I have been thinking about the subject of self-care for a while. Self-care is a very important concept, but one which I feel has been rather commercialized. I’ve been thinking about it even more so since we’ve all been forced to stay indoors and avoid the most common methods of self-care that we’re accustomed to.
Self-care is something that I think we mouth platitudes about, but don’t really practice properly. Often, what we deem self-care is a trip to the spa, or some pampering in the form of a body massage or facial, or a bout of shopping.
I used to think the same, but now I view self-care differently. It is much much more than just a spa day 🙂
What is Self-Care and why is it important?
Self-care is about taking care of yourself, physically and mentally. Often, when we have fallen sick, or find ourselves feeling down, that’s when we think about practicing some form of personal care.
But we need not wait that long, or until we fall ill. Aside from keeping ourselves physically healthy, it is as important to keep ourselves mentally healthy. This, more so in a post-Covid world, when so much of what we have been doing have been turned upside down.
We are also experiencing more stress, be it from the news and current affairs, or just from being forced into close quarters at home and home-schooling children while juggling work and household chores.
It is important therefore, to pause, retreat and touch base with yourself, if not daily, at least every other day.
Here’s 3 things I do, that help me with my self-care, and no, it doesn’t involve spending lots of money 🙂
Find your daily oasis of calm
When there is a lot going on around you, or if you are working from home, or in quarantine or lockdown with others, it isn’t easy to find this oasis. But it’s important to.
It could mean having a little time to yourself in your room perhaps, away from family, just to get back in touch with yourself. It could mean a few minutes reading a book, or watching some mindless videos or TV.
It could mean taking a bath or a long shower, without someone hanging on your leg.
It doesn’t have to involve scented candles, wine and dim lighting. It would be nice, but it isn’t necessary. What it involves is you, by yourself, so you can get in touch with your innermost self, and check in. Maybe even figure out what is stressing you out, or why you feel stressed.
For me, my daily oasis of calm is a few minutes lying on the couch, not speaking to anyone and not entertaining the needy puppy. I spend this time reading or just catching up on anything I’ve missed on social media. It helps me reset myself, and really only takes a few minutes!
I don’t always find interacting with my puppy relaxing, because I’m training him, and that means always being on my toes around him haha! So yes, sometimes, he has to entertain himself 😛
Indulging in a proper skincare routine
While facials are commonly regarded as self-care treats, you can perform self-care right in the comfort of home, with a proper skincare routine.
I don’t like to rush through my skincare routine. Well, unless I don’t have the time, and am in a rush. Otherwise, I take my time to pick out the products I’m using, to think through each step, and to ensure that I massage in or pat in the products into my skin.
While I understand that some people find putting on skincare a tedious affair, I have always enjoyed it. I find it calming and relaxing, and giving your skin a little massage, whether in the shower while you cleanse your face, or with a bit of facial oil, helps relax your facial muscles, and by extension, your mind.
I always feel a little better after a hot shower, and a rigorous skincare routine, both in the day and in the night 🙂 It’s a few minutes just to myself, in my room, on my own, and it’s calming.
Disconnecting from the internet
When the virus started taking over our news and social media feeds and minds, I found myself experiencing a sort of fatigue. Aside from feeling anxious and worried, I was feeling stressed.
To address this, and to protect my mental health, I make it a point to disconnect from the internet a few times in a day. This could be while I’m cooking, or watching TV, or reading, or having my meals. I always try not to have my phone with me at meal times, because it’s something I rather abhor to have people staring at their phone at the table. Understandable, if dining alone, but rude when not.
As Twitter and Instagram are where I hang out most, I try not to spend too much time on it, as I have found it hard on me mentally. It’s easy to be swept up in social media drama or issues that don’t really concern us.
Instead, I designate little pockets of time when I scroll through my social media accounts, and then, leave it aside. You may have noticed a decline in my Instagram posting and presence, and it’s because of this.
I don’t think anyone wants to hear about what I’m doing with my dog, or my little dog treats business, and there isn’t much else that I can talk about in recent times LOL! But if you’d like to talk about dogs, or buy some dog treats, I’m that go-to person 😉
I’ve had to spend more time concentrating on building a social media presence for my business accounts, and that is rough. So, to avoid feeling discouraged or demotivated and burnt out, I choose to disconnect, to preserve my sanity.
It is helpful to disconnect, I find, as it resets my mind, brings me back into the real world, and allows me to focus on myself and those around me.
So, these are 3 ways I practice self-care, that does not involve me spending a penny. As much as I crave a body massage, I’m staying put for now. It’s still quite volatile out there, and I’m not keen on catching anything for the sake of a couple of hours of bliss 😛
How to you practice self-care at home?
While I used to think of ways to get-away, it’s become harder to now that we have to be careful about our health. So, finding ways to practice self-care while at home, and being diligent about it, is important.