Girls, am I right in saying a face mask and a bath literally solves EVERYTHING? Guys, when life feels a bit intense, it’s the perfect time to get out on the green and shoot some holes right? When the world feels heavy, and we feel like we have a million different tabs open in our brains, and our phones won’t stop pinging, and sleep becomes broken, self-care is the remedy.
As the world is starting to get back to a somewhat normal state and we are realising how tiring it all feels, I wanted to put together something that I feel may help someone else out there, who may feel that it’s becoming all too much.
A little story to why I have some kind of knowledge of self-care and why it should be a key consideration during our week; A year or so ago, I decided that I wanted to go through CBT - cognitive behaviour therapy, to understand my mind and body in a more holistic sense. I wanted to understand how I could handle stress and how I could make sure my mental health was as good as it could be, particularly if I wanted to excel in my career, where no doubt, stress would be a part of it.
Through CBT, I learnt the importance of taking time out for myself, and why and how to do this. First, taking time away from a busy, demanding life and redirecting this time to focus on yourself helps to calm your mind and slow down any racing thoughts. Secondly, most self-care ‘rituals’ help to either lower your blood pressure and therefore any heightened emotions or feelings, help with your breathing which can in turn, turn your ‘fight-or-flight’ mode of thinking into ‘rest-and-digest’, which can slow can down any anxious thinking, or even just take your mind away from what you’re thinking about.
Throughout the week, I was taught that integrating self-care moments was key to keeping my mental health on a steady, continuous line. These moments could include the following:
A warm bath with a candle
Reading a book before bed-time
Planning and prepping
Although the above may not help more intense stress and anxiety and I am not a mental health professional, I did find that when I spent time doing the above, and switching off from the outside world, I started to separate work and life, and started to feel more ‘grounded’… There is nothing quite like having a warm bath, and reading a few pages of a book you love, knowing that that time is purely for you and no one else, and no one can get into contact with you. I even got into the habit of having a bath every Friday evening straight after work, to really dis-connect from work, and bring myself back to normal life, as well as journalling every morning so I could release any fast-moving thoughts I had onto paper, so my brain wasn’t becoming clogged up, and I didn’t have half a million tabs open every day, when I needed to keep my mind clear and focused.
In terms of how planning and prepping your week is also a form of self-care, it’s because you are minimising the additional brain power needed to think about what you’re doing and finding things and packing bags last minute and rushing around. When you plan ahead, you can reach the event or occasion and know everything is ready and you don’t have to stress; the logistics are thought through already and you are completely in control.
I think we forget to take time for ourselves when life is moving so quickly, and we forget the importance of putting barriers up when it comes to prioritising ourselves and our mental health; for me, self-care is an incredible way to do this, and really can help with fast-paced city lifestyle feel a hundred times better.