It’s very easy to think that self care is inherently selfish. It isn’t. You can’t care for others if you aren’t caring for yourself. That said, self care shouldn’t be an excuse for continuing unhealthy behaviours or spending excess money you don’t have; creating debt is not an act of self care.
One of my favourite self-care activities is blocking out a set amount of time (anything from 10 minutes for meditation to 2 hours + for a film) and ‘wasting time’. Especially at the moment, with being stuck at home all day, every day with only a short window for going out and having our daily allowance of exercise, there is a lot of pressure to be ‘productive’, particularly if you are suddenly finding yourself working from home. I’ve found that since I’ve been teaching from home and setting work on the virtual learning environment for my students, I’ve been starting work earlier and finishing it later. This is neither healthy nor helpful, as there’s also only so much I can do and a long old time for doing it in. Setting aside some time to ‘waste’ is something I’m enjoying doing, and it means I can do some of my favourite activities guilt-free because it’s in my schedule!
I’ve listed some of my favourite ‘time wasting’ activities below:
- Binge watch Netflix, Disney Plus or silly YouTube videos (the key here is to watch without working at the same time, or checking your emails or social media – remember, this is self-care time not squeeze-in-extra-work time).
- Take a quick nap or a hot bath. For extra luxury, make it a bubble bath scented with essential oils or bath salts. Do not take screens into the bathroom – aside from the obvious potential for water damage, it makes a relaxing place stressful. The only exception to this rule might be to take your phone in to play calming spa-like music.
- Give yourself a spa night – wash your hair and use leave-in conditioner, actually do all the steps in your skincare routine, dig out or make a face mask and spend time just being in the moment.
- Make a hot drink (or alcoholic drink if you have any), sit in the garden and watch the world go by.
- Or whatever else makes you happy. For me, this might be spending a significant amount of time with my nose in a good book, painting my nails or playing with my dog.