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Self Care 101 - 10 Ways You Can Be Kinder To Yourself

It’s safe to say that this lockdown has been really tough on all of us. In one way or another, we have all been affected, and with all the uncertainty in addition to all of the worrying news stories, it can often leave us feeling run down or anxious. 

Sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder to take some time for ourselves and practice some self-care. With that in mind, in this post, we share 10 suggestions of ways you can show yourself some kindness to build yourself up whenever you’re feeling low. 

1. Take Time To Check In With Yourself

A notebook and a cup of tea resting on a sofa with a cosy blanket

When we are anxious, it can sometimes feel easier to ignore our feelings, but often, bottling up how we feel can make things a lot worse. 

Take a few minutes to be mindful about how you’re really feeling. If you are feeling worried, sad or stressed, have a think about what you can do to make yourself feel better.

This could be reaching out to talk to a close friend or family member, comforting yourself with a relaxing evening in with your favourite film, or finding a positive distraction to take your mind off whatever is bothering you. 

2. Manage Your Goals & Expectations 

Woman using her laptop at a work desk with her phone and notebook

With the busy, fast-paced lives we lead, it can often feel like there is so much to get done and busy ourselves with. While it’s great to feel a sense of accomplishment by getting things done, it’s also important to make sure you’re not overworking yourself. There is no use in trying to do everything at once if you’re going to end up burnt out and feeling exhausted...

You may find it useful to write down a daily or weekly to do list so you have a clear plan of what you need to get done. Prioritise your tasks by making a note of the most important things which need to be done first before working through your list. 

By managing your time, you can also manage your expectations of what you will be able to achieve. Then, if you don’t have time to do everything, you know you can push something back until the next day. 

3. Practice Positive Self-Talk Regularly

Self talk, otherwise known as ‘internal dialogue’ is the way we speak to and think about ourselves. Practicing positive self talk can help and benefit all of us. It encourages us to believe in ourselves, pick ourselves up when we’re feeling low and helps to improve our self-confidence. 

When you are feeling particularly negative or anxious, it can become easy to talk yourself down. This is when it is important to recognise negative thought patterns and know how to challenge them. 

Examples of this could be:

Negative thought: I’ve been so lazy today. I really should have done some exercise. 

Positive thought: I decided to have a rest today and that’s okay. Everyone deserves a day off. I can exercise some other time instead. 

Negative thought: There is no way I can achieve this. 

Positive thought: This may be challenging and take more time than I first expected, but I will get there eventually.

Negative thought: I can’t possibly try doing this. I’ve never done it before and will fail and look silly. 

Positive: This is a great opportunity for me to try something new. It may take a few tries to get it right and that’s okay. It’s all part of learning. 

Treat yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. If they came to you feeling low, would you talk down to them? -  No! You would be kind and encourage them to do something to make themselves feel better… Make sure to give yourself the same treatment.

4. Believe In Yourself!

A wall spray-painted with a positive quote: believe in yourself

This may sound cliche, but when you have self belief, everything feels much easier. 

 Sometimes focusing on the things we like about ourselves can be really difficult as it can make us feel like we’re being vain or self centred. But the truth is, having  self awareness and recognising your strengths can really helps to boost self confidence. Take some time to think about all positive qualities you have to offer and what skills you can improve on to build your self-esteem.

5. Show Yourself Forgiveness

We all make mistakes now and again.. When we do, also important to forgive ourselves and know when to let go and move on. 

Each morning when we wake up, we start a brand new day and face every new experience with the knowledge we have learnt so far.

Everybody is learning all the time, so remember - It’s okay to mess up now and again!  It’s these experiences that teach us right from wrong so we know how to cope with things in the future. 

6. Surround Yourself With Positive Energy

With spending a lot more time at home during lockdown, many of us have turned to our phones and are spending a lot more time on social media.

When scrolling through your apps, have a think about the content you're viewing and how it makes you feel. If anything you're viewing that leaves you feeling or thinking negatively, it may be time to make some changes to your following list. Have a look and find accounts which will uplift you and make you feel good instead.

7. Keep The Mind Of A Child

A child walking across a wooden bridge by a lake

Remember being back in the classroom as a child when everyone would be desperate to volunteer to get up on stage and try new things? 

Children have a brilliant sense of optimism and self-confidence because they are not afraid of ‘looking silly’ or getting things wrong. This is because they have not yet experienced feelings of self-doubt or embarrassment.

As we get older, through our experiences, we learn what it’s like to feel embarrassed and shy we and often let these negative emotions hold us back, but we shouldn't let them get in the way.  

Remember - it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. Just try to keep a light sense of humour. Learn how to laugh at yourself, brush yourself off and "try, try again!" 

8. Make Sure You’re Taking Care Of Yourself

When we take care of our physical health, it can often make us feel a lot better mentally too. Make sure you’re keeping yourself well by getting plenty of sleep, keeping hydrated, eating well and getting regular exercise. These small things may sound basic but they play such a huge part in feeling good, so it's important to make sure you prioritise them.

Spend yourself some self care by getting some exercise, cooking a nutritious meal or taking a few ours to relax and pamper yourself.  If you’re in need of a treat, head on over to our website. From our AgeIntelligent ranges and Skin Essentials to our Skin Perfectors and Body Beautiful Collection, our specifically formulated skincare products are the perfect addition to a pamper evening. 

9. Stop Worrying About What Others May Think 

If you are constantly trying to please others, you may become exhausted and defeated. It is important to do the things that make you feel happy and try not to worry about the opinions of others. You cannot please everyone, but remember, as long as you are kind to others and try your best in what you do, that’s all anyone can ask of you...

10. Remember To Give Yourself Some Credit

A board of calligraphy showing "be proud of how hard you are working"

When we’re busy, it can be easy to forget all the great things we are achieving. Take some time to reflect on all the positive things you do and remember to treat yourself every so often! We all need a bit of self care and indulgence from time to time... 

We all have days where we don’t feel so great and that’s okay. It’s just all about having the right tools to know how to make yourself feel a bit better...

We hope this post has given you some helpful tools and suggestions of things you can do to pick yourself up whenever you’re feeling low. Do let us know by getting in touch on socials - we always love hearing from you! @arkskincare

To learn more about our products, head on over to our website www.arkskincare.com

Have a Spare 5 Minutes? Here Are Some Positive Ways To Keep Busy

Old fashioned black alarm clock on a wooden counter

Most of us have a bit of extra time on our hands at the moment. We are not travelling to work, not going to the gym, and not socialising, meaning we have some extra time in our usually packed schedules. It is easy to lose time to social media, negative thoughts, or rubbish TV. None of which helps to elevate our mood. Instead we have some helpful tips. Spend any extra five minutes you have in the following positive ways and help lift your spirits.

 Have a five minute tidy

Bedroom with an unmade bed with pillows and blankets

Tidying up can help clear your mind and make you feel positive. Clutter can be oppressive, cause stress, and make you tired. The thought of tidying your whole home may be rather overwhelming, but take five minutes at a time. Tidy your bedroom, make your bed, tackle one shelf in the kitchen, or clean out the fridge. Each five minute segment of effort will add up, and you will begin to feel more organised and positive. 

Quick tidy challenge. Next time you have five minutes ... 

  • Make your bed and tidy your bedside table
  • Organise the fridge
  • Tidy your shoes, bags and coats by the front door
  • Tackle one book shelf

 Use the 'phone

Young brunette woman smiling while chatting on the phone

Take five minutes to telephone someone. Talking is good. When our schedules are packed we often rely on text and social media messages.  If you find yourself with five minutes, pick up the phone to someone you haven't connected with for a while. Make sure they are OK. You will both feel better. 

 Do something special for somebody

Gift wrapped in grey packing paper with a bow tied in string

During this time, many of us are unable to visit friends and family - but you can still keep in touch! Let someone know you’re thinking of them by surprising them with something special.  It doesn’t have to be huge. Even a small gift or a hand-written letter can make someone's day and it will make you feel great too! If you’re in need of a gift for somebody, head on over to the Ark Skincare website - we have something for everyone!

Nurture an indoor plant

Tiny cardboard plant pots with baby shoots showing

Grow a seed, take a cutting to grow or invest in a new houseplant. Not only do indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they've been shown to boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants — making for a healthier, happier you. Indoor plants don't just look good – they can make us feel good, too. Spend any spare five minutes learning more and caring for your plants.

Read a book

Cosy flat lay with reading books and a mug of tea 

Do you often find yourself with very little or no time to read? If in lockdown you have some spare time on your hands, why not pick up a new book? Reading is a great way to lose yourself for a few hours, especially if you find a good storyline!

Open a window

Woman pulling back white netting curtains to look out of a window

It may be cold out there but open a window and breathe. Fresh air can help stimulate positivity, and make you feel revived. Stand at your window and take time to breathe. In addition throwing open a window helps eliminate toxins from our homes. Opening a window for at least five minutes a day should be enough to decrease the concentration of indoor air pollutants. 

 Get Moving

Person walking through a park wearing colourful trainers

With many of us staying at home a lot more, it can be easy to find little motivation to exercise. We can imagine everyone might be a bit fed up with their daily walk, but getting some exercise is important for both your physical and mental health! Why not find a workout video online or a virtual class you can join? 

 Listen to some music

young woman wearing airpods to listen to music

Put on some of your favourite music and have a dance! It has been proven that when listening to music the brain releases dopamine, also known as ‘the happy hormone’ which helps to elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. 

 Give yourself a mini facial or a body treatment

ARK Skincare's Gua Sha Jade Tool with Skin Perfecting Hydration Injection Face mask, great for dry skin

  Do you have a body brush you have never used? A Jade Tool you haven't worked into your skincare regime yet? Now is the time. Take an extra five minutes to body brush, exfoliate, or give yourself a facial massage. You now have the time to learn what works best for you and you will quickly get into the routine and see real benefits. If you’re in need of a treat for your skin, we’ve got you covered! Click here to head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more. 

 Take a cold shower

A woman laughing and looking shocked as she showers in cold water

Cold showers can improve circulation, speed up metabolism, increase immunity and decrease depression. They are hugely beneficial if you can stand the cold! With five minutes extra on your hands start to build them into your routine. Gradually get used to standing under cold water and you will soon see and feel the benefits. 

Prepare a healthy snack

Two pots of different healthy snacks including carrot and pepper sticks and mixed berries

Feeling good starts from within. Take five minutes to prepare a healthy snack or plan some nutritious meals you can enjoy. Perhaps now is the time to get creative and learn a new recipe!

However you use your extra time, remember to use it to look after yourself. Give yourself a hug. You deserve it.