A couple of weeks ago, I embarked on a blog series on self-care. You can start reading all about it here and here. While the intention was to write one post a week, last week did not go exactly as I had planned. Life has been rather hectic lately which left me feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed.
There is some irony in the fact that this post on emotional self-care is delayed because while I was trying to write it, I needed to do some emotional self-care myself. Now that I’m feeling a whole lot better, I feel like I can share some of the lessons that I learnt through this post.
What is emotional self-care?
Emotional self-care is all about being aware of how we are feeling and finding ways to deal with our feelings positively, especially when it comes to managing stress in our lives. So when I felt stressed and anxious last week, I needed some time out. And for an extrovert like myself, that is a rare occasion. I ended up spending the most part of 2 days in complete silence at home by myself and it was complete bliss.
Here’s what I did to recharge:
- I tidied and decluttered my bedroom – that may not sound like an emotional self-care activity, but an orderly space where I could think did wonders for my soul. I think some of the clutter was actually adding to the stress in my life.
- I deep conditioned my hair, applied a face mask and painted my nails – sometimes just those little things can do so much for your well -being. I wonder how I can never spare 20 minutes out of a week to apply a deep conditioner to my hair?! This is going to be a regular activity for me from now on!
- I met an old friend for lunch on day 2, shhh! By lunchtime of day 2 I had enough of my own company! A friend from out of town was in Cape Town for the week and it was so good to catch up over food and drinks, lots of laughter and memories were shared.
What if you don’t have time?
If you can’t take 2 days off (which might be the case if you have kids, weekend commitments or anything in that line), here are a few things you could try to add some self-care and self-love to your life!
- Go for a walk. Try this without your phone! If you can, immerse yourself in nature, whether that be the ocean or a forest! Take the time to really experience your surroundings and breathe in the fresh air.
- Read a book. When last have you read a book that was completely self-indulgent?
- Spend time with a loved one, particularly someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with!
- Try a new hobby! Buy that sketch pad and draw, join that dance class, start that blog! Whatever inspires you to explore your creative side, go and do it.
My Physical Self-Care Progress
Now, in my last post, I set some physical self-care goals that I wanted to report back on. Firstly, I’ve been doing a lot better with my sleeping times. Most nights I am in bed by 10 pm and lights out by 11 pm. Secondly, I have cut out most sugar from my diet, I had some over the past weekend but that’s about it. Thirdly, I went to that pound class I mentioned and nearly died! I’ve only managed 2 of 6 workouts over 2 weeks. I’ll be working to improve that this week!
Remember, self-care is not optional, it’s essential!