I am all for self-care. We are our own biggest commitment after all and we’re the only person in the entire world that we are stuck with forever so for that reason, I believe in self-care and its importance. But what I’ve been thinking about more and more recently is the actual self care “routines” we are often bombarded with which are sure to make us feel better and increase our mental well-being.

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You know what I mean and I’m sure you’ve all seen endless articles and posts which state, ‘Lighting a candle, doing your nails, going shopping or reading a book’ is the perfect way to spend a “self-care” day. Heck, I wrote one myself, here. But what about if we strip it right the way back and go back to the ultimate basics when looking at self-care for the times when our mental health or wellbeing is so low that going shopping or just lighting a candle isn’t going to help.

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Sleep: Just sleep. If you’re in a position where you can sleep (like, not at work lol) then just sleep it the fuck off. Don’t worry about wasting the day or wasting your time sleeping, just get comfortable and perform one of the easiest and most basic human actions. You won’t miraculously feel better when you wake up – and that’s what’s important to remember with these points, they are not miracle workers – but I always find it takes the edge off. And if you have a fluffy animal to hug whilst you do it, even better.

Drink a glass of water: Get up, go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of water. I find this so therapeutic and worth while because you’re taking the time to give your body the one thing it needs and the best possible thing for it. If you’ve been crying then this is extra important because you need to rehydrate yourself otherwise you’ll end up with a banging headache and feel even worse.

Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do or feel like you can’t do: Just don’t do it. It won’t help and whatever you do try and do will probably turn out shit because you’re in a shitty frame of mind, can’t concentrate and aren’t feeling it. No offence but like, have you ever tried to write a blog post when your mental wellbeing is at an all-time low? I have and it sucked. So bad. And I deleted it anyway.

Wash: You feel like shit, you haven’t showered in forever and no offence but you probably stink. No problem is worth neglecting yourself over. We’ve covered this; you are the most important person in your life. Have a warm shower, wash yourself with something that smells nice and wrap yourself in a towel / dressing gown / item of choice. This isn’t about relaxation; a perfect Instagramable bathtub with candles, books, chocolates and bath bombs. This is about the most basic self-care you need.

Eat something: If you can. If you can’t, maybe try and smoothie or some orange juice but if you can eat something, do. Again, this isn’t about lavish meals to “treat yourself” or bar after bar of chocolate or a massive takeaway cos damn it girl, you deserve it. Eat something basic (toast?) and preferably healthy (fruit?) to quite simply… not starve. You owe your body that much.

If you have any basic self-care techniques to add to this list, I would love to hear them so leave me a comment and let’s discuss! 

47 Comments

  1. […] Basic self care is the best form of self care in my opinion, especially when you’re feeling particularly rough or going through a bad spell or just generally feeling like you’ve neglected yourself a bit. By basic self care, I really do mean basic. Brush your teeth, drink some water, have a shower and eat a small meal. These things can sometimes seem like a mountain of a task when you’re not in that frame of mind but honestly, it will make you feel better. Even just a tiny bit. Even for just a tiny amount of time. […]

  2. […] Self care is for every day. Not just the bad days. We should be looking after ourselves and doing things to positively effect our well being every. single. day. I think this consistency in, “I’m going to do this because it feels good / I need to do it / it’ll make me feel even better than I already feel” will then in turn make caring for ourselves when we are in a bad place all that easier. Because we already know how to do it. Because we always do. Every day. […]

  3. I REALLY love this post, Jenny! They’re such basic things that I know I should do, yet often neglect. Somehow reading this really felt like a wakeup call, so thank you! 🙂

  4. When I’m not having a good mental health day then I love taking naps to just switch completely off for a while.
    Great post lovely!

  5. Stripping it down to the basics, I love it. I adore sleep, that I take the opportunity to take naps (when I can) and it always makes me feel refreshed, similar to bathing. One thing I would add would be light exercise, we need to keep ourselves active. I know I definitely need to reintroduce workouts back into my routine.

    Tajinder | http://www.musicgeekonline.co.uk

    1. I love naps too. I never feel guilty for taking naps because if I take one, I know I need it. When I’m not having a good mental health day then I love taking naps to just switch completely off for a while. Light exercise is a great addition to this list too.

  6. I enjoyed your post. Mental health is so important and women, the compassionate and caring half of the human race need to recharge their batteries regularly. Exercising by walking gets you out of the house, AND gives you the chance to just let your mind wander.

  7. My additions:

    -Don’t worry about shaving, just get clean in the shower.
    -If you’re already feeling weak and shitty, upgrade the water to a gatorade/powerade.
    -Brush your hair
    -Brush your teeth
    -If you can’t do laundry, freshen up your sheets with Febreze and change your clothes.

  8. That whole list is full of totally important self care things that I will admit I sometimes over look! Nothing better than a shower and cuddling up in bed for a good sleep!
    Great post lovely!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  9. The “sleep” one is SO important! I often overlook the fact that I need a good nights sleep until I switch off all the lights and fall deep asleep. Waking up refreshed and ready to go is the best kind of morning.

  10. These are such great tips – sometimes, when my MH is at it’s worst, just taking a shower is an achievement. But it’s an important act of self-care, to wash and keep yourself clean, that shouldn’t be overlooked. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Absolutely and I completely agree I’ve had days before when everything is a struggle, even getting up but sometimes you just have to force yourself and realise that you and your body deserve that much xx

  11. Absolutely, I think mental health and how you feel about yourself is for and foremost, then if you want to indulge in the ‘aesthetcis’ of self care then go ahead, I have to deal with a mentla health issue every day, as I live with someone who suffers quite badly in that area and your points are very valid, having a shower and a walk in the fresh air really do work wonders in making yourself feel a little more human 🙂
    The Teddy comment is great too, people think that because they are now adults, that teddies are childish, NO! they really do provide a service:)

    Thanks again foryour great post.

    I found my way here via the comment pod, so happy to be here and look forward to reading more from you 🙂

    1. I have a teddy that I’ve had since the day I was born and he’s literally been all around the world with me. I don’t think I’ve been on a single trip where he’s not come! I would be absolutely distraught if I lost him – as silly as that sounds! Thanks for commenting! 🙂 xx

      1. I suffer from chronic depression and forcing myself out of the house is one of my coping mechanisms. Certainly not a method to recommend for others.

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