The value of ‘doing you’

We hear a lot around the subject of ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ these days, but how many of us are good at giving ourselves the space and time we need to actually follow through with it?

The idea of simply looking after yourself may seem like a necessity to most people, but more often than not, our lives run away with us and we find stress creeping into our daily routine.

These stresses, which manifest themselves in many different, inconvenient ways, can affect not only our own wellbeing, but also that of our friends, loved ones and even acquaintances. Basically, not where any of us want to be.

Over time, stress can lead to more serious symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, mood swings and erratic behaviour, which if left unresolved, impact the way we interact with others in our day to day lives.

Preventative practices of self-care are the best possible defence against these things and while it isn’t about putting yourself before others, it’s about making sure that your health and wellbeing take priority so that you’re emotionally and physically equipped to care for others.

In the words of RuPaul, ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else.’ AMEEEEEN.

Everyone needs space to breathe from time to time, and looking after you means listening to the signs your body is giving you and not pushing yourself to the point of burnout. So take a break, have a lie in, break at the candles or disappear off to a different country for a week (I often find that helps). Just do you boo.

How to chill the f*ck out

I’ve come to realise that everyone has an existential crisis over their eyebrows, not being able to open something edible, the weather, Thursdays (worst day of the week by far) and 1,000,005 other nonsense things, at some point. It’s fine, we’ve all been there, you can put down the tweezers.

And then there are the times when there is nothing wrong at all…except there is. You just get irritable and start to hate people for breathing and feel like you’re never going to get comfortable again and your skin itches and none of your clothes fit and that’s it, everything’s going to be awful forever.

We all have these moments.

So I’m sharing the top ways which I like to de-stress and break out of emo mode.

It’s good for you and a wise woman once told me that you can’t drink and cry at the same time.

Guaranteed to make me feel refreshed in less than 10 minutes. It’s literally like you’re washing away all of your emotional shit. I try to buy one shower or skin product at the airport before I go on holiday and use it while I’m away. Then, when I get home, I keep it for times when I’m not feeling super cute and it immediately takes me back to amazing holiday memories.

Switching off and being on my own is just necessary sometimes, and it can get really hard to do when work involves being around people all day. Starting a blog has really helped on this front because I feel like I have a reason to hide away in a corner somewhere. I hear going for a walk or reading a book work just as well though.

There are tons of mindfulness apps out there right now, it’s a huge buzzword at the moment. I’ve heard really good things about the likes of Headspace, however, my digital meditation guide of choice is Calm. I started out with the ‘7 days of Calm’ feature and worked my way through the free bits (there are some great music tracks to help you focus & sleep – oh, and Stephen Fry can read you a bedtime story…) and then it’s £9.99 a month to unlock all of the content and keep getting your ‘Daily Calm’. It’s also very pretty – I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a sucker for nice branding and still wants something that will do the job. They even have a book to go alongside it.

This is my ultimate. I came across ASMR a few years ago now, and it’s got quite the cult following. You have to come at it with an open mind , but in short, the online application of ASMR involves some very patient and talented people, who happen to have extremely relaxing voices, acting out different situations for online videos in order to help viewers relax and/or sleep. Imagine someone reading you a bedtime story via the internet. It’s like that. My favourite, and the most subscribed to creator (ASMRtist) is Gentle Whispering ASMR. Check her out, she’s great.

So that’s my top 5. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, but if you’re looking to try a different approach, I hope you can take something from this. Let me hear your thoughts and any tips you have for handling day-to-day stress.