One of my new years resolutions this year was to dedicate a few hours a week to looking after myself, after a habit of over-stressing myself last year and being in the worst flare up of my life for a consecutive few months. I have, to an extent, done this. If looking after myself means a glass of wine a week, I am all for it. However, looking after yourself on the inside is different. Putting yourself first and figuring out what you need to achieve your goals in life is different. Understanding yourself is different.
I often fall a victim of this, as I am fast approaching the age of 20 and seemingly hold a wiser-than-my-age brain in my head. I am quite the believer of self-appreciation, self-worth, and self-love. It may stem from my slight arrogance as an ex-gymnast, an overflow of parental love, and the forced boost of confidence I feed myself with whenever I see Gigi Hadid on Instagram and need a reminder that I, too, could be flawless (if I ever looked like her, that is). I also have a big belief in the power of energy, that each person is interconnected and that in order to be the best person you can be, you must listen to your own energy, thoughts and feelings and appreciate them. But that is for another day.
You have to live for yourself, after all, you are stuck with yourself forever, so we have to learn to listen to ourselves and what our bodies and minds need. Why wouldn’t we want to look after ourselves when we are the only guaranteed and constant thing we have in our lives?
1 – Have a bath
The easiest, the most simple, and also the most important. The power of baths on your physical and mental health should never go amiss. Baths cleanse, cool and calm, and the hot water not only feels great, but it improves circulation, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure and helps reduce anxiety and stressful thoughts. Basically a god-send for anyone with a busy lifestyle! A nice pamper session will do the job, with some nice scents, a lovely face mask, your favourite music or a TV show playing in the background. The list of things to do in the bath is endless.
2 – Eat superfoods, daily
Eating well will always make you feel better, and good food not only has nutritional benefits, but your body reacts to good food in a positive way. It will make your skin clearer, your brain sharper, your mind cleaner, and it also increases productivity as your lethargy goes away. It is also proven that good food enhances your mood, moderating cortisol (stress hormones) and blood sugar levels. My favourites recently have been walnuts, kale, spinach, asparagus and cabbage.
3 – Drink more water
I need to practice what I preach, but there is nothing better than increasing your water intake in your diet. Dehydration affects your mood, as well as makes your body stressed where it isn’t getting enough of what it needs. Digestive systems need water to function at their full potential, plus serves as free skin hydration!
4 – Treat yourself
Yes, your bank account may look rough, but treat yourself once in a while to something that will make you smile. Obviously, to a certain extent. It is important that we feel as though we are rewarding ourselves with the work we do and what we put into our lives. Whether that is consumer goods, a cheeky social night out on the razz, a getaway, or a dinner-date. If we work hard and get nothing in return, we will lose the positivity to do it. It is as simple as that. I like to reward myself through clothes and holidays! So work for that handbag, find the motivation for your Saturday night booze session, and do more hours for that new highlighter you have had your eye on for 3 months. You can do it, girl!
5 – Make decisions for you
The last, but possibly one of the most important things I have learnt in my little life is to make a decision for yourself rather than for the people around you. This clearly depends on the situation, but if you make a decision that you know won’t make you happy, why would you put yourself through it for someone else that may not do the same for you? Or, why would you stay in a place that you know you aren’t thriving in. Think of yourself as your friend, someone you care about and love like you would family. You must consider yourself in a situation that you know will affect you. As someone with an invisible illness, it is hard to say no, or to say yes, to things that you know will hurt you. So instead, compromise and find a middle way. You have to live with yourself at the end of the day.
Do you do anything else to look after yourself?