I have written before about being an introverted parent, and how that can sometimes be a struggle; particularly when you have younger children who require more attention. But the truth is that self care is important for every single one of us. No matter how much you enjoy being around other people and keeping busy, we can all run the risk of burning out by doing too much.
My husband is the most outgoing person I know but even he needs to take time for himself so that he can be his best self. And even though I have known I am an introvert for a long time, and I know that I need to prioritise self care in order to recharge my batteries, even then I still sometimes find it difficult to actually do.
And there are many reasons for this. Sometimes I am required to be present at home because of my two children. Sometimes my bank balance won’t stretch to accommodate doing something out of the house and, as has probably been the case for many of us more recently, sometimes we aren’t actually able to leave the home. So I wanted to create a list of six simple ways you can practice self care at home. These are designed to be no pressure and easy to do because that (for me at least) is often at the heart of self care; allowing myself to relax and not feel any pressure to do anything I don’t need to be doing.
1. Escape to another place through reading
Escapism is my number one form of self-care. I like to set myself the perfect reading environment with soft lighting, a cosy location (think squishy pillows and plenty of blankets) and a good book to get lost in. I have a great list here if you need some inspiration. Sometimes though you just have 10 minutes to spare and so even just sitting wherever you are and diving into a book can be a good and worthwhile option.
2. Binge a box set or watch a feel good movie
I love a good binge-watching sesh, for me it’s all about the crime dramas although I am currently making my way through Gilmore Girls. I also think you can’t beat a feel good movie. My current recommendations are Always Be My Maybe (Netflix), Dumplin’ (Netflix) and Late Night (Amazon Prime).
3. Complete a craft
Self care is primarily about taking time out for yourself and a great way to do this is by completing a craft. It could be a DIY project you’ve been meaning to get to or a paint by numbers (you can order these fairly cheaply online). At the moment I’m completing a cross stitch kit which I’ve had for about 6 years and just never gotten round to finishing. I like to pop Hamilton (Disney Plus) on in the background or my latest audiobook and just get lost for a little while. Sometimes I’ll even do it in the quiet which allows me to listen for any squabbles breaking out between my children.
4. Take part in an online exercise class
With the arrival of lockdown there has been a huge increase in the number of classes available online, I know Joe Wicks has been very popular for some. My personal favourite is Yoga with Adriene as she has such a large variety of classes available and you don’t need a whole lot of equipment to get going. I didn’t even have a proper yoga mat when I took her first class!
5. Start your day right
Although this is not a specific activity I wanted to recommend it because it has actually been instrumental in how I’ve improved my wellbeing in recent months. I now wake up half an hour earlier than I used to and I sit in bed and quietly drink a cup of tea. Sometimes I’ll read my bible, sometimes a devotional or my current book but most of the time i just sit in the peace and quiet and allow myself to wake up. I may cast my mind forward to what I want to achieve but honestly? Most of the time I just clear my mind, lean back into my pillows and give myself that extra time to just be. I’d highly recommend trying it, even if you can just add 15 minutes or so.
6. Pamper yourself
Draw a bath, paint your nails, apply a face mask…do that thing which gives you an inner glow and makes you feel that little bit extra special or relaxed. You could even create yourself a little ‘self care basket’ which is full of your favourite things to grab and pull out whenever you have the chance to practice some self care time.