…
I know what you’re gonna say – ugghh! We started out well with pampering and bubble baths and now I’m on about eating salads and exercise! I know but hear me out… exercising is probably THE best thing you can do to show yourself love. Clears the mind, gets the heart going and all that good stuff… you hate me now but you’ll thank me when your feet are pounding the pavement, the winds in your hair, your calves are starting to ache and you are singing along to the words of Eminem’s Lose yourself with fierceness and determination – you go, girl!
7| Give yourself a manicure
One of my favourites forms of self-care because a simple buff and a polish can go a long way.
Dear Diary… I always have a million thoughts sprinting through my head and I find it really helps me feel better when I write things down. It is a great way to observe and explore one’s feelings and it helped me process a really tough time I had been having at work recently. Self-care should also involve looking after our mental health. Jennifer from ‘Simply + Fiercely’ wrote a wonderful post on journaling for self-care – check it out here.
9| Get crafty
My Sister does amazing art classes at her Anthology shop in Durban and getting together with a group of people to learn some techniques and paint was so much fun and really inspiring. Such a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning for yourself. Stepping out of your comfort zone and spending some time making something has self-care painted all over it. Have a gander for some projects on Pinterest or head over to ‘Hey, let’s make stuff’ and make a dream catcher – here’s the tutorial – you’re welcome!
I always thought meditation was for tree huggers and Buddhist monks but since making time and effort to give it a go, I am so impressed with the difference it can make to my overall mood and perspective. I think just trying to be a bit more conscious in our day to day lives invites a much greater sense of calm – try it and if you need help – download headspace onto your phone – it’s a winner and a great place to start.
If in doubt – make yourself a cup of tea… sympathy included.