self care tips for the everyday

Looking through the archives of my blog (and oh how embarrassing that has been) I wondered if I’d written any posts on self care. It’s an important topic to discuss given the imminent descent into exam season but regardless of any academic or work demands, self care is important all year round. An evening in to read a non-academic text or even just painting your nails is a welcome form of self care, not procrastination. There are ways that we may think we’re taking part in self care but really it is just damaging for when we do actually do work (*cough* phone *cough*).

So the first message is DON’T go on your phone in you self care breaks. As easy as it may seem to turn to your phone to update yourself on the lives of others and scroll through Instagram or even look at new clothes to buy on Depop, it can seem like time wasted. It might not be, in essence, but I find when I go on my phone in my revision break my brain is foggy with things that I’ve read or photos I’ve seen and while I think I’ve spent a minute or two on Instagram in reality I’ve spent about 20. Refreshing my Instagram feed does not leave me feeling refreshed at all. This goes for websites like Twitter and Youtube as well. I’ve started using the self control extension on Chrome which is kind of like the Forest app but you can set it for more than two hours. Not even Twitter can get in the way of a technology free break. More often than not I go online to end up feeling dejected by something. Not a good headspace to revise in. Save the phone for evenings, you never know; the attachment may wither.

Planning time for self care. It may sound silly but if I don’t schedule ‘paint my nails’ or ‘have a face mask’ into my day then I’m very unlikely to do either. In fact, my revision breaks need to have some level of structure to them otherwise alas, I shall turn to my phone. Whether that is a walk, or yoga, or 30 minutes reading a non academic book I kind of have to plan it. But it keeps me somewhat focused and I still do retain an element of spontaneity towards going out with friends/family/knowing when to stop working.

Now, Netflix and Youtube is a tricky one because it kind of goes against the idea of the ‘no social media’ in breaks rule (if you count Netlflix and Youtube as a social media that is) but I think it is a really good self care activity and if you put your phone aside when you’re watching it then, for some, it is the perfect way to relax. I would highly recommend Sex Education on Netflix if you haven’t already been consumed by the ‘set in Wales, American style’ high school vibe. It’s fab and completely unrelated to studying despite being set in a Sixth Form. I felt like I was really switching off. Sometimes I like to do things like wash my makeup brushes and do the whole ‘take care of myself’ routine when I’m watching either, if I really want to maximise the whole productivity thing.

current books on my ‘to be read’ list: Murakami’s Men without Women, Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night and Leonora Carrington’s The Hearing Trumpet

Something important to mention, although not necessarily thought of with regards to self care is when you take your breaks and what you do in them depending on the time of day. Naturally, in between revision you might take an hour break to read a book or do yoga but I find that if I start writing a blog post in one of these breaks my brain simply can’t hack the idea of writing more words. I’d consequently be sat with a blank WordPress document. I prefer to write blog posts (funny one considering I haven’t written one in nearly three weeks) in the evenings when I wan’t to be productive but am really not tempted by the idea of looking at another Measure for Measure essay. The same goes for tidying my room, I just prefer to do it in the evenings with Youtube on the background as some proper down-time. Again, likewise for watching Netflix. No more revision for the day and just some personal down time. I’ve also started writing in a notebook either first thing in the morning or the last thing at night, not every night because I cannot commit to that, but it has proved to be very cathartic and almost freeing.

Change location. When reading Katie’s post about studying, change of location is important !!! Not just when you’re studying but the decisive places between studying and not studying. It separates the academic from the everyday and I try to find different locations in the house to work to stop myself going crazy at my desk. Then when I come back to my room it’s like a breath of fresh air. Find your space that puts your mind at ease. For me it’s my bed because: a) sleep is fundamental for self care and b) I like to sit and read in the evening or sit and write a blog post.

Following on from the change of space, learn when evenings in may be more beneficial then evenings out. I went clubbing for the first time last night, it was great. I couldn’t do it every weekend; my studies couldn’t handle it but nor could my general wellbeing I don’t think. Some nights I really just like sitting with a good book and some comfort food. I think especially around exam season it is important to know what kind of self care break you need, go out for the night with friends or invite them round for pizza? Just have a catch up in a café over coffee or spend the evening having a sort out and making plans. Having plans to look forward to is also a great form of implicit self care, you’re not always aware of it but having something to look forward to is motivation like no other.

The idea of ‘procrastinating productively’ and ‘self care’ can be very much intertwined but if you know you’ve been putting work of then it is probably the former. My biggest self care flaw is my phone. I find when I’m at college it’s fine because my frees are only 55 minutes and I don’t find myself having the urge to go and look at what people are going because we’re all in the same routine of college/school/university. Now to practice what I preach in the self care department.

What are the ways that you commit to time for self care?

lots of love, eleanor xx

11 Comments

  1. Aaliyah 27th January 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I find it quite hard to actually set time for myself but I’ve been trying to improve that a lot more. I actually like just sitting and writing for my blog as self care or like everyone else watch a good movie! X

    Reply
    1. eleanorclaudie 27th January 2019 at 8:22 pm

      I definitely think it is a great way of relaxing! x

      Reply
  2. Bronia 27th January 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I completely agree with what you say about scheduling in time for self care otherwise I just won’t do it. Having freshly painted nails or giving myself time to do a face mask always makes me feel so much better and ready to face other things too. I could also do with putting my phone down more!

    Bronia | http://www.broniajane.co.uk

    Reply
  3. Rebekah Gillian 27th January 2019 at 9:25 pm

    As someone who is a big fan of self care, these tips were really useful! I’m not in school, or education in general, anymore, but I can still apply many of the things you’ve mentioned to other aspects of my life. I really like the phone idea; I’m so guilty of spending breaks on my phone while watching something on my laptop instead of detaching from my computer (I’m a freelance writer), and then coming back after my break feeling just as exhausted as I did beforehand! I hadn’t thought of it before, but I love the idea of treating myself to YouTube and Netflix in the evenings while tidying my bedroom. I see tidying as a necessary inconvenience, but I’m sure introducing other elements would make it a lot better of an experience!

    Rebekah Gillian | https://rebekahgillian.co.uk

    Reply
  4. Jo 27th January 2019 at 9:26 pm

    It’s amazing how easy it is to forget about self care. I always try to make time for myself every week and there is some really good advice in here x

    Reply
  5. Melanie 27th January 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Self care is absolutely VITAL. And staying off your phone is a huge help too. These tips are really useful and reminded me I need to take some time to look after me x

    Melanie || http://www.melaniewithanie.com

    Reply
  6. Kimnerley 27th January 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Love these tips! My self care is always usually in my bathroom or bedroom myself so I get that change of location vibe but I think I night need to plan it in a bit more like you!

    Reply
  7. jenna 30th January 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Great tips – self care is sooooo important! Thanks for sharing!
    -Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

    Reply
  8. Katie Hunter 30th January 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Before I read this I was swamped with the “my phone makes me feel shit”, I don’t think I spend that much time on my phone really but I was just looking at other people’s lives and I was thinking this makes me feel shit??? and I don’t care what they’re doing?? So definitely need to channel the ‘do something different in your breaks’ vibe. I fully need to get better at self care lol.
    I always spend my whole time working thinking about all the things i’d rather be doing than working but then when the time comes I’m like !! I can’t remember what I want to do now!! so fully need to channel your planning self care too lol.
    I’ve been watching Sex Education in sporadic moments between falling asleep and eating my breakfast nd firstly ‘welsh-americas’ vibe is the perfect way to describe it, I was so confused. But I love it, so mindless!!
    Hope revision and everything is going okay. Look after yourself!!x

    Reply
  9. Libby-Jade 2nd February 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Love this post! I 100% will be following some of these tips for when my revision properly kicks in again, I would always go on my phone in revision breaks and it just never ended well. I always complain as well that I don’t have time to read non-academic books but really it’s just because I waste my break times on my phone or something. I loved Sex Education, me and my flat mate would always watch an ep after a day in the library, very good TV series because easy to just switch off and enjoy whilst watching. Good luck with your revision and hope you follow your own advice because it is 10/10 advice! x
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply

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