The mid-term blues have hit. With deadline stress and overdue reading beckoning, I have become in need of some much-needed self-care.
Self-care is always important, but now more than ever I find myself becoming complacent and not giving myself time to ‘switch off’. When life gets hectic, finding some ‘you’ time seems to disappear and fade into the unknown. The feeling of guilt that creeps up when you do finally take some time ‘off’, although your mind never truly switches off, is a feeling all too well known for many.
I figured I’d write some tips in how I choose to use my ‘me time’, in the hope it will encourage you to take even five minutes for yourself, to turn away from the stress of everyday life, and to remember the art and joy of living.
Remember, there is no right or wrong method of self-care, and the tips I suggest are only a few ways of having some ‘me time’. Find your inner you, the things that make you tick. Embrace those five minutes and put self-care at the top of your to-do-list.
Spend time with friends and family
Arrange that much-debated coffee date, that’s been a plan in the works for weeks, or actually FaceTime that family member, that you promised to ring, but life got in the way. Trust, you’ll feel better.
That break from the reality of life, over a freshly brewed oat milk latte (other beverages are available), can provide the comfort you never knew you needed. Chatting incessantly about trivial matters over a brew, maybe avoiding all things stress relating, can be an instant mood booster. Maybe even making a regular slot for a catch-up may provide focus to the chaos of life, giving you something to look forward to and the knowledge of a break.
Listen to music/podcast
Perhaps for the times when you’ve been ‘too’ social and just need time to fulfil your inner introvert, playing your favourite album on repeat, maybe adventurously shuffling your Spotify library, or finding a podcast series to listen to can be all the self-care you need.
Whether tuning-in whilst walking to work or uni, or in the comfort of your own bedroom, the power of zoning out of everyday life through the medium of sound can work wonders.
Who knows, maybe you will discover a new artist or track, or stumble across a debate that impassions you. Whatever the outcome, you can be guaranteed to be absorbed into a sound frame of mind.
The saviour of many a stressful week, my Sunday face mask routine works wonders. Calming yourself from the outside in, for 10 minutes, seeks to rebalance my inner self for the week ahead.
Also providing time to multi-task, maybe by reading, having a cuppa tea or a bubble bath whilst the mask soaks in, means not only does your skin get replenished but your mind can truly be freed.
Followed by taking time to look after your skin, through exfoliating and moisturising, leaves you not only looking good but feeling good also. Perhaps a burst of inner confidence will result to carry you forward in the next week, with the knowledge of the potential stress seeming now conquerable. You gotta believe to achieve.
Go for a wander
Maybe the constant working routine and environment is a source of stress in itself. Maybe what is needed is a change of scenery, a breath of fresh air.
Going for a walk is a remedy to the notion of ‘ground hog day’. Changing up your environment, taking in new sights and wandering in the beauty of nature, is enough to allow your brain time to refresh and maybe inspire a much needed boost of creativity.
This, for me, is certainly the hardest of all my tips to implement. Being part of the ‘scrolling’ generation, constantly online, constantly scrolling, means taking time away from social media and my phone seems like mission impossible.
Yet perhaps this is the break we all need. Maybe for our mental health, to give ourselves time where we are not comparing ourselves to insta-celebrities, or our mood being dependent on the number of ‘likes’ from our peers.
Taking time out from social media, no matter how little or how difficult, maybe the switch off we need, in a world dominated with comparison, a detox may be required.