‘Self-care’ is any activity done to deliberately take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health and, given the current situation, I feel strongly that it’s something we should all be making time for. I know you are all juggling a thousand and one things, all keen to show that you’re superwomen holding it all together in these difficult times, but you really must take some time out just for you. Too often you put yourself at the bottom of the list and good self-care is key to improving your mood and reducing anxiety.

I’m pretty sure that way back in January when we were all celebrating the New Year and making our ‘loose’ resolutions, most of us included the usual commitments to look after ourselves more. Something along the lines of exercise more, eat better and drink less – am I right? 😉 Well, few can have predicted just what a challenging year 2020 would be. Now as we look towards shorter days and longer nights and more necessary, but nonetheless disheartening, restrictions on our ability to plan fun stuff, it’s more important than ever to make time for a little self-care.

How to give yourself some Self-Care

The way I see it, self-care is doing something which gives you a break, some respite from the daily routine. It’s something which makes you happy and gives you time to breathe. Here are a few suggestions of how you could give yourself some much-needed time out.

  • Schedule in breaks.  For those of you with rammed diaries who are tied to your desk, book in two breaks a day just for you.  Ten minutes to stand up, stretch, breathe.  Move away from your desk, maybe step outside.  Look around you, listen, take notice of what you see and hear.
  • Release your inner child.  Did you know that on average children smile 400 times a day compared to adults who mange just 20?  Smiling helps decrease stress hormones and thereby improve our physical and mental wellbeing.  So, think about stuff you loved doing as a kid and plan time to make it happen again.
  • Cook ahead.  If cooking is your thing but you’re frequently rushed for time and resort to ready meals for convenience, why not plan some time to make your favourite dish.  Cooking in bulk and freezing will give you 2 or 3 more meals ready to sit and savour, making dinner a treat rather than a chore.
  • Enjoy nature – get outside whatever the weather. It’s impossible to stress just how important this is.  Whether it’s a 5-minute walk around the garden or a 10 mile hike at the weekend, make the effort to reconnect with the natural world around you.  During the day let the sun or rain fall on your face or at night, just stare at the stars.  It will help you feel grounded and reduce anxiety.
  • Take a break from social media. Not only does the constant use of screens strain our eyesight, using just typed words and emojis to communicate in many ways is making us less sociable.  How many of you sit in silence in a family group with everyone on their phones in their own worlds?  Try having a conversation.  Try giving a friend a call instead and really listening to what they have to say.  Escape into a book, letting your mind create pictures of the characters in your head, instead of scrolling through pics of dogs on your phone, no matter how cute they are!
  • Listen to music. Music is good for the soul and evokes many emotions so create a playlist of music that you love, with feel good memories. Research has proven that listening to music that you love releases 9% more dopamine, the hormone that contributes to our motor function, mood and decision making.
  • Tune into your positive voice. It takes 5 positive comments to balance out one negative one and all too often we’re our own worst critics.  Be kind to yourself and make a concerted effort to frame your thoughts in a positive way.  Instead of telling yourself to go for a run because you’re feeling fat, try saying ‘I’m going for a  run to make myself feel fitter and stronger’.  It’s a subtlety but building a positive mindset will build confidence and reduce stress.
  • Dress mindfully.  How we feel about what we wear has a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves and our mood.   Colour in particular impacts us psychologically so why not hunt out some pink or purple to give yourself an emotional boost.  Pink is nurturing and caring and the colour of empathetic love, perfect for a gentle self hug.  If things are feeling a little chaotic for you, purple is linked to spiritual awareness and helps to restore peace, particularly for those dealing with grief, low mood or depression.

Which colour will give you the boost you need?

It’s important to choose the right shade and intensity of colour to compliment your natural colouring and soothe your mood. If you’ve had a colour analysis and know your seasonal type, try the following:

Pinks for cool skin tones
Purples for cool skin tones

A soft pink for Summers and an icier, cooler tone for the Winters amongst you. When it comes to purple, Summers best suit a soft mauve while Winters love the contrast of a deeper cool shade.

Pinks for warm skin tones
Purples for warm skin tones

Warm skin tones look best in coral pinks. Springs can go for a vibrant bright coral, almost watermelon colour. Autumns should look for a more muted tone. Springs’ best version of purple edges over towards blue with periwinkle, while Autumns look great in a rich warm purple.

 

How are you going to give yourself some self-care this week? 🤗😘 Remember, if you’re running on empty you simply won’t be able to give to those you love. Plan some time just for you and recharge those batteries.

If you’re curious as to whether you have a cool or warm skin tone and, which pink or purple will give you the boost you need, get in touch. Call me for a chat to find out more.

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