There is no one single way to take care of you, and it is different for everyone. Some people find a deep comfort in doing accounting, or admin on their personal projects – for others it is about a long bath and getting a pedicure. So, let’s get started on the ultimate self-care guide.
If you dye your hair or use heat to style, then you should already be giving your hair some extra love. If you’re not, it is never too late to start. Unless you are a regular at the salon, the chances are you need a trim. If you’re brave enough do it yourself. If you need to head to the salon, do it. Get those split and damaged ends taken off. It will make your hair look amazing with little effort.
Next time you hop in the bath or shower massage your scalp. Pretty much all shampoos, and hair products leave a residue on your scalp. Put your hands into a claw shape and use those paws to massage for at least ten minutes (or three songs). Rinse and start your conditioning process. Except if you have time leave it to soak in for around 5 minutes.
Once a week slather a hair mask on. If you are pushed for time, put it on when you start to clean the bathroom and rinse it out when you’re finished.
Night cream, eye cream, cleanse, tone, exfoliate… The face on your skin sees a lot. From pollutants to free radicals – it’s your job to look after it. If you want a salon-style treatment, then you could consider derma rolling in the house with a high % Vitamin C + Hyaluronic acid serum. This will rejuvenate and plump the skin. Use the micro needling derma roller once per week and start at 0.25 for the best results.
Eye cream is essential. The skin around your eyes is thin and prone to getting dry. So invest in a rich moisturizing face cream. Put this on nightly, and during the day if you need to.
If you are interested in long term results, then check out YMD eye & face to look at your options.
Although often people forget parts of a good face care regimen, if you manage just a few days a week, you will see an improvement. And of course, having plenty of water and at least ten minutes of daylight per day too!
Neck & Jaw
Do you know how many of us are walking around with a tight jaw and stick neck? Plenty of are walking around tensed up, which gives us headaches, tight shoulders and even causes tooth issues.
So set a reminder on your phone to roll your shoulders unclench your jaw, wiggle it around and take a deep breath.
Well, of course, we all know we should be moving as much as we can, but the type of moving is up to you. This isn’t even about being slim and tones, but just keeping your joints and muscles as healthy as possible. Cleaning is a really great all body workout when done with some music on and some elbow grease, but perhaps you want to skip the cleaning. A dance around in the kitchen to your favorite music for at least half an hour is great too.
Try and fit a daily walk into your life. It might just be to pick up something from the grocery store, or the kids from school but it will get your heart pumping – which is what you want.
Drink more water. Super simple, cheap, effective and necessary. Set the alarm on your phone or download an application to remind you to take a big old drink of water.
Balance. Yes, cakes, chocolate, and fried food are delicious, but there needs to be the right amount of fruit and veggies in there too. Make a few light adjustments like adding greens and salad to every hot meal. And in the morning fit in some fruit after that morning coffee. Oily fish is phenomenal for keeping your joints, eyes, brain, and hearing in good form. So have at least three portions a week.
Scrub-a-dub-dub. We need a lot of moisture in our skin. No matter who you are, if you light scratch your fingers up you are there will be dry skin flakes. When you are in the bath or shower, use an exfoliator to get rid of that dry skin. Once you’ve hopped out use a thick and creamy moisturize, or coconut oil to lock in as much moisture as possible. Pay special attention to ankles, elbows, and knees – they get drier than other areas.
Lumps and bumps. Make sure that you are regularly checking your breasts for lumps and/or bumps – this could be life-saving and doesn’t take long.
Sleeping is something we all do. But there is a significant difference between good sleep that leaves you well rested and an ‘okay’ nights sleep. Work on a bedtime routine that starts around two hours before you want to go to bed. Try and go at the same time every night. Work out how long you ideally need sleep wise and implement it over the next few weeks.
Apps like the Calm app is excellent for getting you into a better routine. It gives you a gentle reminder two hours before bed to start winding down. As well as having a host of sleep stories and guided meditation to help you get in the zone.
Sleep sprays for your pillow, massage creams, and even a long hot bath can all be great aids in getting that much-needed rest.
Your hobbies are a great source of joy and happiness. But that is only true if you are actually getting the time to indulge in them. Try and book at least one day a week, for a few hours that you can let your creativity loose and let your brain relax. If you don’t have a hobby, then think about getting one. It can take a lot of trial and error until we find what we are really good at, or just what enjoy so if you haven’t found anything yet keep trying.
There are plenty of people in the world who are perfectly lovely, but there are some people who hurt us, repeatedly. It is time to think about doing something great for yourself and not having them around quite so much. View your time and your feelings as a premium. You deserve people who treat you with respect and love – and give them the same in return.
Learn to say no. Millions of women say ‘yes’ to helping, doing, managing things that just overload them. Being stretched too thinly to often isn’t good for anyone. It is important to you get comfortable with your limits and know when you can’t (or don’t want to) take on any more than you already have going on. It is not a crime to value your time and give yourself space.
Journaling has had some bad press in the last few years like it is something new. However, people all over the world have been keeping diaries. Writing about what they have spent their day doing and what they are looking forward to. It helps you to process things that you are struggling with, as well as cherish the enjoyable moments. With many modern day time restrictions if you can’t find time for full entries or decorating your pages, try to write down one thing every day that has made you say yay. Located a few dollars down the side of the couch? A phone call from a friend? Write it down and savor it in years to come as something that made you smile.
Headspace and The Calm app have guided meditation to help you catch a few extra minutes a day to let your mind relax. Although the first few times can feel a little awkward, before long, you will enjoy tracking how many minutes you have had of the mindful variety on any given day. You can even get your little ones to join in with you and take a few minutes to just ‘be.’ It helps us deal with emotions, thoughts, and negativity in a positive way. You can then apply those mindful skills to other areas of your life.
Your feet are hard working. The get swollen, rubbed with shoes, walk on all sorts of surfaces and deserve some love. Slather on some foot cream and some cotton socks to leave the moisture to soak in. Trim your toenails, and while you’re there give them a massage. You can have a cheats massage by rolling your feet on a tennis ball for a few minutes each.
Self-care is a full body, mind and spirit thing. So try to find things that make you happy, that indulge you and enjoy the happiness results too!
What is your ultimate self care guide? I’d love to know in the comments below!