When we think of self-care, it can be tempting to write it off as something indulgent and selfish. If you are anything like us, you will have a long list of people who you ‘care’ for in some sense of the word, all of whom come a whole lot further up the list than we put ourselves. Kids, partners, parents – even dogs!
However, the latest wellness trend for all things self loving is going to show that in the fast paced, demanding world we live in, investing in your own wellbeing is in fact one of the most selfless things you can do. ‘Fit your own mask first before helping others’ really rings true here. If you are in good place mentally and physically it will enable you to care better for those around you too.
Now we are not talking expensive spa breaks or all-inclusive luxury here. Self care starts with the simple act of kindness to yourself that keep you balanced and firing on all cylinders. So here are a few of the self-care rituals that we swear by in order to remain the best versions of ourselves.
Working out is an essential part of every day. We both have amazing personal trainers who we see twice a week. They really put us through our paces with a combination of HIIT training to cover the cardio and strength training with weights and resistance bands to help build lean muscle and tone.
Working with a professional who can guide and advise you on how best to exercise and achieve the results you are looking for is a fantastic way to get the most from your work out. However it’s not an essential. We also run twice a week and that’s just a case of opening our front doors and following a route around the neighbourhood. A trip to the gym or an exercise class can be just as effective. Exercise is such a personal thing. The trick is to find what works for you and stick to it, ideally two or three times a week.
Desk work, carrying babies and over stuffed handbags, all lead to shoulder tension and back pain.
Stress can take a very physical toll on our bodies, so finding a way to release some of that pent up energy is vital for our wellbeing. We swear by regular massages. But forget any images feather light massages at a luxury day spa – we opt for a regular rub down from a fully qualified physio/sports masseuse. These massages are not the most relaxing at the time, but as our stresses are pummelled away we feel lighter and more agile. Worth the money and the 60 mins of mild to moderate pain!
As our regular readers will know, eating is an inherently social activity for us. We love eating out with family and friends and we so enjoy entertaining. But when it comes to wellness, food is also the best possible fuel to keep our bodies on the go.
We love to spend time in our kitchens of a weekend, cooking up some soulful recipes that will be as nourishing as they are delicious. Cooking healthy balanced meals for you and your family is surely one of the most basic acts of self-care. Follow a recipe or just chuck in lots of fresh ingredients that you like. It’s really not rocket science but eating well will make a significant difference to your health and wellbeing.
It’s a proven fact that getting out in the fresh air is good for your mental and physical health. Whether that’s a morning run, taking the kids to the park, a hike in the countryside or a dog walk with friends – getting outside as much as possible makes us feel great. Come rain or shine, we are out and about – there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!
We credit acupuncture with helping us to have very good pregnancies and straightforward births. We both saw the same fantastic acupuncturist through out for everything from heartburn to induction.
But it’s not just baby-related benefits that we have felt from these treatments. Back pain, skin issues and kidney problems have all been considerably alleviated by just a few sessions of acupuncture. The needles are hair-thin and the process doesn’t hurt in the slightest. The most we feel is a moment of discomfort and it’s well worth it for the almost instant improvement in whatever condition is bothering us. We are complete converts to this ancient therapy and we would highly recommend it.
We take our skin care really seriously, and often when we are stressed or depleted it shows first on our face, as our super sensitive skin reacts. That is why we swear by regular facials. These can be the at home kind, where we lock the bathroom door and give ourselves a home-made spa treat, but preferably we book in with one of our favourite therapists who help us hit reset on our over worked skin, ideally once every two or three weeks.
Often when we are at our busiest, the thing we crave the most is just space. Space to breath, space to think, space to be. Of course, at these times space can be in pretty short supply, so we make the most of it by working meditation in to our day.
This can be a quick ten minutes before the alarm goes off and the world wakes up, or using a mindfulness app on the tube. Either way, this scheduled thinking time allows us to get our mind in order and face the world refreshed.
It’s a bit of a myth that you have to go to a yoga class to feel it’s benefits. We have been to some great classes over the years that we have loved, but you can get just as much out of yoga practicing at home.
If you have time to attend a class then book one, but if not then get a book or DVD and try it out in your living room. One of us loves to stretch out in the morning, while the other prefers to spend 15 minutes doing yoga before bed. If you can fit in a couple of yoga sessions a week you will soon feel much more flexible, toned and lean.