First admission, I bloody love a spa day. I have one bought and paid for. But as a Mum, business owner and person who isn’t a lady of leisure – they’re not a regular occurrence in my diary.
But, we all know how important self care is. We’re told constantly how we must practice it often in order to not burn ourselves out. Having a bath, do a face mask, get your hair done, read a book. Okay great, if you have the time.
What if I told you that some of my best forms of self care don’t take any extra time at all, but simply reshuffling my to-do list makes me feel like I’ve got my sh*t together and I’m on top of the world?
Second admission, these don’t happen all of the time. I think I’m naturally quite lazy and so when I do get my butt in gear and do the below, I really notice the benefits. But spending an hour on the sofa watching Reels is too appealing sometimes and back into sloth mode I go.
Firstly, I think ahead. This might seem like the most 1950s ‘self care’ ever but stay with me. I put the washing on the day before. I’ll do one load whilst we eat dinner and hang that out. Then I’ll have another load wash during the night. I wake up to one load ready to put away, and one to put on the airer. Knowing that I’m basically 75% of the way through this boring job makes me feel like I’m organised and have somehow changed my entire life. It doesn’t take any more time ‘cause I’d be doing the washing anyway, but doing it ahead of time makes it feel far more manageable.
I do the same with my showering too, and I know I’ve touched on this in a previous journal article. It feels lovely getting into bed squeaky clean, I do some of best decompressing and thinking in the shower, and I find I get out of bed with a much springier spring in my step if I’m not facing a shower immediately. As above, it doesn’t take me any longer than it would in the morning so it costs me zero time but makes me feel great.
I also love me a vlog. People must still watch YouTube because my favourites are going from strength to strength, but whilst I’m working away I’ll put on a vlog and it feels just a little bit indulgent. It’s not a motivating audible book, or an eye-opening podcast. It’s not even background noise like when I watch Friends. It’s actually pretty distracting so whilst I’m doing something menial (usually my own marketing) I’ll treat myself to watching a vlog or YouTube video. Again, it takes no extra time ‘cause I’m still working but I feel like I’ve given myself a treat.
The last thing I can think of is most definitely a privilege and not one I’ve always been able to have, but having a cleaner is like my own form of self care. I love my home, I really love it. But finding the time to clean it was stressing me out. So when I get back from the gym on a Friday to a gleaming house – I take 5 minutes to have a wander around just really appreciate it. I say either in my head or out loud have grateful I am and whilst I think crack on with something I enjoy, I again think about the fact I’m able to do that without feeling guilty about a dirty house. It saves me 2 hours a week by not having to clean my house, and whilst yes it costs me £28. That’s the fraction of a spa day, wouldn’t even cover getting my roots done and is like, two books?
I need to get better at making lists in preparation for writing these, because I’m sure there’s more little things I do every day which act as self care without me feeling guilty about the time I spend on myself. But hey, that’s a good excuse for a part 2!