Ditch The Self-Care Routine For These 5 Simple Tips
Self-care. A phrase that is becoming a religion of its own with people skipping work and blowing off plans for the sake of it. But is dedicating an entire routine or day really a healthy option? Shouldn't taking care of yourself be already ingrained on your inner eyelids?
Self-care is something we're seeing more and more YouTubers and Influencers capitalizing on. Whether they are recommending starting a journal or it's using a specific candle to overcome depression; I'm no longer sure whether I'm receiving some friendly advice or just watching another infomercial.
The web is littered with 30-day challenges to incorporate more self-care into your life. Influencers (with nothing more than personal experience) preach advice in order to educate you about your mental health. While this should be something we already know how to take care of, the scarily increasing numbers of suicides and hospital admissions prove we don't.
Thankfully, I'm pretty satisfied with my mental health and my ability to cope with different issues. But, I'll be honest, I still suffer moments of stress, anxiousness or low moods (which is different to depression). So, of course, I will be tempted by the warm, comforting wafts coming from self-care articles. One thing they had in common was routine. Routine, routine, routine.
Now I am a huge creature of routine. I swear by them. It makes everything run more smoothly and leaves little room for error; and even then, an error that you can prepare for accordingly with a routine. Haha, I sound like a mad woman! But if I decide to have a "Self-care Day" and I plan it to the T, I end up feeling very stressed and anxious by the pressure to stick to the routine. I just wish the day to be over.
As glorious as it may sound to take an entire day of peace to get yourself back to 100%, I don't think that should always be the case. Mental Health Days (a.k.a Self-care days) is simply a day off work (or other obligations) for reasons other than a physical illness like the flu. It was introduced into some First World countries to encourage an inclusive and supportive working environment for someone struggling with their mental health. Of course, there will be the chancers who will abuse it as a "free day off" when they couldn't be bothered but for those who genuinely struggle with their mental health, it means they don't have to lie to the boss and pull a sickie because their workplace has appropriate measures in place. If you haven't already, definitely talk to your boss about Mental Health Days.
But what about if we were more emotionally stable and educated and instead we had a better work/life balance? Why do we let ourselves get so run down and overwhelmed to the point where we need to miss an entire day (or two) of life to get back on our feet? If you google it, you'll be inundated with methods of yoga, meditation and oil diffusers. If this seems a little too new age for you, there are some ways you can prevent a burnout.
🌟Make a to-do list🌟
Offloading everything you have to do onto a piece of paper will free up some brain power. Making a Master List of everything you need to do and then dividing those tasks out throughout the week. Your to-do list doesn't just consist of errands, it can consist of things like having a shower or painting your nails. If you don't put it on the list, it won't get done.
I'm a huge multitasker. But slowing down and completing 1 task at a time means what you do, you will do it well. Focusing on one thing at a time means you won't feel overwhelmed.
I'm am so guilty of ploughing on through my day without so much as a bathroom break! But in reality, nothing major is going to happen if you take 5 or 10 minutes to get some fresh air or a cup of tea. Relax! You are not as important as you think. The world will not stop if you don't answer your phone or email immediately!
I am always Number One. Sorry, not sorry! I am aware of everything I need to do in my day. If someone comes along and asks me to do something that will tip the balance, I simply tell them I can't to it today and reschedule it for another time. We always put others before ourselves and it leaves us feeling fraught and under pressure to perform. Always prioritise yourself.
🌟Create a cut-off🌟
If I have nothing planned for my evening, I will fill it with work or obligations. I make a point to turn off my computer at 5 pm, have a nice meal with my Other Half and do something that will benefit myself such as building a skill, reading a book or socialising with some friends. Switching off without the worrying that I should be doing something else. You only have to work within the hours you are set. Any time outside of that is free to fill with all the things you always wish you had time to do.
This is simply a taster of some of the things you can do in your day to take care of yourself. If you need more inspiration, pop on over to The Lady Life Library and get your free download of 50 Self-Care Practices you should incorporate into your day to prevent a burnout.
Take care of yourself!