Food & Drink · Mental Health

The little acts of self-care that make all the difference

[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.

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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.

green tea and a book

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 kinda gross, hence the cinnamon and manuka honey. I forgot that I actually really like how matcha tea tastes.

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, and if you thought that the default for teabags was that they’re biodegradable, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Most tea bags aren’t because they contain plastic!

You can purchase some for yourself here.

organic matcha tea - little acts of self-care

Skincare

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.

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.

skincare serum - little acts of self-care

Eating well and 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 helps as a combination of other things.

avocado toast

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.

a movie night in with popcorn - little acts of self-care

What are your favourite little acts of self-care? Do you find not practicing little acts of self-care affects how you feel?

22 thoughts on “The little acts of self-care that make all the difference

  1. I love how you really showed that self care doesn’t need to be glamourous. It can be as simple as washing our face and eating healthy. Thank you so much for this.

  2. Until I started having a more healthy diet, I didn’t realise its positive benefits – I feel so much happier within myself and have so much more energy πŸ™‚

  3. Great tips. But why not just drink the green tea alone? Were the other ingredients recommended? Love your other tips though.

  4. I think exercising and eating healthy is the key (for me) – so many mental health benefits and in turn mood benefits! Great post love x

  5. Couldn’t agree more that sometimes self-care is doing stuff you don’t want to. Particularly eating healthily, working out and taking make up off before bed. They’re little things and often I can’t be bothered. But overall I know that the long term impact makes it worthwhile!

  6. I agree with you β€” self care is just basically taking care of yourself. It’s not glamorous and more than just a bubble bath. These are all great ways to do self care β€” which is not selfish!

  7. I agree that self care isn’t just relaxing in a bubble bath. It’s looking after yourself, exercising, eating well and taking care of your mental health, too. I love green tea, I’ve been drinking it multiple times a day for over 15 years now! Matcha is great too because it has even more health benefits than regular green tea.

  8. For me, a lot of my self care practices are done alone! I am an introvert and I love lying in bed after the kids go to sleep and zone out watching one of my favorite shows. It helps my brain disengage from the day a bit.

  9. Love this and totally agree. Although I’m not adventurous with my tea (builders, 2 sugars for me!) a cup of tea really can make the world of difference some times. I’m in desperate need of some me time as it’s been SUCH a busy week and I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed so will definitely be taking that point on board tomorrow! x

  10. I love your self-care tips! I already heard so much about how green tea boosts energy and I hadn’t considered that a simply face wash could have a positive effect. Great Post

  11. Great post and some great tips. I agree about green tea, it tastes horrible on its own. I tried a flavoured one once and it was no better. I’ll have to try it with cinnamon, lemon and honey though, it sounds quite nice. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I’ve taken a step back from drinking several cups of coffee a day and now I’m drinking Turamic tea for my stomach. It really does make a difference!
    Hope you’re keeping well! xx

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