How often do you take some time for you?
I mean really?
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in day to day life and be so busy thinking about everything and everybody else, that you actually forget to look after the one person who has control over everything in that life.
I would love to just throw all of my responsibilities to one side whenever I feel like it and go on a spa break for 1 but that’s not really doable. That’s why I make a point of taking from 10 minutes to an hour for myself, every day.
So many people have said to me, “oh, I don’t have time for that”, but how can you not have time to spare 10 minutes a day?
Let’s work it out. There are 24 hours in a day. That means that if you take off 25 seconds of each hour in that day, you made your 10 minutes back. If you can’t speed up what you’re already doing by 25 seconds per hour, then you really need to rethink what you are doing with your time, seriously.
I have a husband and a toddler, I have my own beauty business that I work part time with, a house to keep on top of, and of course my blog. If I don’t take that small amount of time to put everything in order in my own mind, each of these would suffer.
Would my husband understand me if I can’t even process my own thoughts?
Can I have the patience I need to look after my toddler if my mind and body are exhausted?
Will the housework even get done if I’m seriously under motivated?
Can I provide a good service to my beauty clients if I’m unable to fully concentrate?
Will I keep coming up with new blog ideas if my mind is already full?
I think I can safely say that we all know the answer to those questions.
Once these general day to day responsibilities start to suffer, so does your mind. The more you suffer, the more your responsibilities suffer, and the more you suffer again.
Has anybody ever told you that they feel down, but you don’t understand why because they don’t have any problems, and everything seems to be going well?
I have just given examples above about how day to day life can cause you to feel down, if you simply don’t allow a few minutes a day for yourself to reflect and recharge.
Mental health is a huge topic of today, and taking the rule of daily self care can be the first step to recovery for some, and the answer to the problems of others.
So, How do I do it? What do I do?
Self Care Tip 1. Take Ten
Firstly, my toddler has a nap every day at around 3pm…ish. So, once he’s asleep, I make a point of making myself a coffee and sitting down for 10 minutes while I catch my breath, and review everything that I have left to do in the day.
By giving myself this 10 minutes, I allow myself to process the day in my mind. I can work out what else I need to do for the afternoon. Without these 10 minutes, I’d probably be chasing myself and getting nowhere.
Self Care Tip 2. Run a Relaxing Bath
Once a week, instead of having a shower, I run myself a hot bath with bubbles. I play some relaxing music from YouTube through my portable speaker, and light candles around the bath. I’ll be honest, if you’re overly tired, this might be a hazard. Falling asleep in deep water and surrounded by candles is NOT the idea of relaxation (and probably a little bit dangerous).
However, if you think you can stay awake through it, it is the perfect way to unwind! The warm water relaxes tight muscles, the calming aromas from scented candles and bubble bath send you into a happy place, and the sound of the music allows your thoughts to drift away.
A major stress reducing treatment!
(Click here to listen to an example of what relaxing music I like to listen to from YouTube)
Self Care Tip 3. Book a massage
Once a month, I try to get booked in for a massage. Being a qualified massage therapist, I know very well the benefits of a massage both mentally and physically. There are very few people I know who don’t have tense shoulders. Even when I don’t think I’m stressed, if I don’t go for a massage, I might as well be walking around with my shoulders touching my ears!
A 30-40 minute back, neck and shoulder massage is perfectly adequate for bringing my shoulders back down to where they are supposed to be, and other benefits are:
– Pain Management
– Rehabilitation for muscle injuries
– Increased blood flow
– Increased flexibility
– Improved immune system
(you can read more about the above from Massage Heights by clicking here)
Self Care Tip 4. ASMR
This is a method that is seriously misunderstood at the moment, and I can kind of see why. However, with an open mind it can be of great benefit for self care, and stress and anxiety relief.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is characterised by a tingling sensation beginning at the scalp, causing you to relax and sometimes feel sleepy.
Every person has different sensitivities and different triggers for ASMR, so it’s important to find the right one for you.
During a time in my life when my son was born prematurely and I had my first nights back home while he was still in hospital, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. As a massage therapist, I understand how music and sounds are able to send a person into a state of relaxation, so I searched for relaxing sounds on YouTube, which is when I found ASMR.
I remember listening to a particular video where a lady was removing a plastic film from two microphones shaped as ears. To me, laid with my eyes shut, it sounded like a quiet crinkling sound from different corners of the room. I can’t tell you much more, because my mind was concentrating on where the different sounds were coming from, and away from my own thoughts, meaning I was asleep in minutes, or even seconds!
Sleep is a MAJOR important part of self care and mental well-being. While we sleep, our minds process our thoughts and worries, which is why when you wake, a problem can seem much smaller than it did before you went to sleep. Without the right amount of sleep, our bodies can’t function to the best of their ability. (Read more here about the effects of insomnia on the mind and body, from the health line.com)
(Click here to see an example of an ASMR video)
Self Care Tip 5. Go for a walk
Breathing in the fresh air and taking in the scenery that you have never really properly looked at before is more than enough to make your negative thoughts shift.
It is a well known fact that exercise is good for a healthy mind and body, and walking is great for this.
By going for a walk, you also get a chance to take yourself away from places or situations that require a lot of thought, and allows you to return with a refreshed mind.
It’s amazing what places you might discover nearby that you had never noticed before!