I’ve said it before, but for me self-care conjures up images of lighting candles, soaking in a bath and getting absorbed in the latest crime novel that everyone is sharing on insta.
If that’s how you want to spend your time, then perfect! However, there are *loads* of different things you could do to practise self-care even if like me you hate baths and think they are the devil.
- Go for a walk. Even better, leave your phone at home and go and ~absorb~ your surroundings without constantly refreshing Twitter or trying to get the perfect snap for your Instagram grid.
- Journal! I have a Happiness Planner, but I’m sure if you’re into bullet journaling, or simply enjoy scribbling down your thoughts for the day that filling in some sort of journal with a cuppa is a great way to spend some SCT (self-care time).
- Bake a cake. Or cupcakes. Or cookies. Whatever takes your fancy! Not so great with baking? Get the kits where you just have to add an egg and milk. I highly recommend the Tesco vanilla cupcake kit which is my go to when I want to quickly whip up some tasty cake.
- Create a Pinterest board of things that make you happy, and pin away! This is something you can come back to regularly when you need a pick me up.
- Read a book, or comic, or whatever the flip you want to read. Go for fiction to escape from the world, or a non-fiction to brush up on the things you enjoy learning about.
- Get some paper and a pencil, and draw! I don’t find drawing all that relaxing because I’m shit at it, but for anyone who likes to doodle I can imagine drawing would be great for self-care.
- Write a blog post. I’m practising self-care RIGHT NOW by writing this post. Blogging is my all-time favourite hobby so when I have some time to myself I type away and enjoy what I write regardless of if it gets 100 views or 1.
- Watch your favourite TV show. Not sure what to watch? Binge Queer Eye on Netflix and be reminded that the world can actually be pretty good sometimes.
- Watch a movie. My go-to self-care movies are the Harry Potter movies or The Greatest Showman. Pick a movie that will suit your mood. Even if you’re sad and need a good cry, embrace it and watch The Notebook or whatever gets you bawling.
- Get crafty! I personally love doing decoupage to relax and I find it hella therapeutic. Whether you crochet or do origami, use some self-care time to ~create~.
- Go out on a date night. Self-care doesn’t have to be done alone. Go on a fun date night with your partner or a bestie. A few date night ideas: a weeknight meal out, a cinema trip or bowling!
- Dance! Whether that’s signing up to a local dance class (I did this recently and LOVED it), or you just want to have a boogie at home in your jammies, dancing is scientifically known to improve your mental health – probably.
- Belt out your fave songs without a care in the world. Soz neighbours, you will soon also know all the words to the Hamilton soundtrack.
- Get up earlier in the morning and chillax. I aim to do this every day, so I’m not immediately starting the day in work mode. Spend some time alone just enjoying the quiet and calm before the potential chaos that a busy day can bring!
- Move the tech elsewhere. I’m crap at this, but I know that others benefit from putting their phones and laptops in another room so they don’t end up getting sucked into scrolling the day/night away. Don’t enforce a full-on “digital detox” if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, just try and restrict the time you spend on your devices as much as you can/want to.
- Say no sometimes. Fuck, it feels good to say no to stuff. Don’t go around being rude about it, but you are perfectly entitled and thoroughly encouraged to put yourself first. Learning your limits and knowing when to say no is one of the most valuable self-care exercises you can do for yourself tbh.
- Try something new. Is there anything you’ve wanted to try but never have before? Try it! Unless it’s illegal, in which case y’know…maybe don’t? But if you want to try a sport, a new hobby…whatever it may be, make it a self-care activity to give it a go!
- Go to bed early. I love sleep, and one of the best self-care activities that I have incorporated into my routine has been to go to bed early. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes I just fall asleep. An element of self-care is reading your body and if you’re tired, don’t push yourself to exhaustion…get yo’ sleep on!
- Exercise! Yeah, I know that the idea of exercising might fill you with dread (it does me), but the feeling afterwards is amazing. Exercise doesn’t have to be a 5k run, it can be whatever you want it to be. Personally, I’m a big fan of walking or using the rowing machine at the gym.
- Recite, or write three good things about your day. Before bed each night, Liam and I each have to list at least 3 good things about the day. They don’t have to be “big” things, but they are positives to take away from the day.
- Do yoga or meditation. These methods aren’t for me because I can’t switch my brain off enough to appreciate them, but I know both can really help those with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
Go forth and self-care my friends! Oh, and let me know of any other self-care activities you do in the comments so I can be inspired to try something different…