16 Self-Care Tips To Try This Weekend
Wanna start on the self care train but don't know where to begin? Here's a few tips to try this weekend, over at MTV.co.uk.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, HOORAY. It might sound obvious, but a huge part of protecting your peace of mind and looking after your mental health is practicing self care on a regular basis. All too often we forget to look after ourselves as well as other people.
But that’s where self care comes in. It’s a small amount of time put aside as often as it suits you, to put yourself first and take a breather from everything stressful that’s going on right now.
A lot of the time, experts suggest stuff like ‘practicing your meditation’, 'enjoying the silence' and ‘using your breathing exercises’ as self care – but realistically, there’s a lot of other easier, more fun and more chilled out options that work better for your brain.
On the hunt for some inspo for how to set aside your self care time this weekend? Here’s 16 suggestions that you’ll actually wanna let yourself do.
1. Give yourself a start to finish manicure and pedicure.
When your mental health is at its lowest, the first thing you probably fail to do is look after your appearance. It's just not a priority, but a seemingly small act of self care like giving yourself an at home manicure can weirdly make a lot of difference to your frame of mind.
Not only will the hand massage, nail shaping, cuticle treating, base, colour and top coat painting all going to look seriously cute when it’s done, but the process also helps to turn your mind blank and focus your attention from start to finish.
2. And follow it up with a start to finish facial.
In the same way, following a luxury (let's be honest, slightly extra) skincare routine can also be seriously therapeutic; all the steps and products involved in the process mean it's almost like a ritual, and a break from everything else rushing around in your brain.
Start things off with a thorough cleanse - double cleanse if you're gonna take this to the max - and follow up with a face mask, exfoliation, toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser. By the time you're finished, you'll feel super chilled out and look glowy af.
3. Watch RuPaul’s drag race. No seriously.
Alright, this one’s quite niche, but if you’ve never seen RuPaul’s Drag Race then you need to start watching as soon as possible because it will actually improve your quality of life.
It’s arguably the best television show for self care time - pure, harmless, hilarious incredible fun with a message of hope and an emphasis on being unapologetically yourself.
RuPaul’s mantra, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ is also pretty perfect when it comes to Mental Health Awareness Week too. By the end of every episode, you’ll feel completely uplifted and full of JOY.
4. Take a bath.
Unless you’re one of those people who sees a bath as ‘stewing in your own filth’ (honestly, shower more), taking a bath has got to be the number one relaxing pamper option. Chuck in some bubbles and bath bombs for bonus self care points.
Not only is it good for your body to unwind in the warm water, but some time away from technology will also massively benefit your mind, and the quiet time to think about things could even lead to something inspiring.
5. Read either a brand new book, or an old favourite.
When you live a lot of your life on the internet, it can be really difficult to disconnect from it completely for even the shortest time frame. Turning to a book instead of your phone is always a good idea.
It’s the perfect way to escape reality for a little while, see things from a different peserpective, and usually lose yourself in a character who’s overcoming their own difficult times. Let your imagination take over your conscious mind.
6. Go for a walk that’s actually in a nice place.
If ‘going for a walk’ usually involves you walking to work or walking towards public transport, it definitely doesn’t count as self care time. Instead, head towards somewhere peaceful, open and relaxing for a walk – either on your own or with a pal.
Battling mental health issues can often lead to you spending too much time inactive and indoors, so getting yourself moving in the fresh air is massively important for clearing your head. It can seriously work miracles, even if it's just for a little while.
7. Get the colouring pencils out.
Remember when everyone was getting colouring books for Christmas a couple of years ago? There’s a reason it became so popular all of a sudden – colouring (or any kind of art tbh) is a major stress reliever and provides a positive distraction from negative habits.
It’s all about turning your focus to the present moment rather than anxiety about the past or future, and focusing your brain on one specific task at hand. Plus, it’s preeeetty.
8. Plan and draw out a bullet journal.
These things are EVERYWHERE right now, and although it might just seem like an extra af diary, it’s more of a creative outlet that also happens to help organise your life and routine a little bit.
While the arty side of the set up is a creative form of self care, the habit of writing to do lists and using it to form a routine for each day can also be massively beneficial for a lot of mental health sufferers.
9. Get a gentle mini workout done.
Whether you’re one of those lucky people who genuinely likes exercise as a form of enjoyment (teach us your ways), or whether you just know that you’ve GOT to get your body moving every now and again whether you like it or not, this one is pretty important.
Gentle exercise is a great example of self care – you’re consciously investing time in improving your own physical health. Get those endorphins flowing, work up a bit of a sweat, and the feeling when you reach the end will be awesome.
10. Try out a new recipe.
If your mental health issues revolve around food then you might recoil in horror at the idea of this one, but honestly, following a new recipe from start to finish can be super relaxing and enjoyable.
A podcast in the background will also help to bring your focus to a point, and by the time you serve up dinner you’ll feel just how much you’ve wound down.
Plus, it's always, ALWAYS important to nourish your body with wholesome, nourishing food - it can have a massive effect on your mind.
11. Treat yourself to something special.
Self care shouldn't be something that has to cost you all your savings (and if you're relying on shopping to improve your mood, you might need to take a step back), but if you do have a li'l itch to get spendy, you're allowed to treat yourself.
Heading to the cinema, buying that new lipstick you've wanted for ages, or picking up a new print for your bedroom wall are all examples that could cheer you up for just a few quid.
12. Rearrange your entire room.
TRUST US, if you try this one then there will be a point about half way through when you wonder why the hell you ever started and if you’ll be trapped in this mess for eternity. But stick with it and you’ll feel like a new person when it’s over.
A clean and tidy, organised space to live in can do wonders for your frame of mind, and could really motivate you to get a few other positive bits and bobs done afterwards.
13. Plan out a new routine.
When you’ve been feeling at rock bottom, things like waking up early or even taking a shower every morning will have easily dropped of the radar of what seems necessary – and that’s completely understandable.
But for a lot of people, creating some kind of structure to each day can be massively helpful.
Taking a bit of time to productively set yourself a very uncomplicated routine or To Do list to try and follow tomorrow is an important step in self care, and if you manage to stick to it, you’ll feel all kinds of accomplished.
14. Call up a loved one (or better still, go and meet them).
Been neglecting your friends and family recently? MHI is the ultimate thief of communication and strong relationships, but remember that they are still there when you’re ready.
Reach out to them and talk, catch up, connect – you don’t even have to talk about yourself if you don’t want to.
Better still, make plans with them for TODAY. Not in a week’s time which you’ll inevitably cancel when you feel down. Building your friendships back up is super important self care.
15. Write down all the good things you’ve done.
This one might be a step too far for the no-nonsense type of self carer, but if your mentality is feeling dark and hopeless, then this could be an uplifting thing to force yourself to do.
Write a list of things you’re grateful for, or anything you're vaguely proud of that you’ve ever managed to achieve. Turning your focus from the negative to the positive is always an important thing to at least try to do. Not easy, but important.
16. Turn to your ultimate nostalgia.
There’s nothing more comforting or wonderful than your very favourite, ultimately nostalgic thing. That childhood movie you've watched fifty times, that book that's falling apart, the band you've loved forever or a TV show that you've seen every season of - it could be anything.
For example, Harry Potter is a lot of people's 'thing'. Get wrapped up in a duvet burrito and watch it, read it, listen to it and escape into the feeling of how completely happy it makes you.
Words by Lucy Wood
Before you get stuck in with a self care sesh, how about a magical video about your uterus? YAS.