What with demanding schedules and loved ones to look after, many of us can feel guilty about taking time for ourselves. But although self-care may seem hard, it doesn’t have to be. You could start with just a couple of minutes every day, whether it’s a quick breathing exercise or an evening face mask. Just don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to practice self-care each day.
Why is self-care so important?
If you’re wondering what self-care is, it’s simply where you implement daily or weekly habits to positively impact your mood. Practicing self-care can help to combat low mood, and soothe feelings of stress and anxiety that you might be experiencing due to the current situation.
How can I motivate myself to take care of myself?
It’s easy to ignore looking after ourselves, but it’s important that you give yourself the same care you give to others. Some days it may feel harder to take care of yourself, but these are the days when it’s most important.
We’ve got a few tips to help you feel motivated for self-care:
- Put self-care notes in places you’ll see them
- Set aside a time every day to relax
- Create a self-care plan
- Focus on why it’s important to take care of yourself
- Do things to help your future self like put a wash on or batch cook meals
What are examples of self-care?
Self-care might include getting plenty of sleep, meditating, exercising, baking, and establishing a beauty or grooming routine. If you’re keen to put together your own stay-at-home health and beauty kit, read on for inspiration.
Having a skincare regime is one of our favourite self-care tips. As explained by Dr Amy Wechser in this Marie Claire article, “When someone is depressed or anxious, a routine provides a sense that they have control over their skin, their body, and consequently part of their life.”
If you’re looking to take up a skincare regime during lockdown, the essentials are a cleanser and a moisturiser. You’ll normally want to use these products twice a day: once in the morning, and a second time in the evening, just before you go to bed. You should opt for products that are tailored towards your skin type (e.g. dry, oily, sensitive, acne-prone), and always use them as directed.
If you’re already cleansing and moisturising, you can step up your skincare routine by adding daily toners and serums, and exfoliating once or twice a week.
Getting outdoors is important for our mental and physical wellbeing – not least because sun exposure stimulates the production of vitamin D, which helps keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
However, too much sun can be dangerous. While we shouldn’t avoid it altogether, we need to make sure we enjoy the sun safely. That’s why your stay-at-home health and beauty kit should include some sunscreen.
The NHS recommends that between the months of March and October, you should use an SPF of at least 30 when outside. You should aim to spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun will be at its strongest, and – when not under shelter – cover up with long clothing, a hat and sunglasses.
When you buy sunscreen, opt for a product such as Solero, which offers both UVA and UVB protection and a high sun protection factor (SPF). Make sure you apply it twice before you leave the house: 30 minutes beforehand, and once again just before you leave.
While you wait to see your hairdressers or barber, you can stock up on hair care products that will have your tresses looking their best – whether it’s a nourishing hair mask or some curl-defining cream.
If you have coloured hair, there’s the option of using home hair dye. Modern box dyes are really reliable, but just make sure you follow all the instructions carefully and carry out a patch test on your skin beforehand. If you’re not ready to commit to a full dye job, try a root retouch to keep your colour looking fresh.
For men, investing in a quality hair and beard trimmer is a great way to keep your style neat and tidy until you can visit a barber.
We can also supply medicated hair care products such as Neutrogena T/Gel for people who have conditions such as scalp psoriasis.
Getting enough sleep can help you feel productive and energetic throughout the day. Sleep affects our mental wellbeing and physical health, so it’s important that you create a sleep routine to help you get your ZZZs. This could be having no phones in the bedroom or taking a bath before bed. If you’ve found it harder to get to sleep read our sleep guide for helpful tips and how to create a bedtime routine.
You could try Vitality CBD Sleep Support which has extracts of chamomile to support relaxation, as well as lemon balm for calm.
Eating a healthy balanced diet and staying hydrated can help you to look after yourself. Food helps us to stay energised so we can do all the things we love, as well as helping to boost concentration. Find out more in our health eating guide.
You should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet, but if you want to boost your nutritional intake Complan snacks and shakes could help. You could also consider snacks and regular meals as a form of self-care, these can help to regulate blood sugar levels, which is especially important if you have type 2 diabetes
Vitamins & supplements
Making sure you’re getting the right nutrients should always be part of your health and beauty regime. If you’re not leaving the house as much as usual, vitamin D supplements are a good way to maintain bone health. You can also stock up on fish oils and omegas, which are good for your joints.
Just make sure that you’re not substituting anything in your diet for supplements, and that you continue eating healthy, balanced meals. You can also talk to our pharmacy team about any other medication you might be taking, they can recommend the most suitable supplements for you.
Some of our favourite items to include in a stay-at-home healthy and beauty kit are the indulgences. Make sure you add some bubble bath, scented candles and sheet masks to your kit, and set aside a few hours at the weekend to enjoy some me-time.