Celebrated annually on 24 July, International Self-Care Day promotes self-care as a vital foundation of health. Whilst self-care is different for all of us, whatever you do, taking the time to care for yourself will go a long way towards improving your mental health.
The date symbolises how beneficial it is to experience self-care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and should not just be confined to a day.
Read on to find out how the Kindred. team practices self-care.
Self-care for me is taking the time to switch off and care about myself and myself only. Whether that is binging a Netflix show I’ve been putting off watching for the longest time or spending the day pampering myself.
Another way I like to practice self-care is by catching up with friends as due to conflicting schedules I can’t see most of them as often as I’d like.
Last but not least, I try and listen to my body and what it’s telling me it needs. If my body tells me I need a break and should take it easy, I will do exactly that, even when the weather is nice and I get serious FOMO.
One thing I love to do when I want to tap into self-care and wellness is to take a day to fully pamper myself. There’s nothing quite like getting your nails, eyebrows whatever done, having a bubble bath, putting on a face mask and doing your skincare routine to settle down for the evening.
For me, a pamper sesh is something I do every Sunday evening to wind down from a stressful week and feel refreshed on a Monday. It also gives me a chance to recollect my thoughts if I’ve been anxious or overwhelmed from work, so I can set a mental plan for whatever I have planned ahead.
I don’t have a self-care routine as such, but because I struggle with my mental health, I have to be conscious of the things that do keep me well, and I try to incorporate them into my life as much as possible:
Keeping a diary and sticking to some kind of routine
Having goals: that is, one year, five year, 10 year and Someday goals for every area of my life
Trying to strike a balance between the different areas of my life and not becoming too consumed by one, whether that be uni, work or a man
Trying to strike the balance between stimulating myself with work and creative projects and not burning myself out (something I still struggle with!)
Having regular "chill days", usually on a Sunday, where I do f*ck all (apart from eating, sleeping, shopping and going to the cinema)
Using an Emotion wheel has seriously changed how I deal with my emotions, just through bringing awareness to myself about what I’m feeling and why
Self-care for me is deleting social media apps from my phone, so I can focus on my immediate surroundings. It's going on a run early in the morning or at the end of the day, so I can prepare or unwind for the day ahead of me or the day that has passed. It’s also spending quality time with the quality people in my life.
My method of self-care is constantly practising how to be patient and forgiving of my mind and body on days that take me a little longer to feel like my normal self. If my body is telling me that it needs to sleep in a little longer or that I need a couple of days in bed to recover mentally, I’ll listen to what it needs rather than be critical of myself for not being productive.
When I’m stressed I find the best thing to do is reconnect with my inner child. I tend to spend an evening to myself watching one of my favourite comfort shows and making jewellery, a hobby I picked up as a little girl.
When I think of self-care. I immediately think of a cosy night in watching a movie or TV show. Film and TV is a perfect form of escapism, and a great way to put your mind to focus on something other than everything else going on in your life.
Also, I find that re-watching favourite movies or TV shows can bring a great deal of comfort as it’s familiar, and you don’t have to focus too hard to enjoy it, as you already know what’s going on. This can be the perfect option for when you’re just too tired to properly focus on something or just want to gain some familiarity and comfort.
Most of the time I have a million things on my mind, so day-to-day maintenance ends up rushed or completely neglected.
Self-care to me is taking time for a reset of both myself, and my space. I love lighting a candle, putting on some R&B and having a hot shower. I’ll clean and wash my bedding (getting into fresh sheets with perfectly smooth legs = HEAVEN), and I’ll watch an 80s classic, because nothing beats a night in with John Hughes IMO.
My form of self-care, as mentioned in my article The delightful art of taking a day off from the rest of the world, is usually a walk in nature. Whether by the sea or valley, I have to be out in nature to not only reset myself but to get back to a wholesome version of me to be able to pour into our world again.
Reading words that elate my soul and having quotes around my house helps as well. I am a word of affirmation girl (read The Five Love Languages, you will understand yourself better), so I need to hear good words and be surrounded by them as often as possible.
How do you practice self-care? Let us know in the comments!