What is self-care, why should you try it and 17 top tips

Self-care Sunday seems to trend weekly on Twitter. We found out everything you need to know...

Perhaps the key to being a happier person is to start by being kinder to yourself.

The self-care movement has been gaining more traction online lately thanks to things like mindfulness, adult colouring books and Korean beauty products.

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We found out everything you need to know about self-care and how to do it for yourself.

What is it?

Gemma McCrae is a life coach, declutter and property expert. She defines self-care as making your own needs a priority.

“Self-care is about an individual on their own, or with the help of others, protecting, enhancing and maintaining their both their physical and mental health or wellbeing," she explains.

“All too often, when life is busy, people prioritise their wants and needs below everyone else’s.

“Take the example of oxygen masks on a plane. There is a reason why we are encouraged to place our own masks on first before we attend to anyone else. It’s because if you’re not functioning properly, you’re of no help to anyone else. The same principle applies for self-care.”

Alexia Inge, co-founder and co-CEO of Cult Beauty also insists that self-care is not selfish. 

"This is not some selfish millennial micro-trend, this is the beginning of a much-needed groundswell to counter the increasing pressures we subject ourselves to day after day, this lowers our immunity and ensures that we are constantly operating close to empty which makes us irritable and drains all creativity and inspirational thinking," she explains. 

"The most important part of Self-care is time doing nothing with aim, the luxury of boredom and not filling every second with to-do lists and stimulation. There are many ways to do this, meditation, walks in nature, sketching and if you are a beauty junky like me luxuriating with a face mask in a bath surrounded by aromatherapy candles for half an hour gives me just the headspace I need to reboot."

How do you do it?

Self-care will be different to different people depending on their needs.

Gemma explains that the five basic pillars are diet, exercise, sleep and rest, hydration, and mental health.

You might spend time looking after these needs by eating well, going to the gym, getting some fresh air, or reading a book in the bath, or getting someone to help out with boring jobs like cleaning or ironing.

How can I find the time for self-care?

As a life coach Gemma says: “I get really frustrated when a client runs through their day in an exhaustive manner, demonstrating that they don’t have a minute spare – excuses!

“If you organise yourself properly and prioritise self-care, you will make the time. Get up earlier and don’t waste time.”

Gemma's 17 self-care tips

Here are some examples of good self-care practises...

  1. Eating a healthy diet.
  2. Going to the gym or going for a run.
  3. 20 minutes of fresh air per day.
  4. Getting 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
  5. Drinking 2 litres of water per day.
  6. Meditating for 10 minutes in the morning.
  7. Writing in a mood journal every evening.
  8. Going for a massage.
  9. Going to the cinema alone and turning off mobile phones.
  10. Having an afternoon nap.
  11. Reading a novel.
  12. Having a bath while burning aromatic oils.
  13. Going for a coffee and cake with a friend.
  14. Playing pool with your mates.
  15. Doing a hobby.
  16. Listening to your jazz records while sipping on your favourite coffee.
  17. Getting someone to do your cleaning, ironing or gardening.

Get more helpful tips from Gemma here.

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