Self care is talked about a lot these days. It’s a common topic with different implications on what it actually means but to me, I think it’s personal and discrete to the individual depending on what road their journey is taking them on.
Your journey is connected by your mind, your body, and your soul, and it’s okay for that to differ from day to day. Taking care of yourself and dedicating time to make your life easier, healthier, and happier, is not a standard one time deal nor concept.
Some days you can crave some luxury treatments. Some days you might just want to log off social media and take yourself off to bed earlier. It can be as simple as choosing to be selfish, or as complex as ridding of the toxic accompaniments you surround yourself with. You can associate it with self love, positive thinking, and being kinder to yourself, putting every reckless thought aside to remind yourself you are worth it even if you’re struggling to reach the standards. Or you can take your overworked mind and strenuously burned out body and give yourself a well needed rest.
There’s the basics; having a long bath, exercising, drinking lots of water, eating your favourite meal, laughing till you cry, then there’s the learning, the investing, and the maintaining power. It’s so ridiculously complex that it’s impossible to pinpoint, when the choices you make and the techniques you practice and carry out are for yourself and yourself only.
For me, most of the time, it’s about putting my mental health first.
Dealing with unpredictable and intolerable chronic pain that stops me from achieving so many normal things I’d love to do is damn difficult and although I’m skilled at masking a facade, it does get me down. Low mood and bouts of anxiety can often hit me without warning and I do find myself stuck in a dark place I’m fighting to get out of.
Not only that, I can be pretty tough on myself when it comes to comparison and belittling my worth, and paranoia is a real problem. Sometimes I find it difficult to separate what I should be doing and what I am doing, and I have this recurrent habit of feeling guilty for not being productive enough when I do focus on myself, chill out, and end up achieving a big fat nothing (if having a day in front of the TV and getting attached to more fictional characters counts as nothing, anyway).
But it’s time for that to stop.
Cutting off the real world for a little while, having some ‘me time’ and taking that time to just breathe and herd yourself to your eased peak can be so cleansing and healing – and it’s nothing to mull over when in the long term it can benefit your energy levels and your overall zest for life.
I found that out when I visited the spa within the Spirit Health Club at the Crowne Plaza in my delightful hometown of Leeds a week ago today. It was a joint Christmas present for me and my mum from my brother which in itself is enough to warm the heart strings because if there’s anything to spike some respite it’s some family thoughtfulness gifted to you, right?!
Despite being ten minutes away and walking past it on several occasions I’d never been inside and I was unaware of what they offered, but boy was I missing out! From its stunning interior, to its rustic design, their conspicuously alluring staircase, cosy bar and restaurant area, and their heavenly spa – it has everything you’ll ever need to bring some tranquillising peace and calamity to your busy schedule, your hardship, and your negative thoughts.
We started off in the pool area – with our towels, gowns, and sassy swimsuits to hand – and ended with a belly pleasingly delicious afternoon tea for two. The bright and airy room featuring some loungers, the sauna, steam room, heated pool, and jacuzzi was so instantly inviting, the huge windows letting in the prettiest natural sunlight and the quiet of the place spiritually soothing to the senses. If you closed your eyes for ten seconds, you could almost imagine you were abroad in paradise and not in the middle of a rural city on a freezing cold February day.
It was just such unwinding bliss. Having a few hours to cherish that quality mum/daughter time, soaking in the warm bubbles, chatting about the trivial matters, replenishing and ridding of the toxins in the stifling spaces, and clearing the mindset to a wholesome mark.
Finishing the day with some finger sandwiches, homemade scones, and the daintiest collection of cakes completed such a lovely, carefree, comfortable day of opulence.
I got home and felt absolutely wiped out and loose on the limbs but that just goes to show how much I needed to release that tension.
It’s so easy to forget to dedicate that essential break to recover from your battered exhaustion and that mental fog when you’re constantly on the go and stranded in that negligent bubble that’s hard to shift. Sometimes you just have to press pause, deflect from the stuff bringing you down, and find a way to uplift your spirits and make yourself feel better.
And with today being both Galentine’s Day and Pancake Day you can use that as an excuse to pamper your taste-buds, your skin, and your soul; either alone or partnered with your solid friendships. Or failing that, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means us singletons can take this advice and put it into action for ourselves.
Because there’s nobody more important than you.