Contrary to popular belief and despite what you may see on Instagram, self care isn’t just photo-worthy baths and face masks. Although, if you love a good bubble bath, you do you. The truth is, when it comes to self care there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’.
For a term that’s thrown around a lot, you may be thinking what is self care exactly? Well, by definition, it’s the practice of taking care of ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. It comes in many different forms, but includes anything that will help us to relax and recuperate, so that we can feel our best.
We believe there’s nothing more important than taking care of number one and although our lives can become overrun with work and day-to-day commitments, that doesn’t mean we should neglect a bit of ‘me time’.
If you’re asking us, Sundays are all for self care. It’s the one day of the week you can use to recharge your batteries, ready for the week ahead.
So, to help you unwind, we’ve collated our top self care tips with everything from meditation to hydration for the perfect Self Care Sunday.
1. SPEND TIME OUTSIDE
Spending time outside can do wonders for the mind, body and soul. Whether that be a stroll through the park, a weekend hike or catching some rays at the beach, being surrounded by nature can offer calming effects. This is because being outdoors is said to give your brain a break from being overstimulated.
So, if you’re feeling drained from those back-to-back meetings or simply need a break from being stuck inside, pop on your favourite playlist and head out for a midday walk.
2. KEEP MOVING
Now we’re not saying you need to do a high-intensity workout every day, but getting in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is just as good for your mental health as it is your physical health.
This could be a half hour swim, a light stroll during your lunch break or, if you fancy, a fast-paced spin session. We get that the gym might not be for everyone and if you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I’m one of those people’, discover our 8 best alternative workouts.
3. KEEP HYDRATED
Not all self care ideas are quite so fitness-intensive. In fact, they can be as simple as getting enough H2O. From regulating body temperature to helping your brain function, drinking plenty of water is essential for your health.
Bottoms up, ladies!
4. PRACTICE MEDITATION
It’s a well-known fact that meditation can reduce anxiety and stress, but did you know it can reduce blood pressure, improve sleep and increase your attention span? It’s like they say, you learn something new every day.
And the best part is, it doesn’t require heaps of time or expertise, it can be done wherever, whenever to suit you. It’s the perfect excuse to get comfy and take 5.
Check out our beginner's guide to meditation here.
5. COOK YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL
Just like water is important, food is too.
If you’re wondering how to spend your Self Care Sunday, why not cook your all time favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all 3!)? Forget about the calories, protein intake and meal prep for the day and just eat the things you love. Besides, when it comes to your diet, balance is key.
6. READ A BOOK
To practise self care properly, you really need to take some time away from your screen. Yes, we know, the thought of setting your phone aside may send you into panic mode, but all that blue light just isn’t good for anyone, and making yourself a priority is essential.
It’s finally time to pull out that book you’ve been meaning to read for far too long and allow yourself to get lost in the words. Better yet, light a candle, make yourself a cuppa and prop yourself up with some pillows and a blanket for the ultimate comfy-cosy rest day.
7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO TO PLANS
We don’t need to tell you how important spending time with loved ones is, but equally, if you feel like you need some alone time, don’t beat yourself up for taking a rain check. Your besties will understand.
More often than not, our expectations of ourselves are unrealistic, so it’s unlikely that you’ll actually be able to do all the things you initially had planned and that’s okay. Your wellbeing is more important than your to-do list.
8. MAKE A GRATITUDE LIST
Granted, we all have days where we don’t feel our best, but we all have something to be grateful for. A home, a job, two legs, family - the list goes on.
Focusing on what you’re grateful for can help put things into perspective and alleviate some of the stresses you may be dealing with. Make a list of 3 or 5 things you’re grateful for, the more specific you can be the better.
9. DETOX FROM TECHNOLOGY
Sometimes it can seem near impossible to escape work, especially with our phones glued to our hands 24/7. And if it’s not work emails taking over our lives, it’s social media.
It’s safe to say, we’ve all spent a scary amount of time scrolling Instagram or TikTok, but setting some boundaries can really help create more downtime. You can do this either by turning off notifications or setting a time limit for certain apps in your phone’s settings.
Not only that, but don’t put pressure on yourself to reply to messages straight away. Do everything in your own time, it can wait.
10. PAMPER YOURSELF
Okay, just because we said self care isn’t all about pamper sessions, doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Besides, who doesn’t love a bubble bath, face masks and body butter?
For an extra indulgent Self Care Sunday, take pampering to a whole new level with some essential oils and aromas. Because you deserve a little TLC.
When you get out, lather your skin in moisturiser, spritz a refreshing body spray and we’re certain you’ll feel like you’re floating on cloud nine in no time.
There are plenty of other self care ideas to help you unwind and nurture your wellbeing, a good night’s sleep being one of them. Read how you can improve your sleep here.
Whatever self care looks like to you, remember to treat yourself with kindness. After all, you deserve nothing less.