Self-care is so important, and we all do it differently. If you are struggling with things that are going on, whether it be with current restrictions, or even suffering with summer blues, learn how to prioritise yourself! Here are 10 top tips for looking out for yourself:
Schedule your downtime: Like any other activity in a day, be sure to fit in some self-care around a busy schedule. This could mean getting up 20 minutes earlier or dedicating a bit of time before bed where you’d usually be on your phone. Some people like to practice self-care every day, but for others, just dedicating one day of the weekend to yourself could work well also. It is all about whatever works best for you.
Keep a diary: Keeping a diary or journal is beneficial in so many different ways. For me, keeping a diary motivates me to get things done, as I want to be able to write down my successes at the end of the day. Writing a journal isn’t all about what you did in the day, it can be about writing down what you want to get out of your day and writing down concerns or achievements. Putting your thoughts onto paper can be liberating for many and can help to free-up some thinking space.
Fuel your body: Fueling your body is all about setting yourself up for a good day. It starts with rest, if you wake up after little-to-no rest, you won’t feel refreshed or excited for the new day. You’ll feel drained every morning and it’ll create a negative cycle. Don’t skip breakfast because ‘you don’t have time’… make time, because you’ll be groggy by lunchtime and set yourself up for failure. Don’t undermine the power of kindness, fuel yourself with positivity. Let someone know that they have done well, or you appreciate them, and kindness/ good energy will follow you too.
Daily Check-in: You know how we are always reminded to check in our friends? Make sure you check in on yourself too. Ask yourself, what can I do to be kind to myself today? Is it to crack through your to-do list that you’ve been putting off for the last week? Or are you feeling burnt out? Is the nicest thing just to run a bath and hang up your fresh laundry? There is no shame in either of these things. Sometimes you deserve a PJ day.
Social Media Detox: Take time away from your phone. It seems obvious, and although your friends may all have average screen times of 5 hours a day, it doesn’t make it healthy. Step back from the unattainable goals that social media sets us and find joy in the smaller things in life. Swap your phone for that enchanting book that you never read, or maybe a new hobby such as baking, or knitting yourself a blanket to cosy up with.
Reward yourself: Working towards a goal can be great for keeping you on track, whether that be getting a hot-chocolate during your lunch break, or a trip away. It is important to set healthy goals, and not to be consumed by them. Knowing when to log off is a skill you will have to learn, because working too much, out of hours or late at night, will result in a burnout, no matter how much you want to reach your goals.
Get Outside: Make sure to leave your home, which is often doubled up as your office, every day where you can. Walk to the shops instead of driving, I know it’s a bit chilly and it might take longer, but your brain will thank you later for the tiny bit of exercise and fresh air. If you really don’t feel like you have time to go for a dedicated walk, go outside and eat your lunch in a park. Walk your dog or feed the ducks. Find whatever works best for you and you’ll want to do it again tomorrow.
Remove Toxicity: Removing the toxic elements can be a difficult part of looking out for yourself, as you may feel selfish doing it, but looking after yourself isn’t selfish. Removing toxicity could be anything, from unfollowing an account on Instagram that makes you feel inadequate, to stopping that fad diet that you’ve been trying. Sometimes, removing toxicity means walking away from situations that do not best serve you.
Get organised: Getting organised will have a long term effect on your self-care, but it isn’t an overnight fix. Getting organised is one thing but remaining organised will last a lifetime. Creating new habits will help with this. Make sure you have a workspace that you find to be highly productive and motivational, as well as a resting place which is peaceful and safe. Keep your cupboards stocked so you are excited to make dinner, and not dialling for Dominos after a long day. Try and think ahead, but don’t beat yourself up with last-minute changes that you weren’t prepared for. Remember, the only constant in life is change.
Make a realistic to-do list: I love a to-do list as I find it often helps with putting things into perspective. Rome wasn’t built in a day, remember? I’d say, if you find that you’re putting yourself down for not completing ‘enough’ tasks, make your to-do lists smaller and simpler, such as having a shower or doing the washing up. That way, you can always add more! If, like myself, you enjoy a challenge or some healthy competition, make your list in order of priority, placing your most pressing/ difficult tasks at the top, and the least important or easiest at the bottom, and see how many you can achieve. Can you beat yesterday’s record?