Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

5 Daily Self-Care Tips

When it comes to looking after myself I've got to be real honest here, I don't do a good job. I often do so much I run myself into the ground (particularly when it comes to my health and fatigue), can forget to take care of my skin and appearance, can eat bad, and also make decisions that are not good for my mental health. This can be quite a regular occurrence for me so it got me thinking: what can I do, on the daily, to try and counteract that? I know we all have days, weeks, and sometimes months like this when we almost purposefully punish and neglect ourselves but having a few things that take minimal effort can help. That way, if you want to do nothing but sit in your gross PJs, unwashed, watching back to back episodes of Netflix shows and not deal with reality, you can at least take some comfort in the fact that a couple of things you're doing are kind of keeping you on the straight and narrow road of self care.

- Create an "auto-pilot" morning routine. One thing I've definitely got going on most mornings is some sort of routine. Having a routine that you stick to can be really beneficial because even if you're feeling down and low on yourself and feeling neglectful, having that routine already in place means it's easy to follow without much thought. Back in June I posted about how you can love your Monday mornings and a lot of the ideas I shared there I put into practice - especially for my weekdays. Working throughout the week means sometimes I have no choice to want to get up and go otherwise I'll be late for work etc. and that will put me in an even worse mood than I may have been previously. My routine lets me navigate on auto-pilot as it's the same every morning, in the same order, at the same times and that means no matter how tired I am or down, it's become learned behaviour and second nature so I just automatically do it. When the weekend rolls around, this routine tends to go out of the window unless I have plans and I can totally see the difference in my mood and productivity. I will feel sluggish all day and not really want to even motivate myself, nevermind the motivation not even flowing naturally - I seem to actively drive it away. Routines are hard to follow if you just want to lie in bed, but having a simple one, one you can stick to, will always give you a push in the right direction from the get-go.

- Drink a big ol' glass of water every morning. I also mentioned this in my "How to love Monday Morning" post but I still stand by it. Drinking a big glass of water - whether it's a pint or actually just a couple of gulps - can be a small self care step that we can all take. As I said earlier, often my skincare routine is the first to suffer when I'm feeling down and unmotivated, but by making sure I stay hydrated, I know I'm still putting a little effort in from the inside out and I'm also keeping my body as a whole, happy. I relatively recently started using a water tracker app to ensure I'm having my eight glasses a day and it's been a game changer. Having regular alerts to encourage me to drink has helped me keep on top of it and ultimately makes me feel more alert, healthy, awake, and refreshed!

- Read before bed & get that better bedtime routine sorted. When I was younger, I used to stay up really late and wake up early and used to squeeze in around 3-4 hours sleep. I could run totally fine on this amount of sleep but as soon as I hit my twenties, I realised doing that was detrimental to so many aspects of my life - particularly my mood. I used to pressure myself into having little sleep as I almost felt guilty for sleeping and felt that I was missing out. Now, I make sure I try to get a good few hours of sleep each night and more or less go to bed at the same time each night, using the bedtime option on iPhone to prompt me to go to bed half an hour before I want to try and be asleep. Having a bedtime routine when you're not looking after yourself properly is a bit like having that morning auto-pilot for the evening. It's easy to follow, commonplace, and will generally make you feel like you've got your shit together a little bit more. I'm a big believer in your bed being somewhere to only sleep and have sex so if you wake up and want to spend all day in it, if you've got the option to move yourself to a sofa, do that instead. Keeping the bedroom as a room that is only used for mostly sleep is a great routine to get into. Another thing that ties in with bedtime is reading before bed. Often when we're feeling low and neglectful of ourselves, we don't want to do anything like exercise or sometimes even do anything like playing a video game as it's too much effort. Reading or listening to an audio book can help you escape how you're feeling for a little bit and can ensure you feel relaxed so you sleep well.

- Plan and prep food. Planning and making set meals when you're in a good head space can help ensure you're eating well when you're in a bad head space. I go through good and bad stages with this myself and it's not always a rule you can follow if you're not in a good place, but trying your best to plan meals when you're feeling positive can help minimise you eating shit food when you're down as you'll have easy to cook meals ready to just pop in the oven or microwave. Don't get me wrong, sometimes binge snacking and eating junk feels *so good* when you're not feeling yourself, but even if you prepare comfort foods that aren't totally bad for you (for me it would 1Oo% be a pasta-based dish), you can stop yourself from reaching for the takeaway apps or just eating every crisp/chocolate based thing in your home.

- Just take 5 minutes alone and breathe. Meditation isn't something I regularly practice I have to admit. Even being home alone, I find myself feeling awkward more than anything else whenever I have attempted to meditate in the past. I enjoy it being part of the process when I'm doing yoga but doing any sort of exercise when I'm neglecting myself is not something I'm aiming to do. Whilst I struggle to traditionally meditate, I do find it incredibly therapeutic and beneficial to just take 5 minutes stock with myself. If I'm feeling down and in particular, if I'm also feeling anxious, I will sit for just 5 minutes, maybe close my eyes, and focus on my breathing. I will take deep inhales and exhales and make sure my breathing is steady and managed (the inhales and exhales taking the same amount of time to complete). This is like the start of meditation if you like, but it really helps me focus my mind and even give it a reshuffle. I find this action almost acts a reset button and can help me snap out of a downward spiral emotionally. It's not something that will always work and it's certainly not going to work for everyone, but taking that time with yourself in quiet with no other distractions can help you just familiarise yourself with yourself and hopefully get you back on track.

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