Self-care is a pretty buzzwordy term that seems to be popping up all over the place. It pretty much just means deciding to spend time checking in and looking after yourself. And it can take different forms for different people.
When things are tough it’s a nice idea to do just that. So here are some easy ways to practice self-care.
1. Switch off from the news
The news can be pretty sad/depressing/rage-inducing. This is not new information to any of us. It’s totally understandable and totally acceptable to just not engage with any of it for a while.
Yeah, it feels a little scary and counterintuitive to actively not keep up with current events. But it’s also nice to live in ignorant bliss for a while. Get around it.
2. Have technology free times
Set your phone to go on do not disturb for an hour each night. Or buy an alarm clock and don’t sleep with your phone in your room. Maybe just decide to look out the window on the bus and leave your phone in your bag each day.
3. Have a should-less day
If you also spend all possible interludes listening to podcasts, then you probably also have that thing where you’re so into the conversation happening in your headphones you forget where you are and the fact that that no one is talking directly to you. Ira Glass makes a gag and you laugh aloud. Alec Baldwin quips and you murmur in agreement. Or 83-year-old American actress Ellen Burstyn speaks directly at the daydreaming, nap-loving sloth in all of us and you have to stop yourself exclaiming out loud on a bus full of people.
That’s pretty much what happened to me when I listened to an interview with Ellen Burstyn on an episode of the podcast Death, Sex and Money. She spoke about should-less days and how every so often she gives herself a day to do exactly what she feels like. And nothing else. Want to lie on the couch staring out the window all day? Cool. Spend a day by yourself at the beach? Do it. Want to eat breakfast meals for every meal? You, my friend, are smashing it.
It sounds super obvious, but it’s kind of refreshing to give yourself permission to be the laziest, most self absorbed version of yourself for a whole day without feeling guilty.
Note: this episode discusses some pretty intense and at times explicit content, so isn’t for everyone.
4. Surround yourself with the people you actually want to hang out with
You know what’s fun? Hanging out with your people. You know what’s not? Hanging out with people because you feel like you should. You can see where I’m going with this.
5. Make an effort to relax
Actively trying to relax seems like a pretty weird thing to say but it’s also pretty great when you figure out how you do it best.
For me, it’s running. Or watching an entire season of Brooklyn 99 in one sitting. I am aware these things are somewhat at odds with one another—go figure.
For other people it might be listening to the dulcet tones of David Attenborough narrating The Blue Planet. Or lying in the dark listening to Enya.