Self-Care: Back to Basics

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Self-Care: Back to Basics

A fter typing self-care into Google and hitting enter, the plethora of information available can be overwhelming for anyone at the start of their journey. Though the results are valuable, it leaves you with the reasonable question of… Where the f*ck do I start? 

If this is you, then you’re in the right place.

The paradox of twenty-first-century self-care is one I am growing to understand. Without noticing, the technology-powered, work-driven, and social media-influencing world we live in can force negligence upon the simple yet supreme aspects of personal health. Eager to revive an unbalanced lifestyle, we turn to self-care feeling drained and defeated. 

Taking the leap towards becoming a Yogi or Zen Master isn’t necessarily a sustainable solution. The embryonic stage of self-care encourages forming rooted habits that will support future hobbies and habits you decide to take on. 

Behold: a collation of basic self-care tips and tricks that are cheap, achievable and momentous. Tried and tested by yours truly.

So Fresh, So Clean: Clearly, it’s second nature to clean your body and teeth daily. Occasionally these habits are dismissed due to external demands, which then has a domino effect on the day ahead. Make it mandatory to open and end your days with a personal hygiene routine.

Instead of rushing through the bare necessities, set aside time to thoroughly enjoy feeling revitalised and empty your mind of anything other than the body part you are tending to. Schedule attentive acts such as dental flossing, a skincare routine, a foot mask, a hair mask, or a hot bubble bath. You’ll not only look, smell, and feel good but you’ll gain a sense of control and accomplishment which sets you up for a productive day.

Spend your time as if it were money: value it, invest in it and don’t waste it.

Time is money: Spend your time as if it were money: value it, invest in it, and don’t waste it. Learning the value of your time benefits mental wellbeing, achieving goals, and getting the most out of your life. Most accomplished entrepreneurs advise using a calendar to organise your time because it turns a to-do list into tangible goals.  Start by colour coding or labeling daily activities and weigh up the balance of your schedule. For example, Orange = Work. Pink = Socialising. Purple = Socialising with toxic people. Green = Self-care. Red = Passion projects. Experiment sometimes by adding Green after Orange, or switching Purple for Red.

 

Talk to me nicely:  Self-affirmations are a form of mental wellbeing medicine. Scientific research suggests affirmations gradually rescue the mind from a cycle of negativity and self-hate. Cleansing the mind with optimism and gratitude enhances cognition, aiding every part of our lives. Every time you catch that negative record playing, turn up the volume on your own personalised affirmations, especially before a challenging activity.

 

Touch my body: Becoming acquainted with yourself is a privilege that garners invaluable knowledge and is a captivating way to cure boredom. Regularly explore your body or a concentrated area by utilising your senses. First and foremost, self-examine your genitals and breasts for normalities and abnormalities. Maybe even explore your sex preferences whilst you’re therecontrasting purposes but equally rewarding. More examples include frequently investigating your teeth and gums with a torch, or on the flip side, exciting your palate by experimenting with new foods.  Take out your headphones and home in on the sounds of the world. Sounds can be thought-provoking and connect you to your environment. Notice the spectrum of colours around you and test yourself by naming them. Feel your breath travel from nose to stomacha deep breathing exercise that is vital for relaxation and grounding yourself.  Keep a journal of notes, pictures, and videos to review and compare your findingsit’s fascinating. Along with being aware of your health, the fruits of this pursuit are practices of self-love and mindfulness.

Quench that thirst! By simply tipping water into the mouth and swallowing, major organs and bodily functions are instantly enriched. Appearance, mood, productivity, and energy levels, to name a few, are also improved. So why do so many of us miss out on this quick fix?  Water can be an ‘out of sight out of mind’ situation. Challenge yourself by taking a bottle of water everywhere you take your phone (priorities). If it’s there, you’re more likely to drink it. After drinking two standard 750 ml bottles you will have achieved the NHS daily recommended fluid intake. If you begin to lose interest or plain water just isn’t your thing, motivate yourself by mixing it up by infusing it with tea, adding juicy fruits, or opting for diluted juice or flavoured water.

All five of the above recommendations are accessible. In fact, they can be adopted right this second. That said, it’s common for new goals to slip off the radar or get lost in an unexpected turn of events, like a pandemic. The key is to be disciplined, persistent, and realistic. 

Splitting my self-care goals into three rankings of high, medium, and low is a trick that helps me with motivation and consistency. With hydration, for example, the highest rank is to drink 1.2 liters a day, the medium rank is 750 ml and the lowest rank is 250 ml. This method cushions the disappointment when unrealistic targets are missed and allows you to ease into unfamiliar habits. 

All in all, self-care acts are multifaceted and, like most things, it’s best to start at the beginning.

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