BY RORY BANWELL
We often read about elaborate self-care routines that are unrealistic for so many either during government-imposed quarantine, or self-imposed quarantine while working through heartbreak, trauma or issues with mental health. So, this month I decided to come up with a pragmatic list of self care options that may make you feel better.
1. FIND SOMETHING TO BINGE WATCH
Is it yoga? No. Is it a good time? Yes. Finding a show that you can watch and take your mind off things is one of the best distractions there is. Alternatively, watching a show that you have watched 100 times and you don’t have to concentrate on too hard, but know the flow of what is happening is equally as effective. Entertainment was created for a reason, take advantage of it
2. SHOWER CRY
Sometimes we all need a good snot-inducing, ugly face cry, right? And where is the perfect place? The shower. It doesn’t matter about bodily fluids. The steam will help to keep your sinuses clear and you can use it as a release where no one can hear you (as much). The shower is great for thinking, but it’s also a great place to let it all out. Let those tears run freely baby!
Undoubtedly the most important point on this list. Snacks. It’s ok to have a cheat day (or get those extra special treats), so do a quick run to Woolies (or ask a friend to) and stock up on every delicious thing you can think of. Create a charcuterie plate of joy through foods you don’t normally indulge in. It doesn’t even mean they have to be unhealthy, but food releases endorphins, and endorphins are what you need.
4. TAKE A NAP
Don’t underestimate the power of sleeping your troubles away. Maybe you’re not usually a nap person, but after your good shower cry and with a full belly. Turn your AC or FAN onto your desirable temperature and tuck in for a good-ass nap. It may only be 20 mins, it may be 2 days, but napping is like charging your phone. We all need to be plugged in and reset occasionally. So, partake in this guaranteed feel-good time
5. DOG RESCUE VIDEOS
Need I say more? My personal recommendation is “Hope for Paws” or “Kitten Lady” (if you prefer cats) on YouTube, but these are guaranteed to lift your spirits. All of these videos have a happy ending and truly show the kindness and giving of people in our communities who selflessly give their time to save animals from the street and from injury or abandonment. Nothing gives me a dopamine hit like a grateful dog wiggling their bum!
6. DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE
I repeat, do not clean the house… The house can wait, your mental health cannot. Unless you are a person who truly enjoys cleaning, just leave it. There is no cleaning task that can’t be left for tomorrow. It’s important to take care of yourself first and if that means the dishes sit there a day longer, or the laundry doesn’t get hung out, you can always rewash it. Even if you are a parent and there is this forced social narrative that our houses must be spotless at all times, your kids will probably not even notice, and it will give you time to reset before undertaking laborious tasks… step back from the vacuum.
7. INTERACTION WITH ANIMALS
The true blessing of animals is their unconditional love. They are always happy to see you, they are always willing to give you a cuddle, and again, is a great rush of endorphins for when you’re struggling. And if you don’t have an animal of your own, go out to your local RSPCA and sit with one for a while. Tell that animal all of your problems, have a cry, let it out and get that cuddle that you may not know you need.
8. GOOK BOOK/AUDIOBOOK/PODCAST
I am sure this one that I don’t need to reiterate to the readers of this newsletter, however, finding something to engross your mind in is such a good distraction. Use the browse function of the podcast app and find something knew. Find a code for a free audible trial (there are many out there), or even find something on YouTube… let yourself relax and enjoy the storytelling that someone has created for you. Fill your mind with a story that overtakes any negative or intrusive thoughts and immerse yourself in a new world. Give your brain a break. It will thank you for it later.
“Always was, Always will be”, Rory is honoured to create art on unceeded Gumbaynggirr country and pays respects to elders past, present and emerging.