> Let's Talk - Self Care - Its All Zara

Let's Talk - Self Care

April 07, 2018

Hello there readers and happy Saturday!

As always on a Saturday I have my Let's Talk segment ready to share with you all and another topic to discuss but before we jump in I have a small announcement. Until I'm finished with college in June this will be my last Let's Talk segment; I've found it a tad hard to concentrate on assignments as well as tracking down writers for my segments, writing my piece and making sure it's perfect to post. My other blog posts will be every few days or so as well and I'm getting as many typed up as possible before I go back on Tuesday so I can still keep this blog active and work on my coursework at the same time.

Now that we got that out the way let's introduce this weeks writers and get today's topic started; today joining me for a talk on Self Care is:

Jamie: @Jenkinsleejamie on Twitter and her blog can be found at https://jamieleejenkinsfitness.wordpress.com/

Sian: @Sianreed93 on Twitter and her blog can be found at http://www.theenglisheverygirl.com/

Jamie's thoughts: "Self-care, mindfulness, and wellness - these words seem to have become ‘buzzwords’ over the past few years with everyone promoting early morning yoga, a kale shake and a colouring book. The problem is, the rise of self-care has led to it becoming a very prescriptive practise and when self-care means sacrificing the ‘hustle’, another buzzword of our generation, you’re in trouble. The reality is self-care has become profitable. Great, more people are practising self-care! But if we consider that to buy a self-care journal you’re looking at being set back at least a tenner, there is a slight irony in the movement. Call me cynical but it seems as if the society that has promoted a dog-eat-dog mentality of competition and ruthlessness is now profiting from providing cures for ailments that it created itself. Yes, practise self-care if it means working out and drinking green tea whilst mediating but let’s be honest, that is not always the way it goes.

Self-care isn’t always ‘Insta’ worthy and glamorous. It’s not an early morning alarm and a shot of Aloe Vera juice. You do not need to be breaking the bank to be justified in using the hashtag. Sometimes it can be as simple as washing the pots. I was pleased to find, amongst the turmeric lattes and exotic spa retreats, that some people on social media are keen on the #boringselfcare – a hashtag ‘keeping it real’ when it comes to taking time to improve your mental health and help manage symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses (and a hashtag I myself need to take advantage of more). Self-care is great but we need to ensure it does not become another form of competition – an attempt to out-do your social media followers all the while adding more stress to your daily life.

Self-care should be celebrated in all its forms. Even the smallest acts of self-care are worthy and what works for one person may not work for someone else. I am not saying those people sipping their Matcha teas are not ‘doing it right’, hell, I love a cup of coffee and a yoga class! But the self-care that we see promoted online is not the be all and end all and if we do not acknowledge that self-care comes in many different forms, we run the risk of it becoming another regulatory struggle, which defeats the object all together. Do not feel like in order to practise self-care you have to spend a fortune or learn to love the seriously questionable taste of Aloe Vera. Self-care can be anything from going out with friends to getting yourself out of bed in the morning. Self-care can be done alone or it can be done with people. It can be done with a therapist; it can be done with a yoga instructor. Self-care is what you make of it not what the people you follow on Instagram make of it."


Sian's thoughts: "With most of us balancing multiple projects and paths in our lives, we often forget about ourselves. Whether it’s work, studying, family or blogging, it is also important to put yourself first sometimes. I’ll admit myself, I’m a workaholic: I love having a huge to-do list and am constantly busy with a different task or several at the same time. However, I also know that I deserve a break from time to time. Whether it’s a spare hour before bedtime or a full weekend, I like to step away from my work/study and focus on myself. These are just a few things I enjoy doing for a little bit of me time:

· Going home: As I’m currently living away from how for my postgrad, I can combine having some time to myself with going home to be with my family. I’m an only child so hanging out with my parents can be fun for me. Whether we just sit at home and have a TV day or we spend the day outdoors, it gives me a break from the madness of uni just for a day or two!

· Adulting: I like to spend one day a week adulting, usually Sundays. To stop me from going crazy, I spend the day doing all those dull tasks that nobody really likes doing: cleaning, tidying, laundry and food shopping. I find that if I do them in one day, I can concentrate for the rest of the week without thinking I need to do it all another day.

· Pampering: I often combine this with my adulting Sundays and spend my night treating myself to a face mask and painting my nails. I always feel like it sets me up for the week and helps me to relax on those dreaded Sunday nights before I have to start my week all over again on Monday morning.

· Solo dates: As I am an only child, I’m used to spending time on my own. Being at uni means I spend most of my time working in my flat. It’s important for me to try and get out as much as possible so once a week, I take myself on a solo date in town. I have a walk around shops, spend some time blogging in a café and sometimes treat myself to lunch out.

· Getting outdoors: Following on from my last point, we spend so much time at work or at home in front of a screen that we forget that we need to come up for air sometimes! The best way to do that is to go for a walk out somewhere. You don’t always have to have a destination in mind, just exploring a new area can be enough.

· Reflecting on my week and getting organised for the next: Another Sunday task for me is to jot down my feelings and thoughts from the previous week and organise myself for the following week. I have a journal for reflecting and then my regular diary for prepping for the next week and beyond.

Self-care is all about what works for you. These tasks might not count as self-care to you but it’s a personal area that you need to work on alone."

My thoughts: "I have several methods of self care depending on what it is that's getting me down; for example I know when I'm stressed with college work I need something to help my brain and mind unwind, whereas when I'm suffering from a gym injury I need something to help me physically.

So, what do I do in these circumstances?

Mental Self Care - For this I enjoy talking to loved ones about my worries and what's niggling my mind, this is a good start to helping identify the exact problem I have. Once I have it all out in the open and they've offered me the support I need I usually do something to focus my mind on more positive things, one way of doing this is going to the gym and sweating out my concerns. I always feel more positive after a workout so the gym has become a great place for letting off steam when I've needed somewhere to focus my energy! As well as the gym I've found walking my dog also helps me relax my mind as spending an hour and a half walking around town at my own pace lets me thing of things more related to the outdoors; I notice every nature change, I meet people on my walks who I've grown accustomed to and I enjoy seeing my dog happy to the point it cheers me up.

Physical Self Care - These are times when I'm poorly, tired or suffering some form of physical ailment (usually my knee is the culprit!) that requires some self love. Hot baths with my favourite bath bombs and my music playing in the background is a great way to relax my muscles and let my body chill out. I also enjoy laying in bed binge watching a movie or TV series, it feels so good to just rest my body and do something so comforting! Physical self care is very important as your body does it's best to support you but sometimes it just needs a bit of assistance, be kind to yourselves when these instances occur!

Everyone needs a bit of self love from time to time and it's important to schedule these sessions when you can especially if you work, study or are busy most of the time. From retail therapy and a massage to writing a diary and taking a quiet nap everyone has their own way of relieving their stress, and thank goodness we do otherwise our health would suffer drastically."

Thanks again to my writers for their work and amazing discussions and thank you to my readers for checking out this weeks Let's Talk post. As previously mentioned my blog is about to be a bit toned down due to finishing college but as soon as I'm done I'll be back to full speed writing once again! Have a good weekend everyone! 

Itsallzara

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2 comments

  1. This was a really interesting post to read - it's definitely important to have some self-care moments, in whatever way helps you. I used to love taking my dog for a walk, that is definitely one of the most relaxing ways for self-care for me! Just enjoying the view, getting some fresh air and your dog having a lovely time too. Really gives you some time to think!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

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  2. I love this! It's important to remember with all those cute insta snaps that it means different things for different people. For some it's a workout, others it might be a book and an early night and for some people, it could literally be doing nothing. Great to hear other people's perspectives on it x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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