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Have you heard of ‘Self-care Sunday’? I hadn’t heard of it until very recently.
Some of us tend to spend our entire week working, studying, or having meetings. Then the weekend rolls along and do we take a break? Not always.
Let’s be honest, some of the activities we participate in over the weekend can leave us drained and exhausted. While they are great for catching up with friends or family, parties and nights out can leave us feeling drained. Ideally, we should be rejuvenating ourselves for the week ahead.
These suggestions are so basic, but neglecting to do some of them can be detrimental to the mind, body, and soul in the long run. Let me explain.
For example, moisturising the skin after a shower may seem like such a minor thing that can be omitted. However, neglecting to moisturise your skin would lead to dry skin. Consistently leaving the skin in a dry condition can make it brittle, scaly, and rough. This could lead to the development of eczema. Ask me how I know!
Below are some simple self-care Sunday suggestions to get you started.
Simple Self-Care Sunday Suggestions
1. Have a lie-in
Unless you have a young baby or an active toddler bouncing on you to wake you up, or you work on a Sunday – in which case you need a ‘self-care some other day’ routine, you can have a lie-in. Sometimes.
Sleep is immensely important to the body. When we sleep, various hormones are released which repair and regenerate damaged organs and cells.
If we don’t have enough sleep, our brains would be unable to process all the information we picked up during the day. This would also mean that we would be unable to remember them in future.
If you absolutely cannot have a lie in because your circadian rhythm would go haywire, that’s okay; consider going to sleep slightly earlier so you get enough good night’s rest.
Lack of sleep can be detrimental to both physical and mental health, so getting enough rest is vital.
2. Enjoy a hot bath or shower.
The heat helps with blood circulation. Consequently, muscles become relaxed and joint pains reduce, leading to ease of mobility and exercise.
A study found that raising the body temperature passively with water, led to a reduction in blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of a stroke or a heart attack.
Additionally, a warm bath before bed can contribute to a quality, peaceful sleep, in which the body can regenerate.
3. Use a body scrub.
One thing I have done before but don’t do frequently enough is to exfoliate my skin with a body scrub. There’s something more special about exfoliating your skin with a body scrub than your regular bath sponge.
Equal parts brown or white granulated sugar and olive oil, plus half the amount honey are all you need. Rub the mixture on the desired part of your skin in circular motions. Leave on your skin for 3 – 4 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Your skin will thank you for it.
Feel free to be more elaborate with your scrub, by adding extra ingredients such as sweet-smelling essential oils, or a teaspoon of soothing aloe vera juice.
4. Moisturise your skin
This is such an important step in taking care of the skin, I can’t believe I used to skip doing this.
Moisturising the skin keeps it smooth and supple. It slows down the appearance of wrinkles and can reduce the appearance of other blemishes. A bath or shower can strip the body of moisture, so moisturising the skin is great straight after.
Not moisturising the skin can lead to eczema or other skin problems.
5. Treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment.
I didn’t start deep conditioning my hair until a year ago. I thought I didn’t need to because I had luscious thick hair. That was until I no longer had luscious thick hair!
Deep conditioners with the right ingredients soften the hair, minimise static, and smooth the cuticles. Conditioners penetrate the hair shaft at a temperature of 35˚ Celcius. This can be achieved by applying conditioner and covering the hair with a shower cap.
Multitasking tip: Apply conditioner and cover your hair with a shower cap before a quick home exercise routine. Your raised body temperature would allow the conditioner to penetrate your hair shaft better than no heat at all.
Remember that love/hate relationship I have with exercise? Well, I’ve still got it. For some people though, going to the gym is the best way to exercise. For others, a fun online exercise class would be ideal.
There are many amazing resources online which include dancing, aerobics, and fun cardio exercises. Other exercise ideas include nature walks, jogging at a running club, or other exercise activities local to you.
Exercise improves both mental and physical health, reduces the risk of heart disease, and helps with weight loss. There’s a risk of potential injury due to incorrect exercise techniques, not warming up before exercising, or existing illnesses which may cause other risks.
The benefits of exercise usually far outweigh the risks, but for clarification, consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime.
It doesn’t matter the type of exercise you do, as long as your body gets moving and your heart gets pumping!
7. Eat a healthy meal (or three)
In the spirit of relaxing over the weekend, you may be tempted to slip into the habit of eating unhealthily. Once every so often might be forgivable, but if you notice yourself eating junk food more frequently, you may want to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later. This is as much of a ‘note to self’ as a note to you.
The body requires balanced meals to function optimally. Different food groups contribute to different functions in the body. It is therefore important not to restrict any food groups from the diet, except for health reasons.
You need to be more mindful and intentional with your food choices. Eating healthy meals for self-care does not necessarily mean dieting. It means eating nourishing meals with the knowledge that they are contributing to your well-being. What may start as a Sunday only practice could become a healthy weeklong habit.
As they say, “you are what you eat”!
In conclusion, these simple suggestions should leave you feeling refreshed and will have a great long term impact. Feel free to do as little or as many of these suggestions as you like.
Read next: 10 Self-Care Practises for the Busy Mum
What other self-care suggestions do you have to share?
Please share if you found this post useful.