At the end of last year I wrote about how I wanted to go into 2019 focusing more on myself, to discover who I am again and be more open about how I’m feeling and my mental health.
My main goal this past month has been introducing more self care into my daily and weekly routines, which I’d like to share with you. 😊
First, what is self care?
To me self care is making time to take care of yourself, your health (both physical and mental) and to help you feel better. Whether that’s by relaxing you, cheering you up or relieving anxiety.
It isn’t always easy. There have been times when I’ve felt guilty for spending time (or money) on myself. But I’m slowly learning that self care isn’t selfish and it’s important to take care if yourself.
Developing a self care routine
For my own self care routine I’ve been focusing on things that help my mind, such as relaxation techniques and those that help my body, like getting enough sleep!
Of course self care is different for each person. If you love baths introduce that into your self care routine and if you love going for a run add that. There isn’t a “one size fits all”, if it feels right for you and it helps you, add it.
Don’t do something you hate just because everyone else is doing it.
My weekly self care routine
For my self care routine I’ve kept it relatively simple so that it’s easier to implement into my day to day life and so I’m more likely to stick with it.
I’ve talked about my morning routine before (which you can read here) but there are some things I’ve added with self care in mind.
1. Morning stretches
Working in an office, sat at a desk five days out of the week has left me with upper back and shoulder pain. So taking time to properly stretch each morning definitely helps.
I’ve been following the NHS 5 minute wake up workout (minus the squats) recently.
2. Eat breakfast. Every day.
I certainly eat breakfast a lot more than I used to, especially at the weekends, but there are still some days when I’m “too busy” or forget. Which isn’t good! So, even it’s something small (like a cereal bar) I make sure to eat breakfast everyday.
During the day.
1. Keep myself hydrated by using my ‘motivation’ water bottle (reviewed here).
2. Random act of kindness.
3. Meet Aaron for lunch on weekdays. It’s a great way to break up the work day, vent about our mornings lol (if needed) and refresh before the afternoon.
4. Detach from technology. I’ve been making the effort to turn off notifications (except for phone calls, messenger and WhatsApp, in case of emergencies) during my work day.
I’ve also talked about my evening routine previously but I’ve added a few additional self care activities.
1. Cook something nice to eat at least once a week. Monday has become spag bol night recently, which is a great comfort food.
2. Relax and unwind. This takes different forms and can be anything from doing something crafty, playing a video game or watching TV (for an hour) and having a bubble bath. But I always make sure to fit in some breathing excercises.
3. Scheduled worry time, which is something I came across during my cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The concept being that you limit worrying to a certain time every day, usually 15-20 mintues at the end of the day. So that when you do have a worrisome thought during the course of the day, you can postpone it.
4. Journalling. Whether it’s writing about my day, tracking my habits (like weight loss) or noting down any worrisome thoughts, I spend some time writing in my journal.
During the week
Some of these activities are on specific days and some are
2. Sit out in the garden and watch the sun set or rise. Admittedly, this is one for the Summer months – so I haven’t put it into practice, yet! But in the past it’s been calming for me so I added it in.
3. Every Wednesday: A relaxing bath complete with music and a face mask.
4. Every Friday: “Posh coffee” day. ☕
Every Friday morning, some of my colleagues go to the local coffee shop and pick up a coffee. So I’ve decided to join them with a lovely soya hot chocolate, a little treat to myself.
5. Every Saturday or Sunday: Nature walks! This is something I love doing and want to do more of, whether it’s a short walk through one of Cirencester’s parks or a hike through the Forest of Dean. I’ve also signed up for a yearly membership to Westonbirt Arboretum (just waiting on my card to arrive!).
As the year goes on I’m sure this list may change or get added to, to fit my lifestyle. One thing I do want to consider adding is to buy myself a treat that isn’t food and not feel guilty about it, such as a bouquet of fresh flowers. Also add in a few Sunday lie-in days. 😊
What about you? How do you practice self care? Is there a set self care routine you stick to? Let me know in the comments.