I am all for self-care. Despite the fact it’s deemed a by-product of our generation and sense of entitlement, I can’t help but think, ‘why shouldn’t we be entitled to look after ourselves the best we can?’ And even, on occasion, before we look after anybody else. 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 wellbeing.
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.
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.