One of the things I urgently wanted to do in January was to have a self- care day or weekend. I had a lot of things going on last year and I have been adapting to various changes in my life, so I thought taking some time for myself would help me to refocus and get ready for the new year ahead. Although it wasn’t always easy to go through with it and say no to some other activities, I feel like I have really benefitted from this weekend.
Do you feel like everything is getting a bit too much for you at the moment? You aren’t sure whether your current lifestyle is the one you really want? Or you just need some time to relax but don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a spa day? Then I’m sure a self-care weekend would be a great option for you, too. Below I have listed my personal self-care tips for you:
1. Read a Book or a Magazine
The first thing that always puts me in a better mindset is to read a good book or magazine. This can be a title you wanted to read for a while or one of your favourite books that you would like to re-read. If you are more the spontaneous type, a third option is to go to a bookstore and choose something that sparks your interest. Then go home and have a read for a while.
2. Go for a Swim or Have a Bath
Secondly, surrounding yourself with water is always a good idea. During the summer months it is great to go to the beach, a lake or a public swimming pool depending on where you live. In autumn or winter, take a bath, visit a spa pool or just have a nice hot shower. Whichever you prefer. This is supposed to help you relax, be in the moment and pay attention to the thoughts you are having.
3. Eat Good Food
Thirdly, no self-care weekend is complete without some good food and your favourite smoothie. In this case, the term good food is up to your interpretation. What kind of food do you really enjoy? What gives you energy and makes you feel light and positive?
If you enjoy cooking, you can make it part of your weekend to cook your favourite meal or try making something new. Or go out with a friend and have that burger you love so much. It’s completely up to you. As long as you eat and drink in moderation, make sure you have what you feel like. Listen to your body – it usually knows best what you need anyway!
4. Balance Active and Passive Activities
Ideally, your weekend should consist of things you enjoy doing. Some of them should be active and get you out of the house for a while. This could be going for a long walk or to the gym, taking a course, or plan an outside activity with friends.
More passive activities like reading or having a bath as mentioned above will provide a beneficial physical and mental balance. Spending some time on the couch just writing down your thoughts can be very refreshing, too. Again, it is up to you to choose the activities since it is your self-care weekend, but balancing them out works really well from experience.
5. Spend Time Alone
Speaking of balance, there also needs to be balance of spending time with others and spending time alone. As much as it is great to go out with a friend for a dinner or coffee, I would recommend to spend quite a bit of time just by yourself. Sometimes life gets so busy we hardly even know what it is like to be ourselves just by ourselves anymore.
This can especially happen in a relationship. I have watched couples grow apart because they tried too much to adapt to their partner’s needs in everyday decisions and plans. In consequence, they did not spend a lot of time doing what they actually enjoy anymore, which in sum is their expression of who they are – and probably the character traits that made their partner fall in love with them in the first place. As you can imagine, this won’t turn out too well in the long run.
So spending time by yourself and saying not to other options or invitations isn’t selfish. Rather, it is making sure you can be yourself and fill up your energy jar in order for you to have energy, love and attention to give to others again after.
6. Unplug for a While
Another tip I would like to talk about is concerning social media and electronics in general. Seriously, how easily do two hours pass when we are just scrolling through Facebook and Instagram? And does it actually get us anywhere? More than likely all it does is make us believe that other people lead better, richer, healthier lives than we do and we end up in a more negative mindset than we were in before.
I know how difficult it is, but having a technology free day or set amount of time can be so refreshing! Try your best to unplug for a while. Not just from social media, but from all kinds of technology. No laptop, no phone, no TV, no Spotify etc. I recently listened to an interview with someone who owns a small hotel and hosts technology free retreats there. People pay no small amount of money to go there to not use their phones. They have to leave it at reception when they check in. And I am not talking about some fancy day spa. There is not actually much going on at the hotel, which is what attracts people to it. Crazy world!
Anyway, I believe that unplugging can open up our minds for new thoughts and ideas and support our creativity immensely. You will be surprised what thoughts come into your head when you are for once not distracted by anything!
7. Make Big Plans
My last tip for your self-care weekend is to use the often rare attention you are paying to your own thoughts to create some plans for the future. Write down what is important to you. Creating a vision board is also a great way of going about this if you feel like turning this into a bigger project.
However you want to do it, make sure to manifest some goals you would like to achieve and what you would like to do more of in your life. Create a plan with little steps that will make you look forward to the next days and weeks ahead and remind you of who you want to be. Be positive, compassionate and encouraging with yourself. Start with small steps that are achievable. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed, but full of anticipation!
The Importance of Self-Care
Whether you are planning on having a self-care day or weekend yourself or not: Nobody can deny how important it is to take care of our own body and mind. Pretty much everything we are confronted with on a daily basis is telling us we are not good enough and we need x,y and z to be fulfilled. The new car, the next holiday, those sunglasses etc.
In reality, all we often need is some time for ourselves. Time away from all the busy days and big to-do-lists. Days filled with activities that make us the person we deep down are and remind us how good life can be. Self-care does not cost much at all except time. Time you may have otherwise spent on social media or on that party you didn’t really want to go to anyway.