The Twenty-Something Series: Easy self-care strategies you can do today

January 08, 2018
Life is stressful, and self-care is important. In this post, I share a few strategies for self-care you can do today.

Life is stressful. We all need to make time for a little self-care. For some people, this is easier than others.

Sometimes when you're under pressure and feeling like there are a million and one things to do, making time for self-care can seem like a crazy thing to do. Or else, it can be hard to know exactly how to spend the time you've put aside for yourself and make it feel worthwhile - and not just an hour sat wondering what to do.

In this post, I wanted to share a few easy ways to take care of yourself - and in most cases, you've probably already got all the tools you'd need at your disposal.

Give yourself a manicure

For some reason, when my nails are painted and look pretty, I feel more together - and I find there something infinitely relaxing about doing my nails. Spend some time on yourself here: take off whatever nail varnish you might already have on or is left on the edges of your nails from the last time you painted them. File and shape them. I love those four-way nail buffers, too, that smooth out the nail beds. Apply a base coat. Two coats of colour. A top coat. 

Take your time: and let it dry before you try and do something, because you know it's only gonna smudge, and that's beyond frustrating. If you struggle to keep it looking neat, invest in some of those cotton bud sticks that you can use just around the edges of your nails to tidy them up.

Change your bedsheets

Sounds like a lot of effort? It might feel like it, depending on how badly in need of a little self-care you are, but believe me, it's worth it. It'll make you feel fresher, and there's something lovely about going to bed with clean sheets.

Do some housework

Clean your room/flat/house. If I'm feeling low or kind of out of it because of my mental health, I'll clean. It's routine, doesn't require you to think about it much, and by the end of it you've done something productive and helpful to yourself. (And saved yourself the trouble of doing it another day, right?) I find this is great for helping me feel better.

Tidy up

If housework seems like too much effort, or if you only just did it yesterday and there's no point doing it again now - or maybe if you just don't have the time right now - then spend ten to fifteen minutes tidying up. Get the dry laundry off the radiators. Sort out the pile of letters and magazines on the table. Clear up the bits of makeup you left out on your dresser that morning and put your shoes away from where you kicked them off in the hallway when you got home. 

Again - it's something productive and helpful to yourself that doesn't require much brainpower. And it's so much easier to relax in a tidy environment than where you can see all the mess that's waiting for you to sort it out.

Do something you've been putting off for a while

Whether it's the washing up, writing a letter to a friend, or buying that thing you added to your Amazon basket weeks ago. Find a couple of small tasks to work through: it's much easier to work through one small thing at a time than to work yourself up to doing one giant task. 

Watch a movie

Find one you know you love every time you watch it (Anastasia is always a winner for me) or pick something from your list on Netflix that you've been meaning to watch for ages. Turn the lights off, snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and put the movie on. 

Pamper yourself

Take a shower and wash your hair, or use up that bath bomb you bought a few weeks ago. Put on a face mask. Use that nice shower gel and moisturiser that's your favourite. Put on a playlist you love to sing along to. Put on clean pyjamas. Hell, throw in a glass of wine if you fancy, or add some mini marshmallows to your hot chocolate!

Spent the time to yourself, not worrying about anything else, and let yourself relax. I find self-care only works its magic if you treat it like that: as time you're devoting to yourself. It's not time you're spending procrastinating, not time you should feel guilty for wasting - because it's not a waste. This is time you need. Time you're choosing to dedicate to some self-care. There's nothing wrong with that.

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