How do you fit self-care into every day, when self-care is about expensive bath bombs and facials, haircuts and afternoon teas? Spoiler Alert – self-care is way more accessible and achievable than spending £10 on a bath or getting your hair blown out at the salon! It can be cheap as chips (we need to change that saying, chips are getting dear these days – Brexit amirite?) and easily slot into your daily routine. Don’t believe me? I’ve compiled a list of eight ways you can show yourself love each and every day without spending any money and without needing to clear your diary! I can feel the skepticism…..
The Easy Eight.
- Wake Up, Check In. Boy scanning is really easy and quick! When you wake up; take a moment to breathe deeply and, starting at your feet, think about how each part of you is feeling. Anything aching or sore? Imagine your breath flowing to that soreness and blow it away. Holding any tension in a muscle? Breathe into it and let it go. When you’ve done your body, ask yourself how you’re feeling today and make note of anything that’s worrying you or making you happy. Then get up, stretch and go!
- Eat Your Breakfast. I’m not talking about cooking yourself a huge Full English each day – unless you want to, you go for it – but making sure you eat every morning is important. Sitting down with a slice of toast and cuppa only takes a few minutes but has a huge positive impact on the rest of your morning. Your body needs nourishment to function well. Love yourself and EAT.
- Basic Ablutions. Most people laugh when I say this, but washing your face and brushing your teeth is a daily act of self care! Are you not caring for your teeth by brushing them? Doesn’t washing your face care for your skin? Allowing yourself time to do these essential things well each day – not rubbing your face with a damp cloth while simultaneously scrubbing your molars – shows you love in the most basic of ways.
- Fresh Air is Good Medicine. There’s no denying that fresh air is good for our bodies and our souls too! Our homes and workplaces can easily become stuffy and smelly, germs and dust spread and it’s just yucky. Not everyone can go outside every day – I struggle to go out more than a few times a week – but that shouldn’t stop you from breathing in that lovely freshness. simply sitting by an open window for five minutes can make a big difference. Of course if you can, go outside!
- Drink Up. Whenever my kids complain about headaches or feeling poorly, the first thing I ask them is “how much water have you had today?” Our bodies and brains contain a lot of water, and even a small decrease in hydration can have big effects on your well-being. Drinking about 2 litres of water throughout your day is essential, but some folks claim they don’t like it – so try decaf, herbal and fruit teas, dilute squash, fruit juices and ice lollies! You will pee more, but you will feel better!
- Be Creative. I’m not talking about chiseling a huge block of marble into a Venus Di Milo knock off (but again, if you want to then do it!) but taking a few minutes to get creative brings such joy and peace to me every day! How about moving your cushions around, or lighting some candles? Make your lunch look pretty, or put on some make-up; snatch a moment of intentional creativity every day and see if it doesn’t cheer you a little.
- Put Your Phone Down. Lots of us live with a mobile phone permanently on us, constantly connected to the internet and always contactable. No wonder we all feel so worn out and stressed all the time eh? The world will not end if you eat your tea without looking at your phone, nor will it cease to turn if you read a book at bedtime instead of scrolling through social media! In fact, there is an abundance of research that proves putting your phone down for a while each day boosts positive mental and physical well-being, creativity and healthy sleep cycles. So put it down.
- Bed Time Routines Aren’t Just For Babies. As a raging insomniac I cannot stress the importance of a good nightly routine! It signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep, resulting in the release of the sleep chemical melatonin and ushering you off to dream land. It doesn’t need to be complex; every evening around 10pm I go to the loo, wash my face and brush my teeth then head up to bed. I put on my pajamas and put away my clothes from the day, then I sit in bed and put my moisturiser on and take my medicine. I read for a little while (no phone/tv allowed) and then it’s lights out.
As I was writing this it occurred to me that a lot of this stuff is just common sense and it may come across as obvious – and I guess it kind of is. But that’s the point I’m trying to make here; self-care doesn’t need to cost anything more than a few moments of intention. All of these suggestions are probably things you already do every day without thinking about it, but what if instead you did think about it? What if you saw brushing your teeth as an act of tenderness to yourself, or making/eating lunch as a gift to your body instead of something to gobble down as fast as possible?