Self-love is a term we see thrown around a lot these days. It’s something that we’re all encouraged to foster, nurture and have. But what exactly is self-love? Is it new-age narcissism? The absence of insecurities? Not quite. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines self-love as ‘the feeling that your own happiness and wishes are important’. That’s all.
It’s all about understanding your own wants and wishes and making sure that they don’t take a backseat in your life. That you aren’t sacrificing your desires and happiness for everyone elses. So it’s important, in the search of self-love, to enjoy the odd self care day.
One quick search on YouTube would have me believing that a ‘Self Care Day’ consists of white robes, face masks and camomile tea. But that’s a very narrow view of what self care can look like. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hot bath and pamper as much as the next person but there’s a few different ways to look after yourself on a self care day.
Before you plan your self care day, take some time to really listen to your body, to reflect on your life and figure out what would nourish you. Figure out what’s out of balance and find a way to realign.
Scents have long been used to influence the mind and wellbeing as different smells are able to encourage different emotional responses. Here’s a breakdown of how some popular scents can aid your self care day:
- Lavender for a calming, soothing and relaxing vibe.
- Citrus scents like orange and lemon for an energising and uplifting influence. Perfect if your self care day requires anything active – ie tidying or cooking.
- Woody scents for grounding and balancing energy. Think vetiver, cedarwood and patchouli.
- Jasmine is a seductive scent that’s particularly effective if your self care day includes romance or arousal
Products that allow you to explore scents include: candles, diffusers, bath salts, perfumes and body oils.
Get in the kitchen
It can be hard to find the time or motivation to cook from scratch everyday, but it’s important to nourish your body with healthy, balanced meals. If you’ve found your cooking habits have become quite lazy, it can be really helpful to challenge yourself on a self care day to cook a recipe from scratch. This will help reconnect you to cooking and remind you how delicious and rewarding home cooked dinners can be.
You can take this a step further and batch cook on your self care day – ensuring you have tasty, home cooked meals readily available throughout the next week. Looking after your future self is often at the core of self care.
Beyond all this, there can simply be great joy in cooking or baking. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or healthy, just something that shakes up your kitchen routine. Alternatively, if you spend a lot of time during the week cooking in the kitchen and you need some time away, keep the fridge closed and open up Deliveroo instead. It’s all about finding your balance.
Get dressed up
There’s something very therapeutic about spending some good time getting dressed and ready. Whether that’s spending a little bit of extra time on your makeup working on a bold red lip or the perfect winged liner, putting together a well thought out outfit or doing something different with your hair. Explore the products in your latest Pip Box. Take the time to appreciate your beauty, to enjoy the routine of getting ready. Not only will this make you feel confident, it’ll also put you in a positive state of mind.
Do you feel like you spend too much time online or looking at screens? Plan some activities for your self care day that gets you away from your phone. That might just be curling up on the sofa with a good book, reorganising your wardrobe or going on a long walk. If you find yourself really tempted by your phone, tablet or laptop put them in a drawer or another room for a while so you can enjoy some good quality time without them.
It can help to keep your hands or mind busy – write in a journal, solve sudokus, read a book – that way it’s less about taking your phone away, more about spending time with it’s replacement.
Some people have no problem treating themselves and have parcels arriving at their door every other day. Others are pretty frugal by nature and rarely treat themselves to something that’ll make them happy. If you’re in the latter category, take a self care day to treat yourself – this could include going for a massage, heading to the art exhibition you’ve been wanting to see or buying yourself some nice jewellery. Self love is about knowing that your wants and happiness are important, so feel free to treat yourself to the odd gift in the way you would with a dear friend or a lover.
If you’re not quite sure what’s needed to bring balance and joy into your life, maybe take the time to explore yourself through a journal. Ask yourself questions like: what made you happy this week?; what stressed you out this week?; it’s five years later, what does your life look like?
Whilst exploring what makes you happy, also explore what makes you feel stressed or exhausted and see if you can make some personal policies to move forward with. For example, if you find you struggle with budgeting because your friends always make dinner plans that you struggle to say no to, make it a personal policy to only go out for two meals a month. Other personal policies could include: ‘I don’t drink on weeknights’ or ‘I don’t make social plans on Sundays’.
Once you’ve got these policies in your mind, you aren’t making a decision every time temptation lurks, you have your policies and can politely decline. No excuses needed.
Try a new activity
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? A yoga class? Watercolour painting? Knitting? Use your self care day to explore a new hobby and just have fun. This can be done in the privacy of your own home or you can find a local (or online) class. If there’s an activity that’s been on your mind for a while, it’s probably because the activity is connected to something missing from your life. Do you have a creative outlet? Or a physical outlet? Give yourself the chance to enjoy your passions and make sure you have a hobby that brings joy in your life.