27 Aug 2019

self care essentials - book, music, nice drink
I recently shared my sunday routine where I wrote about how I make the most of my Sunday. I loved reading the comments on that post; it was so nice to read how everyone chooses to spend the last day of the week. One thing people said was how productive my Sundays are, when a lot of people tend to take the day to relax and 'do nothing'. I wanted to share that, like many of you, I too have days where I will sit and 'do nothing'. Maybe read a book, watch Netflix, probably not leave the house or really get ready but that's OK because I don't think that's being unproductive- I'm still doing something I need to do and that's looking after myself; giving myself some chill time and some needed self-care. 

Focussing on you should be a priority

Many people don't prioritise self-care. We tend to forget to give ourselves a much-needed break from work, life stress and just sit and do something for ourselves. It's hard to comprehend that sitting and doing something for yourself is as productive as writing a blog post, going to work, doing the jobs around the house. But, just like being productive in these aspects, self-care is beneficial in ways you may not realise. 

You may feel guilty or even selfish for taking time for you but don't. We all need that time! I get it though; I always feel like I should be ticking off those to-dos, meeting with friends but I know that's not what I need and I should be prioritising what I do need. And, what I need is self-care!  

Neglect can lead to burnout

Simple- if you don't take time for yourself, it's going to bite you on the bum in the future. Whether it's constantly overworking and not taking time to process other parts of your life, it's easy to become overwhelmed, which can affect not just your mental health but actual health as well. 

During uni, I was always pushing myself to work. I'd think the more I focussed the quicker the work would be done and the quicker I could relax. However, the workload seemed neverending at points and I just kept trying to push through but, in the end, I was tired, sad and still as stressed as before.  It was when I would take a night off to do something with friends, ring my parents or just sit and watch a film, that I felt a lot happier and less burnt out when I returned to work.

I'm actually going to share a post all about student self-care, so look out for that soon!

Clearing your head can actually help
We've all been there. It's a busy week, we're on autopilot. Trying to get through those long stressful days and just pushing through. But, not giving ourselves some time to switch off can actually stop us from performing well at work and even feeling happy with our social lives. It's so much more beneficial to stop and take a break from it all. Whether you cook a nice meal, watch a film you've been wanting to watch, going for a walk or anything else to just ease your mind and focus on something completely separate from what causes you stress. 

When I'm taking time for myself, it's here when the pressure has eased that inspiration hits most. By clearing my head I can solve that problem I've been trying so hard to work out, I can think of a better way to do something at work, I think of a new blog post idea. From taking some time I always find it to actually help me be more productive. Whether it's from meditation or mindlessly watching some crap TV, or watching some youtube vlogs (my personal favourite), it is beneficial and is productive in the long run. 

While you might not feel it as being very productive, it will probably help you to be even more productive in the future. As you take some time to switch off auto and be in the moment, you can finally be more aware of everything that is going on around you. 

A self-care schedule does not exist

People may disagree with me on this one so I'd like to hear your opinions! When I share my productive posts, one thing I always say is how important a schedule is but for self-care, I don't think this is so applicable. While it's good to block out a night a week purely for yourself, I find it better to just listen to yourself. You know yourself best and so you will know when you should take some time to stop and look after yourself first. I find trying to do one small act of self-care a day the most beneficial for me but everyone is different! 

As you're starting to include more self-care into your routine, it's always hard to find the time so that's when scheduling some time in is good. But, later down the line, the best way is to just listen to yourself. 

Self-care is such a subjective thing as to how much time one needs for self-care and how they choose to do this, but it can positively impact everyone's mental health and wellbeing and I know how much better and productive I feel after taking some time to switch off. 

Do you agree? Do you feel you take enough time for self-care at the moment? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

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