Today I want to revisit a subject close to my heart: self-care when you don’t actually feel like taking care of yourself. Maybe you’re busy, exhausted, anxious or something is constantly on your mind. Perhaps you always put yourself before others or don’t feel like you “deserve” any time off – well, this needs a change. As much as I believe that beauty and self-care come hand in hand, it’s not all about Instagrammable candlelit bath moments and face masks. Before getting into that zone - you need to care for your mind.
Let Yourself To Take Time Off
You do not need to be available 24/7. If this causes you trouble, practise saying “no” and let go of any related guilt or self-blame. Allow yourself to take a breather; it can be 15 minutes or maybe a couple of days, whatever works best for you. If your job/school requires intensive attendance, perhaps talk to a supervisor or a counselor. If you have kids, then try asking help from friends or family? A healthy worker/student/parent is also an efficient one, so don’t blame yourself for taking the time you need. You’ve heard this one before: you can’t help others if you’re not helping yourself first.
Ditch Your Phone And Social Media
Referencing to my point above, when I’m facing a rough time I want to become unavailable. If there’s a lot going on I might post an update on Instagram or Facebook, simply thank everyone for their messages and tell I will get back as soon as possible. It can be as simple as that; you don’t need to state a reason if you don’t feel like it. Of course there’s always the persistent relative or someone who won’t stop calling, but in these cases you can answer and reply you’re unavailable. Focus on a book or a show instead of constant online updates gives your brain a break.
Sweat It Off (Find a Sport You Don’t Hate)
This sort of advice used to make me cringe. There are studies showing that exercise even helps depression patients, but what if you hate working out? When I’m down I want to curl in bed and not move an inch. Climbing has been an amazing discovery for me as I do it because it’s fun. I do it because really I want to! Heck, I sometimes even warmup at the gym just so I could climb better. So find a sport that you don’t utterly despise. I recommend something that requires concentration (like a new yoga class or pilates) if you have a difficulties getting into a flow.
Seriously, I don’t know a better anxiety remedy than a nap. If you can: take a power-nap or longer 1 hour break during the day. Put on warm socks, grab a blanket and perhaps an ASMR video. It can be raindrops, whispers, fireplace sounds or my personal favorite - Bob Ross on Twitch. Often when I’m really badly anxious my boyfriend wraps me in a blanket and put Bob Ross on the background. After a couple of “happy little accidents” and a finished painting - I feel relieved.
Try Essential Oils
Thanks to our brain anatomy, memories and emotions (both good and bad) can be triggered by smells. I find this fascinating, so I’ve tried to do basic research on aromatherapy and how essential oils can be used for therapeutic purposes: relieve anxiety, stress or even sooth pain or upcoming flu! If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, there are aromatherapeutic roll-ons on the market. You can also apply a beautiful face oil on your hands, cup your hands around your nose and mouth, deep inhale and exhale 3 times and apply the oil – maybe perform a little facial massage?
The Right Kind of Music
Emphasizing the word right kind of music for you. Preferably use good quality earphones - even at home - and blast it. Turn up the volume. Sing along or dance like nobody’s watching. Both of those are difficult for me (tone-deaf and two left feet) but after a glass of wine while doing the dishes I might jam along. I’ve noticed for me it’s melancholic songs that do the trick, but some bass is nice as well. Usually I have some sentimental attachment to the song, perhaps browse your old favorites? Here’s some of my songs that give the feels, if you care to listen:
Sia - The Greatest (or whole This Is Acting album)
Raf - Self Control
Gotye, Kimbra - Somebody I Used To Know
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1
Björk - Bachelorette
Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body
What’s your favorite way to get in some self-care? Especially when you’re not really in the mood for it or occupied with other tasks? For more self-care inspiration you might enjoy reading my Beauty Rituals For Stressed Mind (here I also explain the importance of self-care) and Beauty Tips When You Are Feeling Down. Have a lovely start for the week! xx