With the busy lives we lead, Self-care and sustainable living can often feel elusive in the current fast-paced world.
A great quote I came across was by Anne Lamott “When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved—with naps, healthy food, clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea—we can begin to give in wildly generous ways to the world, from abundance.” Our struggle comes from finding time to do this.
Self-care looks different for everyone. Journalling isn’t everyone’s bag, having a long soak doesn’t soothe everyone and not everyone has the headspace for meditation or even a self-care day. There are so many benefits of self-care.
When someone asks you – what is self-care? Why is self-care important? What would you say?
Keep reading for some self-care examples and tips I’ve come across and use myself.
I was going to write about my top 10 self-care tips but I had more than 10 so here we go.
Learn to say “no”
We often find ourselves saying yes to things we may not want to do because we don’t want to offend or upset the other person but what we are doing is putting someone else’s need above our own needs.
It’s OK to say no.
This was a tip I suggested and was featured in Marie Claire (tip 15)
Say something nice about yourself
We are our own worst critics and we can be so mean to ourselves.
Think about when you were a little girl, the things you say to yourself as an adult, would you have said that to your younger self? I doubt it.
Look at yourself in the mirror and say something really nice to yourself, really meaningful, that comes from the heart.
Compliment your hair, your smooth skin, the length of your eyelashes, your smile, the colour of your eyes, your dimple, congratulate yourself for something that’s gone right because of you, fixing something by looking up the tutorial on you tube, saving some money on a purchase yesterday.
Ask and imagine this for yourself – What’s a good self-care routine?
Date yourself- this is self care
Do something for YOU.
When was the last time you did something alone? Without kids hanging off you or having to do something they enjoy but you found as dull as dishwater?
Self-care is also about being a little selfish, that’s OK, you’re not a bad person if you want to do something just for yourself and should never be perceived as something bad.
Have a dance in your living room
Dancing has proved to release endorphins, raise your mood and you can help lose some calories too.
Play some music for five minutes, really loud (or use headphones so you don’t annoy your neighbours) and dance.
Feel the music and get your groove on like no one is around, who cares if you think you look silly, there’s no one around to watch anyway.
Dance, trance, drum and bass – you know you, what’s going to get you to move your body?
I’m a huge fan of Bhangra, for me, it’s the ultimate dance music.
Physical self-care is important.
You’re not an Encyclopedia
Us mums can be so hard on ourselves for not knowing everything.
We’re not Google and we’re not mind readers. This quote is perfect – Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it – Maya Angelou
We are always learning new things. Somethings work out, some things don’t. Adulting doesn’t come with a manual and neither does parenting. Most of use have no idea what the heck we are doing – and that’s OK.
Life experiences teach us a lot and we have different life experiences from others, if it’s something you haven’t experienced how are you supposed to know?
Stop listening to criticism
When someone criticised me, I used to really take it to heart to a point where it would swirl around in my brain for quite a few days and I would feel really rubbish.
Ever since I was in my teens, I wore make up every day.
I would NEVER leave the house without some make up on. I have dark circles around my eyes and always worried about what people would say about them.
One morning, I was putting my make up on before the school run and it hit me that I hated doing it, it felt like a chore (like I didn’t have enough to do) and I really begrudged doing something because of what someone might say.
So I didn’t put any on.
For the first time in my life, I was walking out the front door without make up.
What would people say?
No one said a word to me. Not one person.
For about three years, I didn’t wear everyday make up even though society dictates women are supposed to look a certain way.
I let go of the weight of other people’s opinions – I had one less chore for myself and that was a good thing.
When we need advice, we seek out a trusted friend or relative, because we value their opinion.
Don’t take criticism from someone you would never go to for advice.
That’s self care
Do you need to create yourself a self-care plan?
Sustainable living tip – DIY eco-friendly recipes
Self-care can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.
Did you know that many self-care products can be made at home with natural, sustainable ingredients? DIY eco self-care is easy and fun.
I’ve made my own toilet cleaner using this DIY Toilet Bomb Recipe UK which is kinder to the environment and can be made using a mold of your choice. There’s even a video with a happy tune. Check it out
Rather than buying hair removal wax with loads of chemicals, make your own with ingredients from your kitchen. I’ve tried and tested loads of different recipes and this one is the best by far!
Imagine feeling accomplished and proud of yourself for creating your own eco-friendly skincare products and reducing your environmental impact. We’ve included a money saving cost comparison on how much you could save.
Get your eco self-care on with some more DIY recipes this is guide – all tried and tested by yours truly
Do things that make you happy
Do things that make you happy.
It could be anything; jigsaws, building a lego set, reading a book, axe throwing, going to a funfair, rock climbing, online games, stargazing, photography.
Have a serious think, apart from your family, what makes YOU happy?
Some like to give running a go and it’s free to do. If you’re unsure of where to start, check out this fab blog on Why Should I Take up Running?
Reading is one my big ones, here are some books on sustainability, I’ve read a few of them.
Don’t worry about what anyone says, you can call it what you want: self-love, self-care day, I have a friend who practices spiritual self-care.
Have a nap
Having a nap is self-care, don’t let anyone tell you different.
Gardening for sustainable living
Get some fresh air and get your hands dirty
There’s something about being in the garden and growing plants or food – and some plants can be used for medicinal purposes – check out this fabulous blog by Captain Bobcat Blog
I regularly spend time in my garden because I’m attempting to grow potatoes, strawberries and onions. Never tried onions before so we shall see how that goes.
Growing your own food, even if it’s just potatoes, can be really rewarding. It’s not covered in fertilisers or pesticides, you can nip to the garden when you need some and it’s been grown with love.
Growing some food without any toxins is great for you and the health of your family.
Connect with nature
If you’re stuck on a problem or need a some time out, going for a walk in the park, woods, along the beach can do wonders for your mental health.
It helps with clarity and raises your mood too.
Sit somewhere with lots of greenery. These outdoor spaces are not only good for the environment but for us too.
Disconnect from the world for a bit
Do you find social media a bit too much sometimes?
This tip is free to do and it will do you a world of good.
Put your phone on airplane mode and give yourself a mental break.
The world isn’t going to end while your phone is on airplane mode.
Final self-care tip – Tackle a problem
When I’m overwhelmed with a problem, try this self-care tip – this is what I do.
Write a list of all the things associated with that problem – don’t focus on what it is and whether you can do anything about it, just write your list. write down every.single.thing.
Now that you have your list, go through it and is cross off all the things you CANNOT do anything about; it’s going to be things that are completely out of your control – you’re not superwomen, you can’t do everything.
Action anything that is left.
I found this great post about the Self-Care Wheel, it helps you visualise how and where you you need to focus on self-care.
There are so many ways we can practice self-care without breaking the bank. The 8 Busy Mum Eco Swap – Self-care edition will help you with some eco-friendly swaps.
Filled with DIY recipes, cost comparisons and some voucher codes, you’ll be able to save some money too while caring about yourself and the planet your children will inherit.
Your purse will thank you for it too.
These are some ideas that work for me but may not work for everyone. Here are my terms & conditions for further reading