Self care… isn’t that just for basic bitches now? No. If anything, it’s more important than ever.
We all know someone who can be described as “basic” or even labelled a “Basic Bitch”. Hell, even I can be described as basic with my appreciation of Autumn and the very occasional pumpkin spice latte. But what about self care? Has it entered the realms of basichood?
I’m not convinced that it has. While its advocates seem to have cultivated an image of endless bubble baths and face masks, self care can and should go much deeper than that.
It’s actually about health
I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again. Mental, social and physical health are all connected. So something like self care, bubbles and all, can help to improve our overall health.
In fact, there’s evidence that shows how self care practices can increase wellbeing and reduce mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs.1
So really, I could go so far as to say that self care is self administered, holistic health care. It’s about recognising what you need, and taking steps to action them.
It doesn’t have to be complicated
Self care can be surprisingly simple, and you don’t necessarily need to splash out on expensive gadgets, creams and products to practice it.
For example, adding a portion of vegetables which you like to eat to a meal could be classed as self care. Vegetables are full of vital nutrients, and can be part of a balanced plate which includes other favourite foods. By virtue of planning and being aware of what you’re eating, you’re taking care of yourself.
And, self care doesn’t have to be flashy. I’ve been known to indulge in a face mask on a Sunday night, but I don’t post a photo online every time I do. I only ever send a Mrs Doubtfire style selfie to my best friend. That’s what they’re for.
Ultimately it’s about doing something simple that works for you, not anyone else.
Self care in lockdown
Treating yourself to a manicure, or a professional massage were once considered to be life’s little luxuries… now they’re impossible. What’s more, some of you may be having to juggle working from home with childcare which may not leave much time for self care.
In this instance, you may only be able to make time for yourself once a week. But, even finding 30 minutes where you can sit down and just do something that you want to do and makes you feel better can make such a difference.
Others, like myself, are in a very privileged position. I’m currently working from home, and I only have to look after myself (and my boyfriend, to a certain extent). Here’s what I’ve been doing in lockdown, which constitutes self care:
- Reading – I’ve taken part in a virtual book club at work, and I’m currently re-reading the All Souls trilogy as its comforting to go back to old favourites
- Cooking – I love to cook, and as supplies in supermarkets are now restocked I don’t have to worry as much about what to eat
- Walking – I admittedly don’t go outside every day, but I’ve been going a couple of long, hour long walks a couple of times a week. I put on a podcast and have actually discovered new parts and green spaces which I’ve never been to before!
- Beauty – I’m still applying some concealer and mascara before work and its numerous video calls. At the weekend, I’m playing with eyeshadow and enjoying the process of creating new looks
- Cleaning – I think being at home a lot more has made me more house proud. And, a tidy home really does mean a tidy mind!
Practice what you can, as it’s enough
This has been a bit of a strange post to write, as we’re currently being bombarded with advice on how to be the most productive, relaxed, sexy, or active right now.
Honestly, it does come across as a bit basic… but it doesn’t need to be that way. You don’t need to practice yoga every damn day, prepare Pinterest perfect salads for every lunch or wear sweat pants and still look chic.
You do you, and look after yourself. Stay safe.
- Riegal B, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. Aug 23: 103402. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2019.103402. [Epub ahead of print].
Thanks for reading. Sign up to Pandora’s Health to for even more advice, tips and tricks about the latest trends.