2020 has been one hell of a year and it isn’t even over yet. Hopefully nothing too left-field can come out and smack us in the face before we see the light of 2021 and ring in the new year at an appropriate social distance, but never say never.
Being locked down, locked in and isolated from the lives we once lived has meant work and life have merged in an insane way. Work has become home. Home has become work. Homeschooling has become a thing. Pyjamas have gone from nightwear to wardrobe staple. Your phone is your best friend because it’s the only way you can speak to your best friend. Zoom happened. Zoom quizzes happened. Zoom photoshoots happened (although they were questionable at best in my opinion). We went into lockdown, kind of came out of lockdown(?), went back to the pub and now we’ve got curfews with stricter rules and the threat of a second lockdown looming.
And that’s just the drama in our living room.
To say it can be overwhelming is probably the biggest understatement ever, but what can we do to press pause and chill amongst this craziness?
Let us introduce you to self-care for people who don’t quite like the idea of self-care.
Now hear me out because I know what you’re thinking, self-care is either people telling you to read “The Secret” or buy some crystals you can charge in the moon and it’s not for you. But self-care is basically just the act of looking out for YOU. You don’t have to know what savasana is or drop £200 for a massage at a day spa to be able to practice a little self-care, you’ve just got to do things that help you switch off and recharge, especially while times are so weird.
So here are our top 10 self-care tips that will help you zen out:
- COOK - Studies have shown that cooking or baking and following a recipe are great ways to relax and destress. You have to be focussed on the task as it keeps your mind and hands busy, so not much can distract you and you get a delicious meal to enjoy at the end. It’s kind of like meditating with a tasty reward at the end. You can give some of our recipes a go here (they’re particularly chocolatey and delicious).
- CLEAN YOUR ROOM - I know these are sounding like hard work but we are spending so much time in our own homes it’s important to make your room as comfortable as possible. Clean up, make it neat, put on some fresh bedding and get yourself a nice scented air freshener to keep it smelling fresh. Try and keep your room separate to any work activities so at the end of the day you can go up there, peace out and chill.
- MOVE YOUR BODY - Again, seems like work but we promise that even 30 minutes a day of walking with your headphones on or a podcast to keep you company (check our recommended below!) without your notifications will refresh your mind and it keeps you healthy! Getting out into nature has been shown to be a mood-booster in a big way, so get to your local park and soak it up.
- TURN YOUR PHONE OFF - you heard us right. In a world where we’re immediately contactable it’s good to switch off for a little bit. Whether you’re outside walking (see point 3) or inside, switch it on flight mode and leave everyone unread for a little while. Entertain yourself by doing something you enjoy in this time whether it’s reading a magazine or watching a film or show you’ve been meaning to catch-up on. Even though it might be the only way we can speak to some people, you are allowed to take that little slice of time to yourself without the buzz of WhatsApp to distract you.
- TAKE A DAY OFF - You might be at home all the time and unable to go on holiday, but you should still take time off! Take a full day and use the time to do the things you love, or just get through all the bits you normally do at a weekend so you can enjoy those two days to the fullest!
- CHAT TO YOUR MATES - I know we made fun of Zoom earlier, but it’s really great...right? Whether it’s via Zoom, FaceTime or just a normal phone call, get a bit of one-to-one time with a mate who always makes you laugh. You’ll come away feeling re-energised and pretty great.
- BREATHING TECHNIQUES - This is where we start to toe the line with some alternative stuff but you can keep it simple or scale it up to some of the wild breathing methods out there (we’re looking at you Wim Hof). There are a million YouTube videos out there that can walk you through different breathing techniques that can calm you down and get you relaxed.
- HAVE A BATH - or if you’re not into baths, a long shower. Just get yourself clean. A bath is nice to relax especially if you pop on a candle or two (we can be boujee sometimes) but the point is to come out feeling fresh and clean, as this always makes you feel better. If you’re going for ultimate self-care go from bath to comfy loungewear and get cosy af.
- GET MUSICAL - There’s nothing better than putting on your favourite playlist and nailing your rendition of your favourite song but it’s also really nice to put music on that suits your mood so you can dance it out in your dining room or chill in your kitchen. Whatever you’re feeling there’s a playlist for it.
- WATCH THE SUNSET OR SUNRISE - This is pretty easy. Get out of your house and watch the sun, it’s very peaceful watching it rise or set on a new day.
Want a little extra? Here are our best apps, podcasts and people to follow:
Best Meditation Apps:
Great Podcasts whether you’re after zen, self-care tips or positive podcasts aimed at self-improvement:
- Meditation Studio - Untangle
- Selfie - A podcast about self-care and “other sh*t”
- Happy Place - by Fearne Cotton
- The Habit Coach
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- 10% Happier with Dan Harris