Lifestyle: Three easy ways you need to add self care to your life...

It’s been none stop rain here all week so I’m tempted to lock myself in my little en suite sanctuary for a good old pamper! How long would it be until my little sweeties found me do you think?!

Its funny how we think just the basics of looking after our emotional, physical and mental health are surplus to requirements. That it's indulgent or that all of our time has to be in service of others or productive. Then we wonder why we end up burned out and depleted. I used to be very low maintenance, going a year between hair appointments and using baby lotion for my face, but really all low maintenance is is not thinking about yourself. 

Since having kids I started to think that taking them for a walk around the block, or popping to the shops, or a 5 minute shower on my own, was self care. It is not, that, my friends, is tending to our basic physical needs. Now I realise that self care is more about doing something for yourself, that doesn't cater to any one else's needs or tick a box for feeding and bathing yourself. It's something that makes you, and you alone, feel good and that fills your cup. 

As a life long people pleaser, I lived my life in service of others, either trying to get their needs met or making myself as small as possible to not get in their way. As someone who had no real concept of understanding her needs or getting them met, I had a longer way to go than most new mums. The dangerous thing is, I didn't even know I was sabotaging myself or that I should have been concerned that I wasn't meeting my needs. Most people pleasing is born out of the kind of childhoods or relationships we have experienced.

Don't get me wrong, if you are finding time for yourself but your jam is a bit of yoga, exercising, drawing or playing music, then I applaud you and whatever that it is keep doing it. But how many of us say we haven't got time for implementing change? I did it with two babies under two, I was too exhausted to think about myself but I knew I couldn't stay in that zone as I did get very depleted. Taking the time to overhaul your daily routine to include a few small rituals helps to remember that you are showing up for yourself. Everyone can find 5 or 10 minute increments in the day to do something for themselves. 

Really prioritising my skincare is one way I am looking after myself better and it's having a small but profound effect on me. I feel that these small changes are really helping me realise my worth, value and how to carve out time for myself.

I’ve finally gotten round to putting up a shelf for my Neals Yard Remedies skincare and it’s reminding me to be good to my skin. Years of little sleep have made my skin much drier so I’m having to work harder at getting a glow. 
I love that it’s vegan, cruelty free, full of nature’s bounty and smells like a luxury spa.

It's important that we each tap into what it is we find joy in, or what helps us love ourselves a little more, and now is the perfect time given we're all at home and living a slow life.

So here are three ways to put self care at the forefront:

If you struggle to remember to look after your skin, do what I've done and make it so prominent that you can't ignore it. By putting up a special shelf just for my skincare, it not only feels a bit spa like and encourages me to see it as a treat, but also makes it easy to see what I have and then use it. Most days my skincare routine is very basic as I'm getting ready with two toddlers round my feet but on a weekend it might include cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising and a massage. Of course, I still have moments of doing the baby wipe wash, but more often than not now I make a more effort and my skin is thanking me for it. You can use code NYRA15 to get 15% off all Neals Yard Skincare so now you have no reason not to treat yourself.

Given it's winter and we're all in lockdown, many of the things I would usually treat myself with are unavailable, so instead I'm embracing hygge, and going for a cosy vibe. Alpaca wool socks, ASOS UK co-ord loungewear and fluffy slippers. I figure I'm going to Netflix and chill I may as well feel stylish and comfortable. It also makes a normal evening feel a bit more of an event.

The third tip for increasing self care is to feed your mind with inspiring stories around something that interests you or to buy a journal to write down three things you are grateful for in the morning and again at night. It's the perfect antidote for living in the online, 24 hour news world and escaping for a bit of fantasy is good for us sometimes.

How do you look after yourself during lockdown? Let me know in the comments below...

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