After this week’s clothes swap, and a busy September, I’m taking some time to rest. I’ve been plagued by a sniffly cold for the past two weeks, and I know it’s a sign that my body is run down, but I haven’t given it an opportunity to heal.
Self-care is a word that’s thrown around a lot, and often used to sell fancy bath salts, or to be criticised mercilessly by the more cynical. I fall somewhere in the middle; after working harder than I should, taking a long lay-in, a hot bath, and switching my brain off with a rom-com is nothing short of self-care for me.
However, that just hasn’t been cutting it for me lately. I feel a little stuck, which has led me to make a list of different ways I like to de-stress, and hopefully provide some inspiration for you to do the same whenever you feel this way…
7 Self-Care Rituals I Swear By
So, here it is: my guide to chilling out. Hopefully I can take a leaf out of my own book too!
1. Pampering with Clean Beauty Products
When I’m in my usual routine, I like to pamper myself on a Sunday. For this time of year, I’ll spend some time perusing my winter skincare products and choose a deep-moisturising face mask, hydrating body cream, and all the other bells and whistles before running a bath, soaking for an hour, and then making my body polished and clean. Sometimes it just takes a little relaxation time, and focus on the body, to clear the mind.
2. Checking in at a Hotel Spa
When my own bathroom isn’t cutting it, I’ll try to schedule a mini-break away in the countryside. London can often be an unforgiving place, so finding some peace and quiet alongside a massage or dip in a pool provides that much-needed space to chill out.
Earlier this year, my sister and I did exactly this, and right now I’m looking at something similar, potentially staying at one of the luxurious hotels in Wilmslow like Mottram Hall, or somewhere that’s as equally close to London, but far away enough to be a break!
3. Taking a Solo Trip
Annnnnd if that isn’t enough, I like taking a solo trip away. Earlier this year I visited Stockholm by myself, staying in an cosy Airbnb and catching up with a dear friend of mine there. Sometimes there’s nothing better than going on an adventure, and only being responsible for you for a while.
4. Following a Digital Detox
If I find that tech and social media are the cause of my current state of stress, I like to take a digital detox. I sometimes feel like my mind is trapped in-between screens, making me feel down and dithery, and when it gets to that point I like to step away from it all. I’m still on course to read 12 books in 12 months this year, and reading each night has helped me to reduce the effects of tech on my stress. If that isn’t enough, consider visiting Devon Dens, or somewhere similarly out of reach.
5. Preventing Burnout with The Reignite Project
When I graduated and started my career in the city, I have to say I had no idea how to manage my stress. My first job often led me to crying in the bathroom (an uncommon occurrence in that office, it has to be said) but even when I started working for myself, I’d find myself crying when things got too much.
I now know that this is symptom of my stress, but I’m a lot better at managing that thanks to Calmer’s Reignite Project. This is a free digital course supporting professionals to create their own stress management tools. It’s certainly helped me to identify when I’m on my way to burnout, and how to reduce its effects, as well as the winter blues.
6. Booking in with the Hairdressers
It’s often a cliché to get a new hairstyle after a break-up, but for me, a trip to the hairdressers is often one of the first things I do when I feel down. I love being pampered at Natural Colour Works, where I’ll have a head massage, wash, cut, and blow-dry, and also help myself to the complimentary tea and biscuits!
7. Cook a Hearty Meal
One final, easy way I like to take care of myself is to replenish my kitchen cupboards, and cook a big healthy meal. When life gets too much, my diet suffers, and I end up cutting back on how much I cook. It’s sad, because I love cooking, and it helps me to destress!
Some of my favourite meals to cook at this time of year include my vegan chilli con carne, my hearty lentil soup, and as an extra-special treat, a fruit crumble!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mottram Hall spa hotel. All views and opinions remain my own.