When you hear the words ‘self-care’ what comes to mind? For me it’s bubble baths, cups of tea and, for some reason, a lot of pink.
While this is all fine, it’s important not to dismiss self-care as something fluffy, something only for women or indeed, something frivolous.
Sometimes self-care is about survival. It’s about doing what you need to get through the day. It’s about taking five minutes and thinking about what you need.
Sure, on some days a cup of tea and bubble bath may be exactly what you need to get through the day, but some days you simply need to get back to basics.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, this becomes even more important and you may even set yourself some back to basic self-care goals to tick off every day.
Wherever you’re at in your self-care journey, I think it’s helpful to have a bank of basic activities to fall back on when the idea of getting up and surviving the day feels like climbing a damn mountain. And I know we all have days like this.
Next time you have a day like this, take a look at these back to basic self-care ideas:
Drink enough water
Not drinking enough water can give you headaches and generally make you feel even more shitty. So treat yourself to a nice water bottle, keep it filled and sip throughout the day.
Eat something nourishing
Listen to your body. This is something a lot of us forget to do, but can be especially easy to forget when you have other things on your mind. Try to keep some nourishing food in the cupboards or fridge so you can feed yourself.
Go back to bed
Yeah, some days, your body and mind need nothing more than rest. Get back into your PJs, cancel your plans, call in sick, do what you need to do and catch up on some rest.
Take your prescribed medication
Taking medication whether it’s for physical illnesses or mental illnesses is nothing to be ashamed of. Keep on top of repeat prescriptions and make sure you get into a routine of taking them as prescribed.
Have a shower
Showers can almost be meditative, there’s just something about washing yourself clean that can really help clear your head and get you into a better headspace.
Like I said, some days you should really just listen to your body and stay in your PJs, but sometimes, getting up, showered and into clothes gives you that little boost you need to keep going.
Get out of the house
This will depend on what kind of day you’re having, but if you’re able to, get yourself out into some fresh air. Feel the sun on your skin, enjoy your body moving and breathe in that glorious air.
Meditate / journal
… Or whatever helps you quiet your mind. When we feel overwhelmed our minds can race. Do whatever you need to do to slow your thinking and find at least a few minutes of peace.
Wash the dishes
Self-care sometimes means caring about the house you live in too. Being surrounded by piles of dirty dishes of a mountain of clutter is bound to affect you. Try and tackle the odd chore and see what a difference it makes.
Make a doctors / dentist / opticians appointment
Again, this is something I think we can all put off (I’m terrible for not booking appointments). But we should give it more priority and consider it an act of self-care, after all it’s all in the name of looking after you.
Saying no to plans or extra work commitments may make you feel bad initially, but trust me, your body and mind will thank you for it if it means you get more time to relax and take care of yourself.
Why not use it as an excuse to tell people that you’re actually feeling pretty overwhelmed right now? We’ve all been there and chances are people will be supportive and offer to help.
I really love Hannah Daisy’s illustrations on boring self-care, it’s all so accurate. Another source of self-care inspiration is positively Kate, she often talks about going back to basics in her Instagram stories.
I hope this post gave you some food for thought on the premise of self-care and reminded you that we’re all human and we all struggle sometimes. Let me know what else you would add to the list in the comments.
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