I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself cynical, but the idea of self care and being mindful always seemed a bit too far out for me, and I could only imagine feeling awkward if I tried it out. But as we began 2017 and I took stock of my life and decided that a detox was in order. It was during this “life detox” that I realised how important self care is and that it doesn’t have to be as awkward as I initially thought.
I really think that it’s important to take a good hard look at your life every now and again; what’s bringing you down, pin point the people or activities that bring you joy and set some goals. Often this leads to you making some tough, but necessary decisions. All part of adulting and trying to lead a happy life I guess.
For me personally, my lifestyle detox began with a social media clear out. I unfollowed or muted accounts that:
- Made me angry – you know those ones that constantly bad mouth our beautiful country? They only rile me up. Goodbye!
- I wasn’t actually friends with – this was mostly true for my personal Facebook account. Sure, I went to primary school with you but I haven’t seen you in 20 years and don’t really plan on it so what’s the point.
- Make me feel inadequate – there were certain accounts that made me feel really bad about myself whenever I scrolled post them, that’s no way to live, unfollow!
Social media is where I spent 80% of my day (don’t worry, I’m working on that…) and so it’s only logical that I make it as pleasant of a place to be as possible. I may only have a handful of Facebook friends now, but my timeline is a (mostly) pleasant place to be.
A home detox is always a good thing although it always seems incredibly daunting and so I was so happy when I saw that Chereen from For the Beauty of It was doing a “Simplify Your Life in 28 Days” challenge. I didn’t think that having a clean washing machine dispenser would make me so happy! Or that an organised spice cupboard would result in me feeling less frantic while cooking. The challenge is over now but if Chereen decides to put up a summary of the challenge or starts another one, I will be sure to let you know!
I’ve never been great at diets, I just love food so much! But after a gluttonous December, it was time to tighten the reigns. I didn’t implement anything hectic, I just made some minor adjustments as we are pretty healthy 75% of the time. When I went grocery shopping I always bought a few different puddings for the month (I am such a sucker for chocolate instant pudding – takes me straight back to my childhood), it goes without saying that that got cut from my list. I also made sure that I stocked up on lots of good, non-starchy veg as well as lots of lemons so that I could start my day off with lemon-y hot water. These simple changes meant that our meals were a lot healthier and we stopped feeling so sluggish.
Now let’s move onto self care. It took me a while, but I realised that self care doesn’t have to be all about lighting candles, doing some yoga poses and meditating. And no offense to those who do practice self care that way, I’m just not at that point…yet. Here are four simple ways that I practice self care in my every day life:
- I have a long bath. Every single night. I close the bathroom door and soak for at least 45 minutes. Sometimes even 90 minutes. Dan knows, unless someone is dead or dying, do not even think about disturbing me. Most nights I just watch some YouTube, read blogs, scroll through social media or catch up on my texts. It’s my time to do whatever I want without a baby and dog to run after or a laptop with an endless supply of incoming emails.
- Exercise. I know this is probably going to get a lot of eye rolls, and I was one of those people! But at the beginning of this year, I said that my word for 2017 is “healthy” and so I want to stick with it as best I can. I try to do some form of exercise every day. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not running 5km (because I literally can’t), most days I do a YouTube workout in my bedroom and on the weekends I take Moose for a walk. For me personally, the goal isn’t to become a marathon runner, it’s to keep my body healthy.
- I water my plants. Okay, this one is a weird one, I know. But I take such pleasure in watering all of my plants around the home and watching them grow. It actually fills me with such a sense of pride! We are busy redoing our garden (believe me, it is way overdue) and I can’t wait to have a veggie patch to nurture.
- I unplug for my meals. We are all guilty of it: eating our meals in front of our laptop, scrolling through social media or watching TV. We eat dinner together at the table every night and I try my absolute best to do the same for all of my other meals. I find that because I am actually conscious of the fact that I am eating, I stay fuller for longer.
Detoxing your life and starting to practice self care is a gradual process, if you run in guns blazing, you will probably end up feeling overwhelmed and more bombed out than you were feeling initially. Take baby step and very soon, you will start to reap the rewards.
What are some of the ways that you practice self care?