[GIFED] The act of self-care has become a popular subject in recent months on social media, and also a contested one. Sometimes the internet paints self-care as lazy days in PJs or pampering yourself with a new facemask and bath bomb. Both are acts of self-care, however, self-care isn’t always soothing or relaxing, which is where it gets debated.
Sometimes self-care means pushing yourself to do things you don’t necessarily want to do but know you’ll feel better afterward, which is why you do it. These are the little acts of self-care that make all the difference for me.
If you’re plagued by depression, mental illness or in a rocky patch, even just the bare minimum of taking care of yourself can feel impossible. Sometimes I fall off the wagon a bit. I don’t always take amazing care of my self and end up feeling worse.
1. The Tea
I drank a concoction of green tea, cinnamon, lemon, and manuka honey every single morning for three years. This pre-veganism which I why I used manuka honey at the time. Then I stopped after a bad patch when I was 20, where I abandoned all acts of self-care.
Although I’m currently doing much better now, I felt amazing during the time I did drink it. I genuinely believe a lot of that energy came from the green tea. When The Natural Health Market sent me a sample of their matcha tea, I took it as a sign that it’s time to get back on the wagon.
Herbal teas are amazing. They have so many benefits but are also count as a cup of water a day, which is perfect for people who struggle to stay hydrated. Often, green teas by themself taste gross, hence the cinnamon and manuka honey. I forgot that I actually really like how matcha tea tastes.
Matcha Vs. Green Tea
The difference between matcha and green tea is that matcha is green tea leaves that have been ground into a powder. Even though its the same leaves matcha has a smoother sweeter taste. Green tea’s great, I think it’s worth drinking if you’ve acquired a taste of it, or like to infuse it with other flavours like me, but matcha’s definitely my favourite.
I adored The Natural Health Market’s tea, and have been drinking it every morning since I got it. The back of the packaging explains how to brew the perfect cup. This matcha tea was grown and stone-ground in the very garden it was grown in, in Kyoto Japan. As the spiritual home of matcha tea, it doesn’t get any better than this. The Shimizu Tani garden it’s from is one of the two top matcha producing regions of the world!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m very much into sustainability. I greatly appreciate that they strive to leave a minimal mark on the environment. I’ll always shout eco-friendly packaging too! All their tea bags are biodegradable. Most tea bags aren’t because they contain plastic!
I naturally have acne-prone skin so I never neglect my skin, but sometimes I do the bare minimum, which is just taking off my make-up and going to bed.
A good face-wash is so refreshing. I used to be quite good at face masks, but sometimes don’t maintain a regular routine. There hasn’t been any I’ve loved in a while as I prefer to use natural ones. I made a DIY exfoliator with coffee grounds and coconut oil, but I want something gentle to use in-between. I got Elfs magnetic clay mask for Christmas which is…interesting.
Last year I upped my skincare game and got eye cream, day cream and night cream. As I got an Elf serum for Christmas too, I’ve added another set and my skin feels so plump and soft.
Former Skincare Skeptic
I also used to be a skeptic and thought that a lot of skincare and make-up products were scams, I was wrong. A lot are useless, however, 15-year old me thought primer and setting spray must be bull, would come home with no foundation left (and then blame whatever the brand was). Primer and setting spray actually work.
The same goes for serums, night cream, and eye cream. I used to just moisturize in the morning and put my make-up on. I was on so much acne medication and every treatment under the sun that my skin was bone dry so I should have been moisturizing way more!
When I only do the bare minimum of skincare I feel oily and disgusting. The after-face-mask feeling is a mini version of the feeling I get after a well-deserved shower.
3. Eating Well & Staying Active
I adore eating well and being active. My lifestyle was actually a result of a New Years resolution in 2014 that stuck. I didn’t take great care of myself, I ate a lot of crap and never moved. My lifestyle wasn’t the sole reason I felt low, but it wasn’t helping either. Changing it for the better gave me a huge boost.
Now when I don’t eat great for a few days or go awhile without exercising I have less energy and feel a little down. I genuinely start to miss the rush I get after a good workout. These things aren’t to lose weight or to have a certain kind of body, but because it makes me feel good.
I go easy on myself when needs be. If I wake up sick or somewhere is sore (and it’s not just a muscle ache from a previous work out) I let myself rest till I’m better.
A good diet and lifestyle won’t cure mental illness. However, for some people, it can ease the symptoms. For me, good mood foods and physical activity help as a combination of other things.
4. Make Some Me-Time
My life has been a bit hectic over the past few years as I balance multiple things at once. Right now its running two websites and their respective social media accounts, my nutrition course, work, trying to freelance, and trying to write a book.
I struggle with feeling like I have to be productive every minute of the day, but it’s okay to live in the moment and take a breather. I can work late into the night so I do this by lying in bed for a few extra minutes in the morning and resting my eyes. Sometimes I’m so tired I accidentally link the wrong blog post to all the pins I’ve scheduled which means it’s time to stop. I haven’t really been sitting down with a book or watching something in awhile.
The other night I made myself a hot chocolate and watched the cringy Cirque du Freak movie adaption. It’s based on one of my favourite book series’ so it’s comforting. Writing used to be my me-time but now it’s become more of a career thing than a hobby. I don’t count writing as me-time anymore. It’s still fun to write, it just feels like work now. Thankfully, reading and music still feel like downtime.
What are your favourite little acts of self-care? Do you find not practicing little acts of self-care affects how you feel? Check out these wellness habits to take into the new year and mental health books.