13 simple ways you can practice self care
14 November 2018, 17:43 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 16:00
Because we all deserve a little TLC.
It's time we took care of ourselves a little more. Yeah, a steamy bath and a face mask are great ways to unwind but what other things can you do to actually give yourself a good ol' break? C'mon we need it, life is hard.
It's Self Care Week, a whole seven days dedicated to Y-O-U. It's all about looking after our own mental health and wellbeing. And it's not just for people who are dealing with mental health issues either. One of the kindest things you can do is look after number one. Self care isn't selfish, it's vital for survival.
Now, of course, one person's self-care practices may not be helpful for someone else. But that's okay. Here's some things that you can do and they're pretty simple.
Sleep is a powerful way to recharge your batteries. So no, that extra lie in isn't lazy, it's needed. There have been countless studies that prove some extra zzzzz's improves your immune system, metabolism, mood and overall performance. So when you're feeling deflated, tucking yourself up in bed for a good seven hours could be the key.
2. Watch TV
Good news Netflix lovers! Did you know watching TV puts you in a hypnotic state? In fact, watching TV is one the most effective hypnotic tools out there. It cleverly puts you in a lower "alpha state", which is often associated with meditation and deep relaxation. Time to binge watch those box sets.
3. Go outside
Spending time outside is scientifically proven to reduce stress. Feel the fresh air and even take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the grass. Now, we're not saying you need to skip through a forest and find Bambi, but even a 10 minute slow walk can leave you feeling all kinds of zen.
4. Do something fun
Now this one's vital to releasing some feel-good hormones. Do whatever you love and you're bound to be feeling fabulous in seconds. Shopping? Dancing? Eating an entire cake in one sitting? There's absolutely no shame here.
We don't always want to do it but we kind of have to. Exercise may conjure up images of your PE teacher shouting in your face or muscular men with pulsating veins, but it doesn't have to be like that. You don't even have to leave your house. Stick on a Youtube vid and get to work in the comfort of your home, and watch those endorphins hit you.
6. Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is totally in right now, don't you know. The best way to get some fumes down you is with steam. Whack a shower bomb in and inhale the fumes, or boil the kettle and add a few drops of oil to a bowl and take a big whiff. Calming scents like lavender can give a release during a particularly stressful moment.
Sometimes putting pen to paper can actually be seriously therapeutic. Whether you're writing down a shopping list, negative thoughts or plans for world domination, get scribbling.
8. Practice your breathing
It's easy, it's free and you'll be calm before you know it. Taking time to zone out and meditate can have a drastic improvement on your mental wellbeing. There's even apps to take you from beginner to meditation master. If you don't think you can do it, just lying there and being aware of your breathing can have a similar effect.
We're always so busy we don't take time out to just be. Our bodies need time to recuperate from the everyday stresses of life, so take a hour out of the chaos and soak up those relaxing vibes.
Researchers found that reading is an amazing way to overcome stress. Because you're focusing on the words, you can't think of much else. Reading menus count too, right?
11. Eat something
Time to chow down on your favourite food. It's important that we get the nutrients we need, especially when we're feeling a little low. Yeah, reaching for junk food is great and everything too but nutrient dense food like fruit, vegetables and fibrous foods will have you feeling stronger and fitter. But hey, let's stop beating ourselves up about food.
They weren't wrong when they said tidy room, tidy mind. Getting rid of your old junk can make you seriously sparkle too. Throwing away old belongings can feel like a weight off your mind. So chuck out those old jeans and watch all the stress melt away.
13. Look after your skin
When your skin is looking sallow it's time to recharge. Kick back and treat yourself to some fancy lotion. It doesn't just mean a face mask either, give yourself a lil rub down with your favourite lotion too. And don't forget the golden skin rules – drink your water, eat your veggies and take your supplements.