Self-care for dummies

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Taking care of your emotional well-being is the most important thing you can do. But, it’s not easy and might take a bit of getting used to if you’ve been in the habit of neglecting yourself. It’s good to build habits that will let you move forward through difficult times. The best way to go about it, in my experience, is make it an everyday habit, rather than a big blow-out. While planning a spa experience does sound lovely, it’s not necessarily practical or affordable. Little things will give you a boost and keep you buoyant.

Here are a few things you might find helpful:

  • Wash that stress out of your hair: Have a long hot bath and lather up. Add bubbles and heat your towels. Light a candle – it’s nice to feel nice.
  • That’s a mouthful: Have a little snack of whatever you fancy – a row of chocolate or a handful of nuts.
  • Brideshead Revisited: Revisit a favourite book that helps you to feel safe.
  • Savour the flavour: Make an event out of tea time – infuse a special brew in a teapot, drink out of your granny’s china, have a nice little biscuit on the side… Make it a ritual.
  • Change as good as a rest: Try walking a different way to work or order something new from the takeaway.
  • Light up: Light a candle or some incense and focus on the flame or light.
  • Clean your act up: Take care of your garments or gadgets. Take a few moments to polish and freshen up your shoes or delete some apps to make things go smoother.
  • Tiger, tiger: Try Tiger Balm for your aches and pains. Lush have a great range of massage bars that’ll do the trick, too.
  • Get it off: Switch off all your devices, it’s incredibly liberating – find a new part of town, get some undisturbed shut-eye, read the dictionary, stand on your head, or maybe get it oooon with some sweet guy or gal…
  • Present you: Future You is going to love Past You – make sure you have a nice lunch and an enchanting ensemble ready for tomorrow, set your alarm a little earlier so you can ease into the day.

 

For more ideas, have a look at my lists, 50 Things To Do On Dog Days and 50 MORE Things To Do On Dog Days

Take care!

Summer Self-Lovin’

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Summer is a great time for recharging, reminiscing and renewing yourself – the days are longer, the weather is (sometimes) better. You might even have a little holiday planned. But, it’s been a dismal old time here in the UK, and maybe your mental health is a little worse for wear.

If so, here are a few summer self-care suggestions:

  • What’s your flavour?: Try a new flavour of something – ice-cream, hummus or, if there’s still a chill in the air, maybe a rose and cardamom hot chocolate might be up your street… Variety is the spice and all that.
  • Check it out: Health checks – important business – if you’re worried about anything, whether it’s lumps and bumps or suspected gluten intolerance, don’t wait for it to wreak havoc! Get checked out and get treated.
  • Road trip!: Travel if you can, dream if you can’t. Making mood boards from holiday magazines might help a little…
  • Shrink to size: Get therapy. Identify what needs repair (if you don’t already know) and work on what you’re struggling with, NOT what someone else wants you to fix. An outsider’s take on situation offers perspective, too.
  • Funny side: Find something to make yourself laugh – it might be something you overhear, or a hideous selfie from a friend or someone else’s infectious laugh.
  • Magical Me: Channel your inner Gilderoy Lockhart and speak only good things about yourself. Although, try to make sure that they’re actually true… Write down every genuine compliment you get – treasure them.
  • Supreme clean: Establish good habits before winter comes and snatches you up into hibernation faster than you can say ‘White Walker’. A habit supposedly takes 30 days to take hold, so start now! I’m trying to kick my sugar dependency (trying being the operative word).
  • Take no prisoners: Self-love and self-care are, of course, totally personal. Stepping back from toxic relationships, or ones that are unsustainable in order to focus on yourself is better for everyone.
  • Go forth and multiply: If you have a craft, hone it. Write a novel, whip up a zine, work on a painting, whistle a tune… If you don’t think you have a craft yet, experiment with new ones to find your niche. Make/ write/ draw/ sing stuff. Do it now. You can, I promise.

 

Hope your summer lovin’ has you a blast.

Pick-Me-Ups for Pin Ups and other magical beings

 

Pick-me-ups we could all use now and again:

 

  • Piece of quiet: Half an hour of carefully cultivated silence might do the trick.

 

  • Roller-set: Waking up to a done ‘do is some people’s idea of heaven. Definitely mine.

 

  • Prep-set-go: Get organised for the week. Make lunches, pack bags, iron clothes… Future you is going to love you!

 

  • Me-day: Give yourself a bank-holiday. Book a day off, get rid of the dog, kiss your significant other goodbye and plan a day of unadulterated ME time. Get lost in an antique emporium, eat ice-cream by the tub-load, book into a craft workshop, go to a sex shop, whatever it is, it’s yours!

 

  • Selfie-love: Taking that one perfect, crafted self-portrait gives you a buzz. Take a hit.

 

  • You scrub up well: It might be something as small as lip-liner, it might be a bobby-dazzler of a fur coat – dress up to the nines and shine!

 

  • Take me down to the paradise city: Day trip to a nearby city you don’t see nearly enough of… have a love affair there. With the city. Obviously.

 

  • Vital signs: Take a few minutes to scan your body and put anything right that you can right away. Take your vitamins, drink a glass of water, put a wheat bag on that niggly shoulder, put on some lip balm and hand cream. Note down anything that might need more attention when you have more time.

 

Disclaimer: There are other ‘Pick-Me-Up’ lists  on the market.

Power of one: Snakes and Ladders

Imagine you’re playing Snakes and Ladders. Think of that big, fat snake that trips you up and sends you tumbling back down to square one. It’s a good way to think of those big mishaps that sometimes happen. You don’t get knocked right off the board, you don’t lose outright – you start again and build from the bottom up. Maybe you need to think of that snake doing you a favour by showing you how unsteady your stance was, or how your foundations weren’t as solid as you thought.

 

So, roll snake eyes and get your fangs into this advice:

 

  • Ladders: Gather your materials – it could be books, blogs, burritos, badminton rackets, bananagrams or bunting – whatever will get you going again.

 

  • Circle of love: Next, gather your people, your puppies, your pals. Reach out – when you’re in the quick-sand, you’re going to need a hand.

 

  • Timing is everything: When you get a cut, it might scab over quickly, but the real healing takes time. If you try to pick the scab off too early, you’re only going to make it scar so be patient, with your soul and mind as well as your body.

 

  • Professional approach: Everyone needs a sounding board now and again. Make sure it is someone neutral like a counsellor or doctor who will allow you to make your own choices without a vested interest.

 

  • Retrace your steps: Pick up where you left off before whatever happened, happened. You were you then and you are allowed to be you again. No fear, dear.

 

  • Experience is ammunition: Life happens to everyone. Don’t feel bad about it, but if it made you feel bad, don’t do it again.

 

  • Batten down the hatches: There’s a storm out there, don’t let it in your teacup. Let the outside world look after itself for a change. Cover your portholes and have an internal dialogue. Check in with yourself! How you doin’?

 

  • It’s your party: Let me reiterate – this is about you. You wouldn’t tell someone else that they were a worthless, disgusting, ugly waste of space, would you? Big up your sweet self and stop being a nasty pasty about little old you.

 

  • What am I missing?: Whatever your snake is/ was, remember it was doing you a favour. So, if you were putting yourself in a bad situation, think about why you were doing it? What did you think you needed out of it? You can fulfil any bits and pieces you were longing for…

 

May your ladders always lead you higher, and may your eyes be opened to the snakes in the undergrowth! The only way is up!

 

Need a leg-up?