“The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.”
There has been a lot of talk about self-care on social media lately, and while I think it’s great, I had to ask myself, what exactly is self-care? Social media’s definition of self-care was sweet smelling bath bombs paired with flower petal bubble baths, and fruit infused face masks combined with lounging about and watching films, (which, I am all up for), but…I couldn’t help but think how temporary those things were. They’re good for the moment, and good for those who have had a long week at work or for those who simply need to pamper themselves. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with having some me time, or enjoying a good weekend break, but is that all there is to self-care?
Just to clarify, I am in no way saying I am an expert in the whole self-care thing, and will fully admit that I too am apart bath bombs and face masks group.
I think one of the big things that is missed when self-care is spoken about on social media, is the topic of actually caring for yourself. Looking after you from head to toe. For a long time, I got sucked into this world of self-care, not really knowing what ti was but mimicking what I saw all over the world. I had to take time, and really think about what self care meant to me. Like I said before, I am not an expert but I am someone who was an expert in not caring for myself and here are some of the steps I took in practicing my version of self-care.
MORNINGS + NIGHTS
My sleep pattern was horrific, I was sleeping far to much during the day and then sleeping too little at night. It was like my mind was always awake at night times but could never function during the day. I was also pretty much exhausted all the time.
The first step I took was making sure that I got enough sleep at night. So, you’re supposed to get about 7- 9 hours of sleep each night in order to be fully functional for the day ahead, and I wasn’t getting no where near that amount. I thought of numerous ways of trying to change this, and I wasn’t ready for the challenge ahead. One of my biggest habits was being on my phone of my iPad at night. I was always answering messages or watching videos, or on social media. It got to the point where sometimes I was even on my phone and iPad at the same time. So, I made the decision that as soon as I was in my bed my phone was not allowed to enter it with me. I put my phone on silent and would place it face down on my desk. I was reading somewhere, that a lady chose to leave her phone to charge in her living room overnight and would use an alarm clock instead. However, that is way too far for me, I was not about to trade my phone in for an old alarm clock. But, thats not to say that, that isn’t a good idea for some people. The outcome of not being with my phone at night was that I wasn’t on it, and I wasn’t enticed by the light from my phone every time I got a notification. But, I did have one more problem…..my iPad.
I loved watching videos at night, sometimes they too even help me to sleep, but when you’re watching videos, you don’t realise how fast the time goes by. So, I tried limiting the amount of videos I watched at night. I reduced 5-10 videos a night, to 3-2 videos a night, and lets just say…I am still working on it. Theres also having a time cut off point, instead of watching it from PM to AM.
What really helped me was the clock app on my iPhone (sorry android users) it has a function called bedtime which is strictly for your sleep. You can put in how many hours you would like to sleep as well as your desired time you’d like to be in bed at night, to which it calculates the time your are supposed to wake up in the morning.
In order for me to get the most out of my sleep, I needed to be comfortable, and relaxed. I needed to my brain to know that it was time to sleep. I was advised by my doctor at uni, that just before bed you should have a nice hot shower, and a hot drink of your choice. This is meant to help relax the body. I also bought a lavender pillow mist, one of the many benefits of lavender is that it’s meant to improve sleep and improve brain function. As much as I hate the smell of lavender, I must say that the lavender spray does help me to relax at night, and has kept me asleep numerous times at night.
So hopefully those points will be helpful for you all…there will be more in the next few week.