Admittedly I’ve been a bit grade-A shit at the whole self care thing recently. It’s ended up somewhere on my to-do list between ‘hoover under bed’ and ‘put business expenses on a spreadsheet’. So yeah, v not likely to get done until some time mid 2018.
I jest, I jest.
Anyway, we all know the obvious ways to take better care of yourself. Like go to bed earlier, drink herbal teas, have big sexy bubble baths with 67356 LUSH bath bombs and all that. But I thought it might be nice (and even mildly helpful) to create a post with some of my fave self-care things.
Things that I’ve perhaps long-forgotten, teamed with a few new things I’ve discovered in the past week or so on my mission to make my life just a wee bit less stressful.
So I hope this encourages at least one of you to sack off your work and your chores and your phone tonight. Because let’s face it, mental health and physical health and all that is a bazillion and two times more important than refreshing the mail app on your phone.
1. HOT WATER BOTTLE
I only tend to use hot water bottles when I’ve either got period pain that feels like I *might* die or I’m so cold my nipples are threatening to fall off. Turns out they’re super comforting when you just need, well… comfort. It’s the equivalent of having someone hug you for a long time without getting a dead leg. If you’re feeling a bit shit, pop the kettle on and make yourself one, promise it’ll instantly chill you out.
I know what you’re thinking, fuck off Hannah and stop talking about cheese toasties. But I’m telling you, it’s the way forward.
When you’re feeling stressed, tired and like you might just lie on the floor doing a cry, the last thing you fancy is a chipper quinoa and kale salad. You need white bread, some cheddar (and maybe some ham, some jalapenos, sweet chilli sauce, tuna or whatever your heart desires).
And if you don’t have a toastie maker, get a frying pan on a low heat (otherwise you’ll burn your bread before the cheese is melted) and place a plate on top of your sandwich to get it to trap some heat in. D-freaking-vine.
3. INVEST IN YOUR BED
Getting an electric blanket, a mattress topper and a good quality duvet and pillow set has absolutely changed my life. I mean yeah OK sure getting out of bed is 8275732 times harder but once you’re in there, sweet diggity it’s goooood. It’s like being in a hotel.
I’m not sure I can adequately explain in words just how much it’s changed my life. So yeah, screw the new shoes and get the electric blanket and the fancy luxury feather duvet on the ol’ birthday list. Maybe throw in some sheets with a high bed count and the L’Occitane pillow spray and girl, you gonna sleep like a baby (with less of the weeing the bed, obvs).
4. TIME WITH THE RIGHT FRIENDS
I love, love, love hanging out with other bloggers and getting a chance to rant/bounce ideas/compare horror stories but when my mental and physical health is feeling a bit dire, I need quality time away from the internet. I need the people around me who don’t even have an Instagram account (I KNOW WHO KNEW SUCH PEOPLE EXISTED).
The people who want cups of tea and chats about offline things. People who’ll do basic stuff with me like watch documentaries and go for walks without talking about emails and brands and Twitter spats. I need the people who help me switch off my over-wired brain, the people who let me escape.
5. OFFLINE ACTIVITIES
I love a TV show as much as the next sassy sister, but I find my attention span is sometimes so aggressively rubbish that my brain won’t concentrate on an entire episode. I’ve found reading, and specifically reading fiction, a much better way to escape and detach myself from my whirling mind.
For me a book needs to transport me somewhere else, rather than make me think harder and deeper about my own life, which is why I love stuff like good ol’ Harry Potter and grisly crime thrillers. I’ve listed some of my faves here.
See also: baking (REMEMBER HOW MUCH YOU LOVED THIS AS A KID?) and board games.
Sometimes I write a blog post and it will feel like a big ginormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders – Tuesday’s post is a good example of that.
Now I’m not saying that you need to whip up a blog post with every emotion fizzing about in your head, but you need to get your thoughts out of your brain without interruption. You need to just let the words flow without someone butting in, without taking a break. Because getting those words out – either in writing or out loud to someone like a therapist, is the best way of making sense of them. Of making sense of yourself.
A diary is a wonderful place to start. Somewhere you can pour out your thoughts, feelings and emotions without judgement or editing.
Shock horror, having a pamper will make you feel better. DUN DUN DUN.
I have this ancient post about the ultimate pamper routine, but a realistic pamper for me involves actually cleansing my face, using Pixi Glow Tonic to remove the grim dead skin on top, and using a heavy, posh moisturiser. And maybe having a bath. And shaving my legs if I feel real fancy.
But yeah, this is something freakishly soothing about knowing you don’t have even the tiniest scrap of make-up left decaying on your face. That brings me contentment, ain’t gonna lie.
What else do you guys do to help with your self care?