This morning I planned to get up bright and early, bash out a killer blog post and spend the afternoon chilling in the blazing sun with some good friends, good burgers and good ciders. But Saturdays never go to plan do they? Said friends are feeling under the weather and my head feels all fuzzy from days upon days of socialising.
I need to recharge.
I’ve been busy having fun the past month and it’s been fantastic but I just need a day in nobody’s company but my own. Not to mention, my bank account (and liver) could do with a 24 hour break from being hammered.
We all talk about having self-care time where we go full pamper on ourselves by burning candles, running a lush bath, smothering a face mask on and whatever else floats your boat. But true self care is so much more than just caring for your skin and getting that fresh bedding / shaved legs combo in the bag. Self care is about recharging, self reflection and self-improvement.
Although pampering can be a big part of it, worthwhile self care comprises of a few major components…
T A K E A S T E P B A C K
It can do wonders to look back at things that have stressed you out, wound you up or made you upset recently. Look at how you reacted to certain situations and think if your actions were rational, if they align with the sort of person you want to be, if you stood by your values or not. How could you have behaved better? This kind of objective and constructive self reflection might not be able to change the past but it can sure as hell help you to react to things better in future.
G O F O R A W A L K
Nothing clears my head better than a long walk or cycle ride. Headphones in, comfy shoes on, notifications off and heading across the city with no destination. For those with a car, a long drive might have a similar effect especially if you can get yourself to a beautiful park or beach.
G E T Y O U R P R I O R I T I E S I N O R D E R
This isn’t figurative. Literally write a list of your priorities and put them in order. Identifying what is truly important for you to spend your time and energy on can be a really helpful tool in getting where you want to be. I find that just thinking about these things doesn’t really solidify them quite as much as the act of writing them down. Sometimes we just need to see things in black and white to understand them.
G O O F F L I N E
As much as I love posting my every move on social media, it feels damn good to just take a break from the internet. You don’t have to go offline for long periods of time; little and often tends to be the best way to approach anything. Use sticky notes on your devices if you really tend to forget that you’re staying offline. Set your WhatsApp status to OFFLINE UNTIL X O’clock and switch off altogether if you have to. But it’s a whole lot easier to focus on yourself when you don’t have the constant distraction of your friends sending you memes every 3 minutes.
W R I T E I T D O W N
Venting all of my deepest and truest feelings into my journal just feels like a huge weight has been lifted. Nothing is more honest than what you write for just yourself. You can say what you think without feeling like you’ll hurt someone’s feelings. You can write about the silliest things without anybody judging your overthinking. You can get so lost in your own words that suddenly you’ve written seven pages about how somebody looked at you on the train this morning.
M A K E A C A L L
For me this is usually to my mum or dad or Mary or Farhana. They’re like my number one vent gang, the people who will tell it to me how it is, the people who always want the best for me and often tell me things they know I don’t want to hear but need to hear. Sometimes you just need to hear the voice of somebody who loves you.
L E T G O O F S O M E T H I N G
Letting go is mandatory to being happy. Whether it’s a grudge against an ex or a tiff with a colleague, forgiving somebody and trying to take on their perspective does wonders for the soul. Accepting what’s happened and moving forward can be very difficult but when you actively try to let something go it doesn’t mean you’re pretending it didn’t happen, it means you’re drawing a line separating that event from the present.
S T O P G I V I N G A S I N G L E F U C K
Those who struggle with their mental health may not necessarily be able to jump into this one but when you’re feeling well enough to, try to just stop caring for a day or two. Stop caring about how other’s perceive you. Prove to yourself that you don’t care if the neighbours hear you singing at the top of your lungs. Show yourself that you can go into town without a trace of makeup on. Be brave and bold and be unapologetically you.