I’ll be completely honest and say that I never used to really get why people preached the importance of self care so much. When scrolling through Instagram during my crammed commute home, I’d see countless videos of people lighting candles, taking their makeup off and stretching their bodies into some impressive yoga poses – I was intrigued, but never thought to look into it any further. For me, getting home after a laborious trek from the office and watching evening TV with my family was enough in terms of winding down.
However, moving from Birmingham to London to start a new job changed all of that. Known for its super fast-paced lifestyle and 24/7 party vibe, the big smoke – alongside the stress of relocating, loneliness and homesickness – soon proved to be too much for both my physical and mental wellbeing. On multiple occasions throughout the week, I’d find myself bursting into tears for no apparent reason or would fall into the horrible cycle of comparing my body to those around me. When you’re surrounded by all of these people who appear to be doing so well and with minimal effort, you start to beat yourself up about the tiniest of things. I also knew so much change in such a short space of time was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it’d be that hard.
Thankfully, a few lengthy phone calls with my family and friends helped me to realise that I wasn’t taking proper care of myself – inside and out. My mom knows me better than I do reminded me that I can be my own worst enemy at the best of times and that showing myself some love was key. As mothers often are, she was right. I bought a bike and started cycling to work which, albeit a bit hairy at times, helped me to feel like I was moving my body, rather than sitting and stewing at my desk all week. Going back to the gym and getting into better eating habits also played a big part in this, rekindling the appreciation I have for my body and its capabilities.
Almost twelve months on and my self care routine has developed significantly. Luckily, I live with an amazing group of girls who understand the importance of down-time and that you’re not just being antisocial if you go eat your dinner in your room every so often! Most evenings after work, I make time to unwind; usually I’ll turn on my fairy lights, light some incense after getting out of a hot shower, then moisturise my face and body whilst listening to my cherished ‘chill’ playlist on Spotify. As well as hormones and stress, the summer heat and pollution in London can wreak havoc with my skin, so stepping up my skin care regime has been essential. Especially on an evening, I’ll spritz my face with a few bursts of Balancing Mist which helps me to feel that extra bit more relaxed and also shows my skin some much-needed love.
Now, when anyone starts up a conversation around self care, I’m the first to jump in and share my tips. Hearing how other people unwind, their definition of wellness and how they achieve a sense of it is something I love being a part of. At the end of the day, you have to look after yourself and your body as it’s the only one you’ll ever have – plus, just look how far it’s got you already!
Artwork & copy by Claude, Brand Ambassador