If you’ve never done any kind of self care before (though I bet you have without realising if you think that you haven’t) – being in quarantine is probably the best time to start. If you’re stuck for ideas, I’m here to help you out.
WHAT IS SELF CARE?
- the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health
- the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress
I think there is a misconception that self care has to be a bubble bath, moisturising or a hair mask… and while all of those things ARE forms of self care, it’s not limited to those kind of activities.
The most basic forms of self care I think of are going outside to get some fresh air, moving your body (a gentle stretch, going for a walk), having a shower, washing your face, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, drinking water. If you think about it, literally anything that is taking care of your well-being, anything that is going to benefit you physically or mentally, is self care.
Other forms of self care could include yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, listening to a personal development/growth podcast, lighting a candle, pampering (nails, skincare), goal setting, clearing out your space, watching your favourite feel good movies.
WHERE DO I START?
I recommend making yourself a self care routine, maybe that you do once or twice a week, or just for when you’re having a bad day and want to instantly feel better. I wanted to share with you my self care routine that I’ve been doing in quarantine, which is a mixture of things I already did regularly and things that make me feel better being locked in the flat all day and not being able to do all the things I want to.
Morning self care tip: Try to not use your phone for the first hour or two of your day, reducing your screen time is going to make you feel better and more connected to yourself and how you’re feeling.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The first thing I do every morning is drink a glass of water. If you take any dietary supplements or vitamins, take them with your morning water.
- Journal. Getting your thoughts out on paper is the best medicine, and you owe it to yourself to check in with your feelings when you wake up. Take ten minutes to reflect on the previous day/week/month, the night’s sleep you just woke up from, any thoughts that are going round your head, maybe your plans for the day.
- Have a nutritious breakfast. Or if not nutritious, have your favourite breakfast. My go-to self care breakfast would be my chocolate protein pancakes with lots of fruit, a glass of fresh orange juice and an iced coffee. What is yours?
- Shower and freshen up. My current shower go-to is this activated charcoal soap bar from Ricarica Store * which can be used on your body and your face and leaves your skin feeling supple and fresh. Afterwards I like to keep the freshness going with Ricarica’s natural deodorant *.
*Note Ricarica have kindly given me a discount code to share with you guys, ‘LAUREN10’ gets you 10% off your entire order. Please note this is not an affiliate link, so I don’t earn any commission from your purchases, it’s just for you to get a little discount.
Disclaimer: Ricarica Store sent me these two of their products to try out and recommend where I see fit. I genuinely love these products and wouldn’t promote them if I didn’t enjoy using them.
- Exercise. This doesn’t have to be a hardcore HIIT exercise session (read more on HIIT workouts) or a 10k run (see my running tips), but even just going outside for a walk in the fresh air (and hopefully some sunshine so you can soak up that Vitamin D) is going to benefit you both physically and mentally. I also recommend doing some light stretching either instead of an actual workout, or at the end of your main workout. Either way, your muscles will thank you.
Main point to make about an evening of self care: try and put your phone down 1-2 hours before you plan on going to bed. You might want to turn off the main lights and put on a lamp, fairy lights and light a candle to create a cosy atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed.
- Yoga/Meditation. These two things kind of go hand in hand, but equally you can do them separately. There are some great resources on YouTube and some brilliant Instagram accounts out there. I’ve been loving Steph Elswood’s Stretch and Meditation classes recently which you can find on her Instagram feed and she goes live for ‘Mindfulness Mondays’.
- Skincare. If you’ve got make up on, take the time to take it all off properly. Always double cleanse at the end of the day, followed by a toner, serum and moisturiser (more on skincare another time). Give yourself a mini facial massage. Apply a face mask to really treat your skin (I recommend doing this after the cleansing step).
- Read. Get stuck into a book for 20-30 minutes before bed. We’ve all got a book in our room somewhere that we’ve meaning to read for ages – now is the time!
- Write a to-do list. If this is likely to stress you out, I recommend you move it to the top of your list and then do the other activities after. But writing a to-do list the night before always makes me feel like I have my life a bit more together, and helps me concentrate on relaxing rather than lying in bed thinking about all the things I need to get done.
If anyone has any more self care tips or activities to try feel free to leave them in the comments, and let me know which is your favourite! I’d also love to know how often you practise self care, and if you’ve done it more or less during lockdown? Personally, I’ve done more in lockdown because I’ve had more time to focus on myself and have made it a priority.