Sea air is self care. Photo Credit: Author's own.
Does the term 'self care' conjure visions of incense and crystal healing and being 'at one with yourself?' If, like me, you absolutely do not have time for airy-fairy bullshit but you do like the idea of not being tired and angry all the time, for goodness' sake read on.
When you feel rubbish, you fall into a spiral of your own self-pitying nonsense. When you get to the bottom of your pit, it becomes harder to find your way out. You owe it to yourself to take action before you're permanently radiating rage, in your Pot Noodle stained slacks unable to process anything more complicated than the Real Housewives of Wherever.
I speak from experience. I am a great magnet for stress-related illness. So in order to make sure my ageing body doesn't crumble into a pile of jittering nerve endings I try to look after myself in a very lazy, non-committal way. So here are some things busy people forget to do, which might make you feel less shitty.
1. Do absolutely nothing - This might be the easiest one. I've designated Monday as my do-nothing day. I get in from work and commit to not doing laundry, not going to the gym, not tidying anything or going anywhere, I'll cook only if I can summon the energy to do it. Time off from being a functional adult is very important. But remember this is a treat, not your permanent state of being.
2. Stop looking at your damn phone - or at least turn off your notifications. Have some time in a week where you're not at the beck and call of everyone who knows your name or has your phone number.
3. Eat a sodding vegetable for crying out loud - don't pretend you get your five a day every day. Eat vegetables, vegetables of every colour. Nutrients are your friend. There is literally no downside to vegetables.
4. Get some exercise - I do not care if you deadlift 150kg, dance around your living room or walk to the shop to get a multipack of cornettos. Movement will make you feel better.
5. Lunch breaks are mandatory - If you don't take some time away from your desk then your mental wellness and your productivity will take a nose dive. What's the point in being tied to your PC for longer hours if the quality of your work suffers? Use your lunch break to do any of the other things on this list. Just make sure you have one.
6. Hydrate - No, coffee does not count. Drink some actual water throughout the day and your brain will feel much less like an overdunked digestive biscuit.
7. Find your dumb inner child - What makes you feel unfettered childlike joy? Petting strangers' dogs? Watching cartoons? Doing handstands? Take some time to think about what it is and then do it. Nobody is less stressed than someone that gets to nap in the afternoon.
That's not asking too much, is it? I guarantee you'll feel better and you didn't have to take up yoga, prayer, hokey pills or shakes, selling your soul to the devil or a coffee colon cleanse. So next time you feel like googling "why do I feel like I am about to explode into a ball of anxious sleepy fiery rage?" Take a deep breath and do at least one thing on this list. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Namaste.