June 10 2022 – Jayne Graham
Practicing self-care doesn’t mean you are neglecting your loved ones. It simply means you are taking into consideration your own needs. When you take care of yourself and are not stressed, you are better able to support the people you care about. Your well-being and mental health are paramount for building and maintaining a healthy family.
Self-care routines do not need to be elaborate; they can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you notice you are becoming stressed. It is all about creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself - you know the saying, “you must fill your own cup before you can pour into others”. Doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively.
I particularly find that in winter self-care is even more important, therefore I am putting together my thoughts and sharing my top self-care tips with you.
Acknowledge your Importance
Firstly make time to remind yourself you are important. As a mum of two kids, my life is often taken over by school drop-offs, pick-ups, sports days, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning, and much more. It is easy to forget that my work and my needs are important too. Once you acknowledge the importance of taking time for yourself you can remove the guilt that can sometimes be associated with taking 'me time'.
Take a Bath
As some of you know, I recently renovated my bathroom, and the most exciting part of the process was choosing a large free-standing tub. It is my favourite spot in the house and is great for stress relief. I like to set the mood by turning off the lights, lighting a candle (that smells amazing), and relaxing. Sometimes I read a book but lately just soaking in silence has been soooo good. A nice hot bath every now and then can really make your day and restore your energy levels.
I recommend trying the Sweet Dewberry & Clove candle from al.ive body. It has a unique fragrance that comes from the combination of paw paw, juniper berry and cloves with a hint of coconut and vanilla. Personally, I love the look of the candles as well – it comes in a white ceramic vessel that looks like a vase in my bathroom. Also the Al.ive Body Body Wash also makes for gorgeous bubbles. I have already used a whole refill just as bubble bath this winter!
Don’t roll your eyes... Getting good quality sleep is important as it keeps your immune system healthy and helps to keep stress levels in check. Our brains also need sleep to function, and I don’t know about you, but when I’m not getting enough rest I can’t focus and I'm irritable and less patient. Just ask my husband.
To help get good sleep I recommend investing in good quality, comfortable bedding. Bedtonic’s flax linen sheets are incredible. Not only are they ethically and sustainably grown but the linen material keeps you cosy in winter and cool in summer.
If you want to take sleep to the next level then you could consider a four-poster bed by Uniqwa to create the ultimate sanctuary of relaxation in your home.
Now, this may not be for everyone, but for me, having a clean home helps me relax and feel calm. According to the Mayo Clinic, clutter can lead to more stress and anxiety, and when people describe their spaces as "disorganised," they're more likely to have higher levels of cortisol, the hormone related to the stress response. It can result in you being more distracted, and can even affect your sleep.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I have help when cleaning my house, so don’t feel like you must do it alone. This brings me to my next tip.
Finding things to outsource has been a joy. Even if it’s an expense, the time it opens up for me to relax or catch up on a project is worth it.
While not technically outsourcing, I love using The Commonfolk Collective Home diffuser to make my home smell clean when I haven’t had time to clean it. Made with Australian fragrances and essential oils, this reed diffuser range has the cutest message on the outside that says: "home - a gathering place for family to join together in love and laughter. the one place you can always be yourself. a place of belonging."
Read or Listen to a Podcast
I love to read for relaxation. Particularly when the weather is cooler outside, one of my favourite things to do is snuggle on the couch under a blanket and read a good book. If you have trouble switching off, then audiobooks or podcasts can help to calm your inner monologue as you can close your eyes and listen.
A comfortable couch or bed to listen from makes this process even better. Since my husband and I upgraded our couch, I have never been happier. If you haven’t seen or heard of a Crafted Couch out before, please check out the Ava modular sofa. Made with feather and foam you can just sink deep into the cushions for the best ‘me time’ of your life.
The simple ritual of drinking a warming cup of tea can be a great self-care practice and can put you in the right mood; particularly if you choose a wellness blend like the Peaceful Tea blend from Organic Merchant. This meditative tea tonic has been formulated to leave you feeling calm, and relaxed but also clear-headed. Featuring Tulsi (Sacred Holy Basil), Basil, Gotu Kola, Yerba Mate, and Rose Petals, this tea tastes and smells delicious.
Massage decreases stress, improves your heart rate variability, and gives you a great sense of relaxation. It’s also the ultimate self-care to treat yourself to a professional massage. If you’re local to Perth I can recommend Cove Spa. The treatments are incredible, and you’ll be left feeling refreshed and renewed.
I could go on and on with self-care tips but will stop here. I hope these tips provide you with some inspiration and benefit your mental health.