In the last few weeks the world has been turned upside down by Covid-19, social distancing and lockdowns, and I have to admit that it’s already beginning to take a toll on my wellbeing. Being stuck with nowhere to go just as Spring makes an appearance seems like a cruel joke on behalf of the planet. I know I’m not alone; a lot of us are going to be feeling really strange without our normal routines, social interactions, travel plans and so on. Of course, public health matters much more than being able to get out and about, but it doesn’t mean your wellbeing has to suffer. Here’s a list of self care ideas that you can easily do from home to boost your wellbeing and help you stay sane indoors!
Refresh Your Surroundings
If you’re anything like me, a cluttered house = a cluttered mind, and I have enough clutter in there already thank you very much. Generalised Anxiety Disorder: I’m looking at you.
Chances are, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of your home in the next few weeks and months, so take some steps to ensure it’s a pleasant place to be.
Whether it’s clearing out that cupboard you’ve been meaning to, starting a DIY décor project or adding a few new home accessories here and there, giving your home some TLC will give you something new to look at and help to keep your mind busy. Perhaps you could even do a little craft project and get busy upcyling! And don’t forget lighting, which can make a huge difference to your mood and energy levels. I love my Philips Hue lightbulbs because I can change the colours of each room depending on my mood (not sponsored by Philips – although I wish it was!). I spent last weekend painting my internal doors and my bathroom white to brighten my flat up, and the difference has put a smile on my face every day since.
But there really is no better place for inspiration than Pinterest for all things home décor/home organisation – you can check out my home boards here.
It would be a colossal understatement to say that yoga has changed my life. For many years now I’ve been very active; I exercise 5-6 times per week including weightlifting and high intensity circuits, and for many of those years I have also been incredibly prone to injury. And guess what? It was the years before I adopted a regular yoga routine. Exercise – particularly weight bearing exercise – can take a strain on your muscles and joints, and can also result in muscle imbalances depending on your training regime. After a muscle imbalance left me with three twisted vertebrae that no amount of physio or chiropractic appointments could solve, I decided to do an online yoga class every day for 30 days. Within two weeks, I had cured my back. I actually carried on for 45 days straight and now try to do yoga at least once a week.
But it’s not just exercise that can cause problems. Strangely, the same can happen if you do no exercise, too. At a time when we are going to be moving around a lot less (if you exclude from the sofa to the fridge), it’s important to remember to stretch out your body regularly to avoid joint, muscle and mobility issues.
But that’s not the only reason to adopt some sort of yoga routine now. We have all heard that mindfulness and meditation are good for lowering stress levels, improving anxiety and so on…but I have to admit I do struggle a little with meditation. Sitting there and doing nothing doesn’t come very naturally to me! Yoga however incorporates meditation into the practice alongside movement – you can focus on your breathing, the sensations of the pose, the intensity and so on, but still have a degree of stillness within your mind. The difference in my mindset before and after a session is incredible. My favourite kind of yoga is Yin yoga – a hybrid style with mostly floor-based poses that you hold for anything from 1-8 minutes, which focuses on flexibility and joint care as opposed to strength and balance. It’s incredibly relaxing, low intensity and I find that I feel a lot ‘lighter’ afterwards. As self care ideas go, Yin is one of my favourites.
You can find a selection of Yin yoga videos that I like to do in my Youtube playlist here.
Now this idea might seem counter-productive on any normal day, but when times get as tough as this, giving your mind a break from reality might be just the ticket to keeping calm and creating some good vibes.
Those books you keep meaning to read? There’s no time better than now! Stick to fiction if possible to allow your mind to really switch off – nice easy reads that you don’t want to put down!
I’ve also recently started up The Sims 4 after a long hiatus – you can literally create your own perfect world, where nothing ever goes wrong…unless you want it to! Since her creation, my sim has built three dream homes included a holiday home on an island, become a vet, a pro chef, a fitness instructor and an expert gardener. She also has about 14 pets and unlimited funds for dinners at restaurants, fancy home accessories and spa trips. What’s not to love about that?!
And there’s always a good old Netflix binge – but be careful here; your usual serial killer dramas might be fascinating but they could also be affecting your nerves. Opt for something a little more light-hearted if you really want to chill out – this is a ‘self care ideas’ post after all – not a ‘stressful ideas’ one.
Skincare, skincare skincare. Sure, it feels like the world is ending and yes, nobody is going to see your face in a while but that’s no excuse not to look after it. Your skin is the largest organ you have and it’s going to need some self-care of its own.
Add some super relaxing touches to your skin and body care routines to make them extra-enjoyable. A few drops of your favourite essential oil in the shower tray, a glass of wine whilst you baste your whole body in a rich moisturiser (I’m currently loving Embryolisse Lait-Creme Fluide* – it has a gorgeous floral scent and the moisture lasts all day), and crack open all those expensive little product samples you’ve been hoarding for a rainy day to simulate an at-home spa. Check out my last post for some amazing items I found on Amazon for more self care ideas to boost your beauty routines. Also, remember to hydrate from the inside out – keep a bottle of water with you at all times and you’ll subconsciously double your intake, making your skin plumper and happier in the process.
Goals and Inspiration
Spending time alone might be daunting for some, but it’s an ideal time for self-reflection and goal setting. One day – hopefully in the not so distant future – we will be free of this dreadful virus and able to live our lives to the full again, so why not use that thought as a starting point to set yourself some goals? What do you want your life to look like when you come out of isolation? What are you looking forward to doing?
I’m a huge believer in vision boards; it’s incredible how much of mine has become a reality since I created it two years ago. I don’t think it’s ‘magic’, strictly speaking – it’s just that seeing the things you want on a daily basis gets your subconscious working on them. Your mind literally does the hard work and the planning for you! My vision board needed a refresh and because I’ve been decorating lately, I took the decision to display it a little differently – it’s now in picture frames on the wall and looks like a little bit of art. It’s not complete yet but it looks really cute! You can make your own if you have Google Images and a printer, or a handful of old magazines to cut up. If you have kids, why not get them involved and make a family board together? You could even make one specifically for self care ideas and activities!
We all know that what you wear can alter your behaviour, your confidence in certain situations, and how you see yourself more generally. A power suit for interviews, the little black dress that fits ‘just right’ for a date – we’ve been using clothes to make statements like this for generations; it’s what fashion is all about. When you’re deciding what to wear, you’re asking yourself what mood you’re in, what mood you want to be in, and how you want others to perceive you. Taking the time and effort to create outfits for yourself is a form of self-love and self respect. It’s telling yourself YOU STILL MATTER. So, in times like these it can be vital to get up and put on something nice for yourself. It might feel a bit pointless at first if you’re just going to be sat inside all day, but if it helps to make you feel good then it’s invaluable.
Again, you could look to Pinterest for inspiration or why not study a favourite celebrity or friend who inspires you? You don’t even need to buy anything new – shop your own wardrobe and just put items together in a different way. Play around with accessories you’d forgotten you had or switch out the buttons on a blazer to get a new one!
Or, if you do fancy something new don’t feel too guilty about it just now – yes, we are all being encouraged to buy less for environmental reasons and that’s important – but at times like this we also need a little comfort, and as online shopping is one of the only things we can actually do safely just now, I’d say it’s ok just this once! If possible, shop second hand on sites like Vestaire Collective or at stores that use recycled fabrics and are making moves to cut down on their waste. Have a look at my Winter to Spring Lookbook on Youtube for some more ideas or check out my latest Zara Haul. At the very least, consider investing in some luxe loungewear!
So there you have it! What are your tips and self care ideas during this period of uncertainty? Leave me a comment or DM me on social media to chat.
*gifted, all opinions my own