After the HOT MESS of a year that we’ve all just endured, it’s no shocker that we are all desperately searching for ways to make ourselves feel a little more like 'us' again and rediscover the sparkle that multiple lockdowns have diminished. But it's important to be tactical about the self-care we indulge in, respond to our minds needs, and know that sometimes a bubble bath just won't cut it.
A face mask isn’t going to cure your anxiety, and a boozy brunch with the gurls ain’t going to make your to-do list any shorter. Self-care isn’t always glamourous, it can be quite an ugly fucking experience, depending on the task. Whether it’s time to do that chore you’ve been putting off for months or saying goodbye to that toxic friend that does nothing but bring you down.
It’s important to make conscious choices when caring for yourself; you’ve gotta understand that self-care looks different for everyone and know when to seek help when you need it (don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders bby!).
We’ve got to try and stop only taking these steps when we’re on the edge of a breakdown whilst on the phone to our GFs. It should be incorporated into our routines and have dedicated places within our crazy weeks, to make this fucked up world a little bit less daunting.
But your big sis is here to break down some practical self-care practices that will ACTUALLY make a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
WHY IT’S MORE THAN JUST A BUBBLE BATH:
There are seven different types of self-care to turn to when you’re not feeling your best. Your self-awareness will allow you to identify what you need, and when. Listen to your body baby!
Allow yourself to feel, and not suppress your negative thoughts. Try activities that help you reflect and process your emotions, such as journaling, talking to a therapist, utilizing affirmations or mantras, and practising gratitude. This could even look like expressing how you are feeling in art, music, dance – whatever it is that helps you unload negative emotions and make room for positive ones.
This is the most common form of self-care that we see people screaming about on social media. It might not always be the answer, but sometimes it will be just what you need! So, if your body is screaming for some loving, run that bath, go for a lunchtime walk in the sun, have an early night, book a massage – whatever it is you are craving girl.
If your brain is feeling a little dead, and in desperate need of some stimulation, give it a workout. Listen to a new podcast, explore a hobby you’ve been meaning to try, read a book, play a board game with your gals. Choose something that interests YOU and do it!
After all the lockdowns, and lost social opportunities, there may be days when you’re craving social interaction and missing your old life. This is your sign to take some time to nurture and deepen the relationships in your life. Give your long-distance BFF a phone call, go on a date with your significant other, sit in the lounge with your flatmate and watch a film, or go tequila wild with your besties!
When your soul is feeling unfulfilled, reach to a form of self-care that helps you connect with not only yourself but the world around you. You don’t have to be into meditation or follow a religion to experience this. Allow yourself to appreciate the beauty of the sunset, connect with nature, create a vision board or volunteer for a cause you care about.
This is what we were talking about earlier when we mentioned unbeautiful self-care. Without realising it, practical self-care is actually what our mind is desperately searching for, but it is regularly ignored due to it just being ugly. But completing simple tasks like organising your wardrobe, emptying your email inbox, meal prepping and sorting out your finances can take a lot of worry of your shoulders gf, and help you sleep like a baby.
When work is getting the best of you, it’s usually pretty obvious, and the go-to answer seems to be a glass of wine and a god damn bubble bath. But, gf, listen up. What you need to be doing is taking steps to ensure you have a work/life balance. Set calendar reminders to take a lunch break, ignore out-of-hours emails and take mental health days when you need them!
*Please remember – real self-care takes daily practice! It’s all about showing up for yourself, listening to what your body needs and realising that you deserve it*
Self-care is never a selfish act, and no matter what, we’ve got your back x