5 Surprisingly Effective Ways To Self-care At Home! Prioritize Your Health! Hannah TaylorSeptember 2020 You will be glad to note that reading this article is the first step! Self-care isn’t an easily won thing. Self-care tips aren’t a one-time thing either. There is no permanent fix to feeling ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘taking care’ of yourself for good. We simply have to stick with it and trust our instincts. Know when to say yes to your mental health There isn’t always a time and a place, and sometimes it’s more damaging to shy away from things and people that could cause us harm. This is because we don’t end up doing anything. We retreat and stop living life on our terms. Ignore the life social media wants you to have. The goals in life as they present themselves to you are not your own values. You have to try things out to take care of yourself! Go on a road trip with strangers. Go swimming in the sea on a cold day! You will have more laughs than you thought possible from within the narrow confines of your own mind. Find your friend of a friend on Facebook that lives in the same obscure town as you and go on a coffee date, seize the moments! Accept inefficiency even in self-care tips Sometimes, less is more – you can’t do everything, even when things are good for you! Here, we have to learn to be kind to ourselves. It involves redefining what we call ‘success’ and ‘failure,’ stopping using these words altogether. These boundaries seem to promise that life can be split into two neat, even lines: good and bad. Pals, dudes, friends: we know this isn’t the case. Life is many shades of grey, but before that, life is possibility! If we spend too long trying to organize and maximize our time on their earth to achieve the most productive end, we will have wasted this life. It’ll pass you by. We will all regret things, whether or not we wanted to do them in the first place. By the same virtue, we will regret not taking chances just as much as when we took them. Either way, it’s done, so you might as well have acted recklessly and accepted the consequences. Don’t punish yourself by holding yourself to the standard of unattainable perfection. Let ‘should’ die with the people that told us to cut carbs. Life your life with the same indifferent to everyone else as an old woman, and yet retain the essential courtesy to others as a kindly university librarian, who only wants the best for you. Seize moments to relax and say no This is important, too. It can feel like everyone needs something from you. But we’re all rooting for you, ready to be guided by your own needs. But the first step to allow others to help you is to make yourself vulnerable and every now and then claim ‘me-time.’ Sometimes relaxing means that you need to tell the people around you ‘no.’ otherwise, if you’re always available and accessible, people take that as a reason to expect that. Your good deed risks becoming an emotional drain if you constantly put others above yourself. It’s the same with social media. Without some grit and ability to recognize your own limits, you would never find time to have a bath bomb and do a facemask. The hard-to-swallow truth? There will not be an obvious time in your day for this self-care. You have to make that time yourself. Sadly, not many people will force you to look after yourself if it doesn’t specifically benefit them. For people to recognize when you are struggling, you need to let them in, be vulnerable. But that’s another article… this is about the short, quick habits to adopt to protect our long term futures. Do something different everyday! Unplug social media! Cook something you enjoy – even if it isn’t nutritious, even if you think your roommate might judge you. Kick up your feet for a movie night and take the day for what it is. Yours! Or at least have a snack, or eat something that reassures you of better times. A nostalgic cinema ice-cream, perhaps. Or, something that resembles your mum’s rice pudding. Let yourself mess up to learn better mental health practices Take a picture of something you like – whatever the reason – everyday. You will have so many more memories to think about after the event. To remind yourself that things change and nothing is permanent and self-care is always possible. Not just that, it is essential. Accept that mental health routines will be difficult and know that it’s fine to have an off-day.