27 January 2017

Little Exercises In Self-Care


I feel as though a lot of people, myself included, are using 2017 as a year to refocus, with a lot of emphasis being put on the importance of self-care. 2016 was a bit of a train-wreck globally but on a more personal level, I honestly think my biggest downfall was that I totally forgot to look after myself. Most days I'd skip meals, I'd barely drink, my sleeping pattern would be all over the place and my head would constantly either be full of negative thoughts or making lists of everything I needed to do. On reflection, I kinda never just stopped to breathe last year. The reality is that self-care isn't optional. It's so easy to get caught up in everything on your to-do list and achieving goals and working hard, but none of that is possible if you forget to eat, drink, sleep and breathe. If you look after yourself and take genuine time out to refocus and re-balance, everything will come naturally. You can be more productive and motivated, and working through your to-do list might be that little bit easier. Self-care is so important. 

It can be quite a daunting thing if you haven't ever really made self-care a priority but it doesn't have to be difficult at all. In fact, tiny wee things can be acts of self-care. At the start of the month, I wrote myself a list of little things I can do to practice self-care everyday and since I've been finding it super useful, I thought I might as well share it with you. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Sit up straight
Such a simple thing but honestly, it's the thing on this list that I forget to do the most. I know I'm not the only one that spends a lot of time hunched over a laptop and lectures at uni totally ruin my back, but I've been making a real effort to be mindful of my posture. Take a second to re-align, roll your shoulders back, open your chest and take a deep breath. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Have a glass of water
Hydration is legit the best thing you can do for your body. If you're struggling to focus, take a minute to go pour yourself a glass of water. Literally just the process of pouring water can be kinda relaxing anyway, and knowing that you're doing something good for your mind and body is a great feeling. Easy af. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Stretch and breathe
You might have read a post a did back in August about how I have chronic fatigue syndrome but if you haven't, you can check that out here. One of the things I've found affects me the most is muscle pain, so needless to say, gentle stretching and yoga does wonders for me. Even if you don't really suffer from muscle pain, taking 15 minutes out of your day to stretch and be super mindful of you breathing is amazing for refocusing and winding down. You deserve that wee 15 minutes of movement and mindfulness. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Make some food
I totally forgot to make eating a priority in 2016 and I kinda just fell out of love with food. I used to cook a lot and I absolutely loved it but then I convinced myself I was too busy or too tired or too stressed to make myself nice food. That's changing this year and I've got right back into cooking. My relationship with food's never been great and I know what it feels like to know that you really should eat but you just can't bring yourself to, but even having a cup of tea and a banana is a great start. Just nourish yourself and take it a step at a time. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Take some time away from your phone
Right, this is super important. I'm guilty of having my phone permanently stuck to my hand and I'm really guilty of lying in bed scrolling through twitter and instagram then looking at the clock and realising 2 hours has passed and I haven't done shit. At the end of the day, staring at a screen isn't healthy but more to the point, social media can be so harmful for your self-esteem. It might be hard - I struggle with it for sure - but try to have an hour or two away from your phone and take some time to just totally focus on something else. Some days my time away from my phone is just the time I'm in class but even that's progress. Put your phone on to charge then leave the room. Have a bath. Hug your cat.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Brush your teeth 
Not an exciting one to finish with but this one is honestly one of my favourites. Some days getting out of bed feels impossible, let alone actually getting motivated to be productive. On those days, I tell myself that if I can just get up and brush my teeth, then I can maybe get dressed, wash my face and have a drink. Then maybe I can do some uni work or write a blog post. If not, that's okay. But at least I cleaned my teeth. It's one of those wee things that instantly makes you feel a bit more awake and a little bit better, aaaand it's a super easy way to look after yourself. 

Let's make 2017 a year of self-care. ♥
Catriona xo
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6 comments

  1. Agh this is so good! Totally agree on water. A couple of years ago I converted to solely drinking water (apart from the occasional bit of alcohol), and it does wonders for your mentality and mood.
    Also:: getting away from technology and just taking a damn break is so needed in our digital world
    Love it as always :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Holly ♥
      Couldn't agree more! I pretty much only drink water and green tea now :) x

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  2. Ah I love this.. I am definitely going to give some of these a try! I am loving your blog too, keep up the hard work, you are doing amazing! x

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  3. I'm honestly obsessed with your blog and i could sit reading it for hours on end! x

    patheticstyle.com

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