“Self-care is the non-negotiable. That's the thing that you have to do.
And beauty is the thing that can be the benefit of the self-care.
Beauty is not the point. Beauty is just a cute side-effect from self-care.”
― Jonathan Van Ness
The term “self-care” has exploded into the mainstream media over the last few years, with experts across the globe singing its praises. While self-care might conjure up images of face masks and getting your nails done, it is so much more than just beauty therapy; everything from getting more sleep to scheduling more fun in your day, to eating a healthier diet are all forms of self-care, and finding time to make these small changes could help improve your overall lifestyle. Here are 7 simple ways to start:
Decide the best kind of self-care for you
You may feel the pressure to try self-care in all of the many forms it now exists; journalling, exercise, meditation, house cleaning, the list goes on and on. But before you start spending time on anything, think about what genuinely brings you joy, and how your personal preferences could indicate the best form of self-care for you. Do you hate writing? Journalling probably isn’t for you. Do you feel content after you have cleared the junk from a room of your house? Explore this more.
Use your commute time wisely
Commuting to and from work each day is often thought of as unproductive and wasted time, so try to identify what you could do in that time to boost your self-care. Maybe there’s a podcast you could listen to that always makes you happy. Perhaps reading a book on the train is your way to relax.
Calendar block your self-care
Self-care activities very often become our last priority, as work and family commitments take over. It’s important to schedule in time for self-care, otherwise, it will always move further and further down your to-do list. Block out time each day or week to do the self-care that will help maintain your best self.
Include self-care in your work day
If your work day consists of a lot of stress, then it could actually make you more productive to set aside time for breaks, and more importantly, breaks that include whatever self-care you have identified as best to improve your mood and energy levels. It may seem counterproductive to take time away from the tasks you need to achieve, but studies have shown that it can help get things done more efficiently overall.
Turn social time into self-care time
Spending time with friends is often a great way to relax, but if your social time is also feeling a little stressful (i.e. a lot of eating out, drinking, gossiping, etc.) then there may be ways to make time with friends more positive, and something that feels like self-care for all of you. Switch up a night at a bar for a morning walk together, or picking up on each other’s negative comments and encouraging positivity instead, could help you combine self-care and social time - focus on what you can change about these meetups that could make you happier.
Create a personalised morning routine
The art of mastering the morning routine has been proven to be so important in recent years and helps many of us start the day in the best way, getting more done and staying more positive throughout. While the idea of getting up earlier may not be hugely appealing, it could be a good time to practice whatever form of self-care speaks to you. Getting up for work may not be easy, but getting up for your morning yoga session or favourite breakfast might be the temptation you need.
Find an accountability partner
Self-care is a practice and must be done regularly to see benefits. If you really struggle to find time for self-care, having an accountability partner who can remind you of its importance on a regular basis could be beneficial. Find a friend who may also need a little encouragement in this area, and promise to help each other be more mindful of self-care.
Could you use a little more self-care in your life? Tell us how you are incorporating it, by chatting to us on our social media channels.