Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and whilst we’re all for romantic displays, we want to focus on one of the most important things a woman can have: self-love.
It is worth acknowledging that self-love encompasses many things, can look very different for each person, and isn’t an overnight fix, but don’t let that put you off! There are things you can start doing right away to nurture your own wellbeing. One of the most integral parts of self-love is self-care, actions that we carry out to look after ourselves and our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. The practice of self-care is so important, not just for us but for the people around us too - how are we able to take care of others if we cannot take care of ourselves?
Convinced it’s time to spend a bit more time on you? Look no further, as we have put together a list of ways you can take care of yourself, to help you feel your best and be able to embrace life.
Pencil in some 'you' time.
Whether that means having a bubble bath, reading a book, or going for a walk make sure to allow some time for doing things that make you feel good and help you to switch off from everyday stresses. If you know what makes you happy, do more of it!
Look the part.
Psychologists have found that putting even a little bit of effort into our appearance is one of the most important things we can do for our emotional, mental and psychological health. When we dress up, we walk taller, and feel better. So, pop on your favourite shoes (or buy yourself a shiny new pair) and be your most motivated self.
Set yourself up for a good day with a morning routine that works for you. This will be different for everyone, but we recommend taking time to apply some skincare, drink some water and plan for the day ahead.
Move your body.
Besides the obvious physical benefits of exercise, it has also been proven to improve mood, increase self-confidence, help you relax and improve your quality of sleep. Find a way of moving your body that you enjoy – go for a walk, do an exercise class on YouTube, join a dance class – whatever you choose, just know you’ll be doing your mind and body a favour!
Fuel your body
Cook something delicious and healthy, whether that’s an old time favourite or a new dish you’ve been wanting to try!
Turn off your phone
With emails, news apps, social media and more at our fingertips, we’re all guilty of scrolling for too long… and it isn’t great for our minds. Try and reduce your time spent on your devices and see an improvement in concentration, sleep quality, and self-esteem. Don’t forget, not everything you see online is real.
Create a skincare routine
Having a skincare routine not only benefits your skin, it’s also a great way to create a soothing ritual in the morning or before bed. It’s relaxing, refreshing and sets you up for a great day or peaceful night’s sleep. Tip: Apply SPF every single morning.
Reflect and be grateful
Taking time to reflect each day is important. As humans it is easy for our mind to wander to the negatives and focus on what has gone wrong. Why not spend some time each night to write a short list of things you’re grateful for? Over time this simple activity can help shift your mindset to a more optimistic, resulting in a happier more positive life.
Ask for help
This sounds like an easy one but knowing when to ask for help can be hard. If you’re ever feeling stressed, sad, or overwhelmed, reach out to a loved one. Asking for help can feel like a weakness, but it’s actually a sign of strength and courage.
Do something new
It’s time to broaden your horizons and mix up your daily routine. Learn a new skill, try a new hobby, or even just take a new route to work. Incorporating new things into your life is a great way of offering our brains something novel to get excited about!
It’s important to spend time in spaces that make you feel relaxed, and a messy space can have a real negative impact on your mood. Whether you need to de-clutter, clean up, or rearrange your space, a little bit of effort can go a really long way.
Look after your feet
All too often we place emphasis on looking after our bodies but fail to place the same emphasis on our feet… which seems crazy when you consider the fact that the average person walks approximately 100,000 miles in a lifetime! Foot health directly impacts our quality of life, so it’s important to pay them some attention and know how to take care of them. Here’s a quick guide: Make sure to thoroughly wash your feet daily, use a foot file or pumice stone to remove any hard skin as necessary, dry them well after washing, trim your nails in a straight line, and moisturise. Go one step further and treat yourself to a relaxing pedicure.
One of the biggest causes of problem feet is wearing ill-fitting shoes, so make sure to buy comfortable shoes that provide sufficient support and cushioning. (But if you’re reading this, then we’re sure you have already got this tip covered!)
If you have any concerns around your feet, make sure to visit a podiatrist so they can offer professional advice and support.
Practicing self-care can seem a little alien at times, as we’ve been conditioned to feel selfish when doing activities for ourselves. But that’s not the case at all. Everyone deserves to feel their best and put themselves first – after all, how can you show up for the people around you if you are unhappy or stressed? Building up a better relationship with ourselves is the first step in being able to create happy relationships with others.
The overall goal is to incorporate small self-care practices into our daily routines, so that we are consistently taking care of ourselves which in turn can help prevent burnout. Don't try and do everything at once, perhaps start with incorporating one activity each day, and with time you will no doubt begin to see your outlook on life shift to a happier one.
Self-care can manifest in so many ways, and the above list is just a few activities that you can do to incorporate it into your daily routine. Do you have any self-care tips or practices that you like to carry out? Let us know in the comments below and we can all help each other out!