The trend for ‘self care’ has got a bit carried away. Every brand going seems to have jumped on the self care bandwagon – ‘have a Starbucks! It’s self care!’ – and it feels a bit like anything and everything has been transformed into a symbolic act to show you’re looking after yourself.
The reality though is that self care isn’t about spending money or ‘treating yourself’ to expensive things, it’s about taking the time to connect with yourself, your hobbies, your friends and families and to allow yourself space to relax and pursue interests outside the usual work and chores. I’ve picked out a few ideas for ways to take some time out for self care without having to resort to taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate.
Do one thing at a time
This might sound like a funny one, but stripping back your activities and concentrating on one thing at a time can be powerful. If you think about it, we often layer things on – we watch a film and eat snacks and have a drink and probably have our phones nearby too – it’s a lot. Instead, try zoning in and JUST watching a film or JUST enjoying a snack. It can create a more rewarding experience and help to improve your concentration and focus as well.
The ultimate ‘me time’, masturbation has a lot of short and long term benefits for physical and mental health. It’s a great way for starters to get to know your body and feel more accepting of it and this can have a positive impact on your other sexual relationships as it helps you to understand the things you like and don’t like. Try experimenting with toys that you might not have used before – butt plugs for instance can create a whole new experience.
Take some exercise
This might not be the first thing you think of when you think self care, but taking regular exercise, especially outdoors or as part of a team, is a great way to release endorphins and get those happy chemicals flowing. Not only do you get the short-term rush of hormones though, you have the long-term benefits for your health and well-being too. If you don’t fancy a triathlon or anything intensive then even taking a half hour walk through the park can be enough to get the blood pumping.
Connect with nature
Following on from this and the idea of being outside is the importance of spending time outside and noticing the small things around you. Connecting with nature is a form of mindfulness and is a great way to gain some perspective on any issues that you might be struggling with. Combine your time in nature with learning a new skill like naming wildflowers and you can double up the benefits.