Simple Self-Care

Hey kids! After Tuesday’s accidentally insanely long post I thought I’d keep today’s nice and short. We’re back with another Self-Care Thursday and this week we’re keeping it practical and simple. If you read the self-care posts you’re probably one of these people: 1) WOO, can’t wait to try a new activity, 2) Hmm yeah interesting but I probably won’t bother, or 3) Ew, so boring and cliched. Well! Whichever you are, that’s okay, you do you. BUT. You can definitely do this week’s tasks. I’m gonna give you lots of options of very small things and you just have to choose one! So easy, right? I know you can do it, lazy person, I’m looking at you. No hard thinking involved this week, the key is complete and total relaxation. Whatever that means for you. So remember, you might read one of these and go, urgh, that’s not relaxing. But that’s okay, skip it. It’s possibly relaxing for someone else but we can’t all be the same. And we shouldn’t be. Okay, we’re not idiots, we can read a list. Here we go:

Go for a walk.

Have a cup of coffee.

Light some incense.

Journal.

Bake brownies. Or cookies.

Have the fanciest bath ever.

Listen to your favourite album.

Have a nap.

Read.

Go for a massage.

Change your bedding and put new pjs on.

Try a new lipstick.

Do some yoga.

Go to a museum.

Make a fort.

Pizza.

Go see a movie.

Meditate.

Call your sister/brother/mum/dad.

Go for a run.

Binge a Netflix show.

Cook a new recipe for tea.

Light a candle.

Go for a manicure.

Lie in the garden or a park.

Go and have a beer with a mate.

And there you have it, kids. Now if anyone can get them all done in one week you’d be my hero!

Wherever I Live – Alessia Cara

Calm

It’s self-care Thursdays, guys. We skipped last week (for my own self-care/getting bevvied with some friends) but we’re back going strong.

I think taking a moment to be mindful each day is really important. That could look like many things. Reading a book. Baking. Having a bath. Staring at a wall. Going for a walk. It could also be meditation. I find meditation takes things a step further than other activities because you are directly focusing on actually exploring what it is to be mindful. Whereas sometimes reading a book is just what you need and it relaxes you but you don’t always get to think about why you wanted to take a minute to begin with.

I mentioned I think it’s something we should strive to do each day. I’m definitely very far off that goal right now. For meditation specifically, I can do a good little four day streak and then I go the pub one day and then I do nothing for a fortnight.

But it’s just ten minutes. Ten simple little minutes is all I’m asking myself for. Which I think is very reasonable. So it’s something I’m gonna be working on for the next few months.

Something that is helping me with this goal is the app Calm. I love it. I presume a lot of you have heard of Headspace? It’s similar. I think it’s better. It’s a slightly cheaper version (£60 for an entire year, or £24 if you got it on Black Friday last year like me!) and it doesn’t have the voice of a man that unfortunately sounds like he used to narrate the bitesize revision videos on BBC. Do any of my UK millennials feel me there?

Basically the app is hundreds of hours of guided meditations, sleep stories, calming music, ASMR and more. It focuses on helping you with relaxation, happiness, anxiety, stress, confidence and sleep. To name a few.

The function I’ve been using the most is the Daily Calm. Each day the app provides a new unique ten minute meditation that has its own subject matter. Could be anything from trust to business to procrastination to monkeys (seriously, that’s today’s!) I’ve found them a great place to start if you’re new to meditation.

You can choose from many different backgrounds within the app and each comes with a sound, for example light sparkling into the blue ocean with a calm rippling of water accompanied by an almost ethereal tune. This will play alongside your videos for added relaxation and you can even close your phone and go about your day just with this calming background on.

There’s so many features I’m yet to explore! But I’d definitely recommend it for any of you looking to explore mindfulness and meditation.

When you open Calm it has a calming blue screen and simple white text that states ‘take a deep breath’. I find this very soothing and I know I’m in good hands.

Try – Soccer Mommy

give yourself a break

So it’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a proper Friday self-care post schedule and all I can say is sorry. Life gets in the way sometimes. And you know what? That’s totally okay. It’s nice to have hobbies and it’s nice to have discipline. But it’s also nice to stare out the window or rewatch friends for the second time this year.

Especially with hobbies, they’re not gonna be fun if you force yourself to do them. So if you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. I haven’t had anything I’ve wanted to say on self-care recently. Not because I’m going off it or cos I don’t still think you should seek it every day. But because I write about it a lot, have you noticed?! And I wanted to have something new to say to you, not just reword ten other blog posts.

So here it is: give yourself a fucking break.

Seriously.

That big list of tasks you have to do? Yeah, they’ll still be there tomorrow. Don’t want to pick up your journal today? Don’t. Don’t want to do that workout? Don’t. Don’t want to eat healthy or shower? Don’t. Don’t want to smile? Don’t. Don’t want to stop smiling? Don’t. Don’t want to eat junk food? Don’t. Don’t want to miss your time on the yoga mat? Don’t. But work out what you need, right here, right now and go with it.

I think it’s good to have habits and I think it’s fun to have things you want to do every day. I agree that the best way to foster a new habit is through determination and consistency. I believe old habits can fall to the side if they’re not tended to. But they are all just part of you. They don’t define you necessarily. They’re just things you like to do. Or feel like you need to do. But either way, if you don’t want to do them every day, don’t.

You’ve got to make sure that your thoughts and actions are always serving you. As long as they are you’ll be okay. Today I’ve had a somewhat productive, somewhat lazy day. I’ve done some things I like to do and not others. Now I’m enjoying the sunshine as I make my way to work. My day has served me. Has yours served you?

Peace.

Slow It Down – The Lumineers

ASMR for Beginners

So you may have heard of ASMR. Or have a vague understanding of it. Oh it’s that weird thing when people whisper in your ear or tap things or crunch carrots or something, right? From the outside ASMR seems so bizarre. I’ve sort of known about it for a while now but just never got round to exploring it. I thought it was weird and didn’t know if I’d ever enjoy it. But I wanted to know more. So what is it? Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is the experience of a tingling or static sensation on your skin. You can feel it all over your body but usually it begins on the scalp. It is typically triggered by sound or visuals and it induces positive feelings, relaxation and even low-grade euphoria. No wonder millions of people keep talking about it then.

Recently a Booktuber I follow posted a video titled: ASMR: reading you Harry Potter||Conniebell. And I thought, you know what, I like Harry Potter and I have been wanting to see what all the fuss is about so I gave it a go. Did I like it? Jesus, it was weirdly relaxing.

In that particular video the girl does a quick bit of book tapping then reads the first chapter to you in a whisper. I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is book tapping? Ha. I thought that too! But I was just about to go to bed, had my lights out and was just listening to the video and when she tapped the book I could feel electricity on my skin. I had the same sensation on my head as when someone gives you a head massage. Euphoric. I felt goose bumps. And I thought, alright, I’ll play. So I started scouring Youtube to discover a bit more about ASMR. See the thing with the relaxation technique is that there’s so many different types. And you may hate some but love others. So you just have to search for the types you like.

I started my research with books and found I really like book tapping which is simply someone tapping their fingers on a book. It definitely give me low-grade euphoria; it’s like an invisible hug. A lot of people also do book scratching which I don’t particularly like. In real life when my nails scratch on something it kind of goes through me so I wasn’t surprised I didn’t enjoy the book scratching, but I’m keeping an open mind for the future. I also found, at least in terms of book ASMR, that I prefer there to be no talking whereas other people love that.

As I widen my search I found three channels I liked (Gibi ASMR, ASMR Darling and ASMR Rooms) but there are thousands out there for you to discover. The two former channels do a large range of different ASMR. Both do videos where they tap different random objects which I think is my favourite. I don’t mind talking in those. Another type that AMSR Darling does is she acts like the camera and microphone are you and gives face and head massages etc. I was skeptical but I thought it was quite relaxing. I’d definitely suggest trying a massive range of videos when you’re experimenting. Just because you think you won’t like it doesn’t mean you will. The final channel ASMR Rooms is this lovely channel where the woman makes hour long videos of different rooms in books. I listen to the Harry Potter ones. So say, for example, you click on the Hogwarts Library video it’ll be an hour of pages turning, fire crackling, pen scratching. It’s just audio of what would be in that specific room. I also like the Forest of Dean video. As these videos are so long I normally use them as background noise when I meditate or for when I fall asleep. But how you use any video is totally up to you!

I’m a definite beginner to ASMR but I’m interested to see where it takes me. There’s many types I have not discovered yet but I’m excited to and I’ll keep you updated on my progress. So this week’s self-care task for you is to go and explore ASMR. I challenge you to not find at least one sensation that works for you.

Peace.

Wait For It – Hamilton Original Broadway Soundtrack (because I cannot stop listening to this album thanks to Beth!)