Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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

A Self-Care Routine you can Stick to

Self-care is something that I've always advocated here on NB and I'm a big fan of self-care involving anything you want it to that makes *you* feel good. Whether it's bath bombs and face masks or a walk out in nature - self-care is very personal and unique to us all as individuals and in my humble opinion? It's central to having striking some sort of balance and happiness in your day-to-day life. It consists of those daily or weekly "rituals" that help us feel relaxed, feel like we've got our shit together, or that help us reach our goals. They are the tasks that can make you feel a little more whole and "with it" that can distract you from the negatives and any stresses that you're currently experience. If it makes you feel good, label it as self-care.

One of the major problems with self-care is sometimes it's hard to keep it up. I know for me, activities such as drawing, yoga, and playing ukulele are great self-care but do I regularly do them? Not really. I fall in and out of good routines with all of these tasks and more and it leaves you feel under-accomplished. I find that not sticking to a self-care routine or being lazy with it then makes me feel even worse than having no self-care going on at all. Half the battle seems to be striking that balance right and actually actively looking after myself and striving to make myself happy and content. But you know what? I think I may have finally cracked a way to make sure my self-care routine is never broken ever again (or at least not quite so regularly with such disastrous effect!):

1. Make a list of everything that makes you feel good:
You can't practice self-care if you don't know what that actually means for you. As I mentioned earlier, creative outlets such as drawing and also some gentle exercise is great for making me feel good about myself or making me feel more positive, but some other self-care that I seemingly manage to practice more often involves embroidery, blogging (hi!), getting out in nature, reading, and a good thorough skincare routine every evening. By taking notice of what it is that makes you feel well within yourself, you can create a list of those things so that you can refer back to the list whenever you need some inspiration. It doesn't matter if it's something you do often or something you do only occasionally, having it written down in a list may prompt and motivate you to partake in a specific activity that you may have forgotten about.

It's also important to take stock of what brings you down or effects your wellbeing. Is it usually after work that you feel stiff or achy? Is it usually at the weekend that you feel stressed and helpless? Identifying when self-care would benefit you might help you create new links between what you want to do and what would benefit you. For example, I know work stresses me out so some of my very simple self-care when I get home each working day is getting straight into my PJs, making a cup of tea, and doing some embroidery. Knowing that this is kind of a safe way for me to dispose of those stressed thoughts means I will continue to go back to it again and again, no matter how many times I have a break from it in between.

2. Identify the core self-care activities:
Now that you have your list, it's time to actually analyse which ones are the top priorities for you. You should choose the sort of things that will impact you the most and in the most positive way, but you may also need to consider which are the easiest to put into regular practice, which are possibly already in your normal routine they just need nurturing some more, or any number of other things. Again for me, having an evening skincare routine isn't always easy for me to stick to - particularly when I'm really tired (joke that's all the time) - but I never miss my full ten step Korean skincare routine every Sunday evening. Doing this routine helps me have a hard reset for the week ahead and makes me feel more collected and calm about the start of my week. Reading in bed each evening also helps me feel more calm and helps me try to get a better night's sleep, and my previously mentioned embroidery each week also helps me just escape for a little while. Whether it's just not skipping a particular meal or going to the gym, taking a walk, or visiting the charity shops every Saturday morning - make yourself three tasks that you can stick to that won't just be another chore for you to tick off your to-do list.

3. Having a schedule will really help:
I know some of us out there like to be spontaneous and not be tied down to timings or promises you made yourself the previous day, but having a schedule for your self-care helps you make time for it; especially if you usually struggle to fit it into normal day-to-day life. 20 minutes is not a long time. 20 minutes is a great amount of time to complete some sort self-care no matter what it is. Experiment with scheduling your different self-care acts at different times of your day or week and see what makes you feel good. It might be that actually, you need to get up those 20 minutes sooner to fit in your work out because you feel great if it's the first part of your day. You might need to step away from the computer or your phone on your lunch break at work and just read your book because it relaxes you for your afternoon of cramming the last of your to-do list in in the office. Whatever time of day/week works for you, let it just take over. If you're constantly skipping a task, the chances are it's just not sitting well into your usual routine and needs a new place to slot into. Self-care should always be flexible and suit you because it's all about you so play around with every tasks' adaptability and see what works best for you.

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