We talk a lot about self care these days, and that is a very good thing. It seems obvious to look after ourselves, but with our lives being busier than ever, filled with more stress and the constant pressure to have it all, self care is very important. It’s not all about candles, pamper time and long baths, although these are all important. Self care can also be about taking responsibility for your life, making it run more smoothly and less stressfully. I thought I’d share a list of both small and big things that I so to make mylife more happy, less stressful and generally easier.
House Plants –
This may seem like a strange place to start! But last year I started filling my home with lovely plants. Firstly they look lovely and bring a little of the outdoors inside. I love green things and being outside, so having some greenery in my home just makes me happy. They really lift a room and add a lot of character. I also put them in places where clutter can build up. In a house with 4 people living in it, people are always putting things down. Putting something nice on table top of shelf stops people doing it!
Ultimate Bathtime –
One thing I try to do every single evening is make time for a nice bath. I actually went years not doing this. I used to have a quick bath or shower every morning for about 5 minutes and that was it – on with my busy day. When I got ill last year, it was one of the things I started doing to make myself feel better and now it’s very rare that I don’t take that break in my day.
I’ll usually put a few drops of bath oil in my bath, but sometimes I have a bath bomb and a face mask and have a proper pamper. I have a few special products that are just for me. I often watch some Youtube while in the bath or listen to an audio book, for some ultimate me time. It may seem hard to fit this time in and as someone who doesn’t stop all day I get that. But really it is worth making time for.
Long Walks and Runs –
When I was in my teens I got into the habit of walking my stresses away. I had a horrible boyfriend and things were not good. I used to just walk for hours and think my way through things and it did help. After I had Jess and didn’t drive at the time we used to walk everywhere, it kept me fit and was really good for lifting my moods and making me feel good. When I was 23 and passed my driving test, I kind of got out of the habit of walking. I still went to the gym and went running but not in the same way.
In the last few years I’ve started going for really long walks in very beautiful places. I’m lucky that I live near some gorgeous places to go and run and the fresh air and pretty views really lift my spirits. There are some really good apps such as iFootpath, which I use to find nice walking routes. Obviously don’t go anywhere too secluded and keep safe! Exercise can be a great way to have a bit of time to yourself and put a bit of self care time in too.
Being Organised and Having Routines –
Not all self care is fun. As an adult looking after yourselves involves taking responsibility for keeping on top of important things. From paying bills, to keeping your house in order putting things off and struggling is awful for having balance and calm in your life. The same goes for routines, things are much easier when you know what needs doing when. If you have routines for the boring things it can be much easier to make time for treats, rest and things that make you happy. I’ll often watch organisation videos on Youtube to give me ideas and keep me motivated. I also get up early and get the majority of my housework done before taking Lila to school, so I can start my day with less on my plate.
Pamper Time and Looking After me –
The best part of taking care of yourself is absolutely having a good old pamper. If you want to be really good to yourself, set aside an evening and set yourself up the perfect relaxing night. I like to put clean sheets on the bed, run a bath, put a face mask on, listen to an audio book while I soak in an indulgent bath bomb. I bring a smoothie and some herbal tea up with me and don’t move for an hour. It’s so important to just stop, and a bath, pamper and early night are a great way to de stress.
Listening to Records –
Having little rituals for stressful moments, can be a great way to calm down and find your centre. I love to brew a cup of tea, put one of my favourite records on and have a few minutes to relax and listen to some music. I also love the tactile quality of vinyl, I’m not surprised that people love records and record players so much, despite being able to just listen to music on our phones.
Spending Time with Friends –
Good times with good people are an essential part of looking after yourself. As someone who works on their own from home and spends a lot of the rest of my time with two children, I sometimes get a little lonely, bored and generally just starved of adult conversation. Luckily for me I have been blessed with some absolutely amazing friends and family.
In my 20s I slowly started to get a slightly smaller group of friends. This is quite normal as you grow up and your life changes. Now I’m 32 I am so happy to say that all my friends are people who have a positive effect on my life and I’m so much better for knowing them. We support each other, make time for each other and motivate each other and spending time with them, or just having a chat on WhatsApp is an excellent tonic. From a self care point of view, have friends who you can be the truest version of yourself with, the good the bad and the honest!
Making Time to do Things you Enjoy –
Our lives are busier now that they have ever been and it can be hard to schedule in time for things that you enjoy. This is why I find routine and organising so liberating. It allows me to make a little time for me. Being happy and living your best life, is good for the people around you too, and there is nothing selfish about putting your needs high in your priority list.
As a mum and wife I make sure that not only Rob and the girls do a lot of their own things, but that I do too. We make it work. These can be simple things like, walks, reading books, trips to museums or watching some TV. Rob, goes to football matches, fishing and the pub, Jess goes horse riding and to slime conventions and all sorts of other interesting things and Lila likes to go to the farm and park and play with her Barbies, she also love to bake and do paintings.
Appreciating What you Have –
There’s a lot to be said for having an attitude of gratitude. When we slow down and really take a moment to appreciate the small things it’s impossible not to see the blessings all around us. I’m all for keeping a positivity journal. Everyday write down 10 things that you have enjoyed, that made you happy and that you are grateful for. A hot cup of tea, a nice walk, the sunshine, a text from a friend, how pretty the trees and the flowers are, a successful day at work or school etc. The possibilities are endless. Appreciating what we have can also be applied to our lifestyles and possessions. We live in a very consumerist world, which is great, but rather than feeling sad about the things we can’t have, look at the things we do with gratitude and appreciation.
Getting Up Early –
When Jess started at her new school in September our morning routine completely changed. I’ve always been a night owl and used to stay up way too late and get up at the last possible minute to get everyone out of the door. Now I go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6. Both seem early, but where I’m losing evening hours I’m gaining morning hours where I feel fresher and more rested and I have time to dedicate to setting myself up for a happy and productive day. I try to get most of my housework done first thing, so I have free time in the day to work and I’m not too busy in the afternoon when the kids get in from school. This is such a great way to stay on top of everything.
Getting Enough Sleep –
This is probably the single biggest way to change your life. Not only is everything better when you’re rested and your body is working to it’s full potential, but it keeps you healthy, happy and is one of the best ways to look and feel your best. This year I have worked really hard on improving my sleep patterns. I get all my best ideas late at night, I’m the worst for watching ‘one more episode’ before bed. I used to live on about 5-6 hours sleep a night and now I go out of my way to get 8. Getting more sleep has changed everything for me.
Be a Good Person –
By the time I’ve done all the practical things I need to do like cooking, cleaning, washing, working, mothering and looking after me, there really isn’t much time to put some good back into the world. I do really try to make the people in my life feel happy and loved too I love giving my spare time to people and helping out where I can. I think it’s good to be proud of the person you are and try as much as possible to be the best version of yourself you can be. Even small things like leaving nice comments on people’s pictures or giving someone a smile, or just everyday nice manners can not only make other people feel good, but also make you feel good too.
Self Care Your Way –
Self care can mean a lot of different things to different people. I hope some of the things that have worked for me, will be helpful to you too. I’ll probably think of a few more things once this is published, but if you have any advice, opinions or things to add, feel free to add them in the comments. What are your top self care tips? I feel like I can always learn, grow and get better so positive advice is always welcome! What things do you do to make your life easier, better and happier.
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