Self care is probably one of the biggest buzz terms bouncing around the sustainable and lifestyle community at the moment. Personally I find the term a bit of a non-event. Surely just living every day, eating, sleeping and washing is self-care itself? If we didn’t, we would either be very ill or very unhappy. A big part of me thinks that the term is just a marketing ploy to get us to buy more unnecessary stuff that we don’t need, ultimately creating more confusion and anxiety that we are not keeping up with the latest trends. Not to mention further cluttering the environment with waste and rubbish.
Having a deeper think on the term self care, I think there are some things we can all do to improve our way of life that don’t involve spending money and time on unnecessary gadgets we don’t need. Yes a lavender scented candle may help you relax and fall asleep, but you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new set of bedding, pyjamas, eye mask, bed socks, and face cream to allow you to do it! Yes these things are nice and can be enjoyed, but they aren’t necessary.
Below I have listed 5 ways we can all have a little more ‘self-care’ time without creating unnecessary waste and added anxiety that none of us need.
Day to day self care – Switch off your notifications
This for me has been hugely beneficial. Have you ever been trying to do a piece of work only to have your phone screen lighting up for every WhatsApp, email, Insta like or comment totally distracting you and loosing rhythm? This has cost me hours of time. Previously I would pick up my phone to open the notification and then end up spending 10–15 minutes mindlessly scrolling and looking at stuff with no real enjoyment or benefit to me. Just think of the hours lost this would equate to if it was happening several times a day!
Now I only have notifications on for texts- (which would usually be my parents) and all my friends know that if there is something urgent, to just go old school and call me. If I am having a particularly procrastinating day I will put my phone in another room so it’s out of arms reach. Having less distraction results in a clearer mind and a much more productive day.
Reduce your marketing exposure
All those emails that you get offering discounts on new products, sales deals and constant products that you need in your life are going to do nothing to make you feel good about yourself. Suddenly feeling like you cant get by without the latest craze can lead to a feeling that you are not good enough without it or you couldn’t possibly have equal results with the products you already have. This.Is.not.true! Sure we all like to treat ourselves every now again, but we do not need to be bombarded with advertising telling us otherwise. Turn off and unsubscribe to all your marketing apart from the companies you really love.
Learn to say thanks, but no thanks
Is your diary bursting with social dates and work commitments that you are struggling to keep up with? Start to say no! I have recently turned down a couple of overseas work trips as it would have meant significantly compromising time with my friends and family, which in the long run is more important. Conversely I don’t want to be run down by too many dinner dates and social outings if it means I am falling behind with my work. Finding a balance is hard but really important to allow all areas of your life to thrive cohesively.
Plan your meals ahead of time.
Eating regularly is very important for me, also the quality of what I am eating. I feel eating organic really makes a difference to my wellbeing and the environment. I don’t do well if I am low on sugar, I really struggle to concentrate. Packaged sandwiches and ready meals just don’t make me feel good, not to mention the waste materials they come with. I have learnt to always carry snacks with me and plan ahead so I know where I can get food from. A great trick I have learnt is to batch cook. If I am making something like lasagne or curry, I make a couple of additional portions and freeze them for a day when I will have little time to cook a proper meal.
Find something that you enjoy and allows you to switch off.
Me time. Again a phrase that does make me cringe but it is ever so important. You don’t need to spend hours locked away with soft lighting and candles, you just need to find something that you enjoy, preferably away from social media where you can relax and take some time out. Even 10 minutes can be beneficial. For me it is most definitely getting out with dog and exploring the Cotswolds. Being in the fresh air, wildlife spotting and taking in a glorious view is so revitalising. It certainly beats pounding the treadmill for hours. I also find reading a great way to escape, something that takes your mind completely away from work and all the other day to day stresses in life.
Can you recommend any other eco self care tips? Please let me know by commenting below.