Taking time out to check in with your physical and mental state is vital to staying well. As 2020 unfolded, and the pressures of home, work, community, and personal wellbeing all collided. And, as a result, individuals, companies, and even governments stressed the importance of maintaining wellness and stable mental health during times of social distancing and lockdowns. At the same time, the conversation around self-care snowballed, and carving out time to take care of yourself became a mainstream idea for both men and women.
Because everyone gets stressed or sad or anxious about different things, self-care is such a subjective activity. While many people find yoga or meditation helpful, others just want a quiet afternoon alone. For Rika, her approach to looking after herself is quite logical and necessary. “I see self-care as basic maintenance; things we need to do from time to time,” she says. This way of thinking cuts through the noise of influencers and ads for sleep apps, and gets right to the heart of the issue which is that, caring for your own mind and body should be a mandatory activity.
But, like many, Rika didn’t always see it that way. “To be honest, I used to confuse self-care with self-indulgence. I had been using ‘self-care’ as a way to justify unhealthy behaviours,” she admits. “Feeling down? A new pair of shoes would make me feel better. Money’s tight, but let’s just put it on the credit card because “#selfcare,” Rika jokes, pointing out that people’s care routines on social media and elsewhere don’t always align with actions that make a long-term difference in your mood or health.
“Make a 'done list'. It helps me to feel good and grateful for the things I’ve achieved..."
Naturally, we turn to chatting about retail therapy. Can shopping really be a way to heal? “I think it’s a fun thing to do. But I don’t really see it as a healing method,” Rika says. “For me, retail therapy is a way for you to indulge and reward yourself. And, of course you need to do that from time to time! Treat yourself! Celebrate your wins!” Striking a balance between treating yourself and caring for yourself is something that many struggle with. Plus, going to the mall or jumping online to buy yourself a treat can quickly turn into an expensive activity - and, depending on your finances, could end up causing you more stress down the road!
So, what can you do to stay balanced and feeling great? Rika reminds us to keep it simple and to incorporate wellness activities into your daily routine. “Drinking enough water & making sure that [your] skin is protected and well moisturised,” Rika suggests. Staying hydrated is great for your energy levels, your digestion, and your immune system. Great start - what else? Rika tells us that one of the things she likes doing is changing her bedding each week to have a fresh set of sheets and pillow cases. This simple act makes a huge difference when you’ve got a busy day to day schedule. Coming home to a crisp, clean bed can help set the stage for a restful sleep.
Another way to check in with yourself is to take a moment of gratitude and reflect on all the things you are doing right. On a monthly basis, Rika sits down and writes what she calls a ‘done list.’ We love this idea! Instead of your usual ‘to-do list,’ listing your accomplishments can have a positive, motivating effect. “It helps me to feel good and grateful for the things I’ve achieved during the month,” Rika confirms.
|Rika is wearing:||Love Conquers All Signet Ring | Memento Mori Ring|
When pandemic restrictions are lifted Rika tells us that she can’t wait to get back together with friends and family over a meal. “Sharing food with people I love makes me the happiest,” she reveals, hitting on an important part of the whole self-care equation. Surrounding yourself with people that can love and support you unconditionally provides huge value to your personal wellbeing. Having a person that you can team up with to start some self-care activities is also a great way to start - even remotely!