What does self care mean to you? Is it a glass of champagne on a wet Tuesday evening or indulging in a little bit of retail therapy ‘just because’? Or do you practise a more steady strain of looking after yourself – lots of early nights, plenty of healthy meals and strict limits on your screen time?
Perhaps you’re a bit of both. I know I am – I like to get my boots on and head out for a pace in the countryside with the newest member of The Little Yorkshire Candle Company team (that would be Bruno, our super-gorgeous French bulldog), but I’m also not adverse to a glass or fizz (or three) when I fancy it. There isn’t one superlative way to look after yourself – although looking on Instagram or Pinterest, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s all about bubble baths and yoga classes.
As with many things, variety is important. Self care is one big ol’ umbrella term under which comes lots of wellbeing subheadings – how’re you doing physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Socially and familially? Financially? Spiritually? Professionally? And those with a social conscience are worrying more and more about their environmental impact – I know I do, hence all of our Little Yorkshire Candle Company scents are 100% natural, blended from only the finest essential oils and plant extracts.
Balancing all of that can be tricky, and requires a bit of internal interrogation. Maybe you want to pitch for that exciting new role or work project, but you have to weigh the potential boost to your professional reputation and your finances against the impact on family life and possible psychological strain. Perhaps you’re desperate to get fit but need to heed your doctor’s advice after an injury or period of ill health.
After a stressful day with the kids, downing a bottle of wine might feel like the best thing to do – heck, sometimes it bloody is. But at other times, it’s just not worth the disturbed sleep and inevitable headache. Self care is many things but, perhaps confusingly, it isn’t necessarily about doing what you want, when you want to.
However, here is one self care absolute I’m going to stick with, and that’s the importance of taking regular time out to practice self care – the kind that suits you and your life, no one else’s – before you reach burnout. You’ve got to nourish to flourish – because once you reach a tipping point of pushing yourself too far, too often, wellbeing can be difficult to win back with a couple of bubble baths and a bunch of daffodils on your desk. As an occasional sufferer of anxiety, I know this only too well.
I’m a passionate advocate of self care – taking a little time for you, away from the madness of everything you’ve got going on at work, at home, in your wider family or the onslaught of the daily news cycle. So without further ado, here are my top activities for wellbeing:
1) A walk with my beloved Bruno. Some fresh air in my lungs and a gorgeous boy on my lead – what more could a girl want?! And now that Spring is here, getting outside feels more like a joyful experience rather than an endurance test for SAS commandos…
2) Getting out and about in Yorkshire. I’m so lucky in that I get to travel around the region meeting creatives and independents and call it ‘work’. But when I’m on a delivery run I’m careful not to let it become too ‘worky’ and always take a moment to be inspired, grab a photo or have a motivational chat over a cup of tea.
3) Grabbing an appointment at my favourite beauty salon. Despite the post title, I believe a good beautician is worth her weight in gold, and Prept in York has two of them – the fabulous Jemima, and the equally fabulous Suzanne. I always walk out feeling lighter and brighter thanks to these gorgeous ladies.
4) Pouring candles. I’ve said before that pouring candles is a form of therapy. I head into the studio, get my music on, tie my apron and lose myself for hours. I particularly love working with mimosa – a sweet and floral scent with woody undertones, perfect for lifting the spirits and releasing fears and worries. It calms, warms and relaxes and helps with day-to-day stresses and strains – so much so that it’s a key ingredient in two of our signature Little Yorkshire Candle Company scents, Serenity and Bliss.
5) Feet up, drink in hand, candle burning – my default ‘happy place’. The woodburner might be blazing and the drink might be a warming glass of wine, or the sun might be sneaking over the horizon and the drink might be a more sedate cup of tea or coffee, but this is pure contentment for me. I can switch my mind off, enjoy a stack of interiors magazines and have a few minutes just for me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in self care – do you prioritise it? What kinds of self care do you practise?
Discover how an all-natural scented Little Yorkshire Candle, born of botanics and inspired by the natural beauty of the countryside, can help you build regular self care into your day.