In world that is so busy with our daily responsibilities, it's easy to get bogged down by them all, which can quickly lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety and depression. One way to combat this is by practicing the art of self-care on a regular basis. If you haven't come across the term 'self-care' before, it simply refers to taking the time out to look after your mental and emotional health.
These days when one comes across the term self-care you often see it involving activities such as expensive spa trips or lavish shopping sprees, but at the heart of it self-care refers to any activity that brings you joy, makes you relax and where you know you’re being good to yourself.
As a work-from-home mum to two toddler boys, a one year old and a three year old, I often start to feel overwhelmed by everything that needs doing on a daily basis: changing, feeding, entertaining, consoling, cleaning, working… Tasks can seem endless and just one day can start to feel extremely long.
This is why I make sure that I get some me-time in as often as I can. It’s not always possible, and it’s not really glamorous, but it’s me looking after myself mentally and emotionally. Here are just a few of my favourite self-care activities.
I’ve only recently started excercising again after taking a long break from it. I used to be a serial half-marathon runner and had completely forgotten how good running outside in the fresh air used to make me feel! I still try to get out in the open but lately I find it much easier to head to the gym, especially while it’s still so chilly. Looking after my physical health makes me feel stronger, which in turn makes me mentally and emotionally stronger to go back to my boys feeling refreshed and ready for whaver they throw at me.
Taking a hot bath
While taking a bath might seem like a daily necessity for some, for me it is really one one of the few 15 minutes that I have all to myself where I can relax and let the hot water soothe my muscles. It’s so much more enjoyable than the quick shower I usually have! It’s also so much more soothing for me since I’ve started adding a few drops of Bouclème's Revive 5 Hair Oil to my bath water. It smells amazing, so I love the gentle scent that I get from it while I’m laying in the hot water. It also contains the loveliest of natural oils which when combined with the bath water, I find incredibly moisturising.
Moisturising my entire body after a hot bath is an activity I’ve always enjoyed. But recently I’ve started to take it up a notch by massaging in Bouclème Revive 5 Hair Oil all over my skin after I’ve applied my moisturiser. I can’t tell you how relaxing it feels to be able to do that. And my skin just feels amazing. Even my husband has commented on lovely I smell by the time I jump into bed!
Eating a proper breakfast
During the week I usually just have a quick cup of coffee and a slice of toast while seeing to the boys, but on weekends I’m usually able to start the day with a full-on cooked breakfast. And best of all is that it’s not a rushed affair. Whether it’s me or my husband preparing it, we’re both able to sit down together and enjoy breakfast as a family. It certainly makes me feel like I’m starting the day off right and that I have the necessarily fuel that I need for the day ahead.
Be mindful of my thoughts
Being mindful of my own thoughts is probably the most important one out of all these rituals for me. It’s so easy to let thoughts of self-doubt and negativity get the better of me. The next thing I know I’ll find myself crying in a corner because I’ve just compared my body, life and almost everything else to someone else’ seemingly perfect life. Of course I know this isn’t true and sometimes I can’t believe that I let my thoughts go there. But I’m only human, and I know that I’m not the only person who’s guilty of this.
So how I do combat it? I tell myself that I am strong, capable and worthy of all the beautiful and good things in life. And that I’m doing an excellent job at being a human. I honestly have to catch myself, stop the negative pity party and pull myself towards myself. It can take a few minutes, sometimes a bit longer, but I usually come out of it fairly soon after and regain realistic perspective.
At the end of the day, life can get really stressful and I’ve found that practicing these few simple acts of self-care can really bring back the calm that I need to keep going. Is self-care something that you participate in? If so, what are your preferred self-care activities?