OK, Glassies. It’s time for a masterclass in self-care. These are my best tips and tricks to self-care that actually makes a difference in your life.
Leave your romanticism at the door, thank yew.
Bubble baths are the shit – but they don’t have a place in this Guide. This Guide is about ways of loving yourself that involve a bit of tough love and being kind to your future self wherever possible. This is put-on-your-big-girl-pants-self-care. Strap yourself in (or hoist up your suspenders).
(This Guide might not be right for you. If you’re struggling with your mental health in any way at all, please stop here. Ring a friend, your GP, or your mental health care provider).
Get your shit together.
Set up automation and systems to make your life run more smoothly.
This might involve
- Setting up automatic transfers to pay regular bills or a direct debit arrangement to invest part of your paycheque
- Making sure all of your devices get put on their chargers every night so that they are ready the next day
- Putting a reminder on your calendar to call your grandma at a certain time every week
- Putting a reminder in your calendar to buy things you know you run out of regularly (i.e. I have a reminder in my calendar to place an Adore Beauty order for more foundation every 4 months)
- Scheduling time in your calendar to organise your work clothes for the next day
- Using a delivery service to have your medication delivered to you (services like Kin or Youly can deliver your contraception to you every few months when you run out on a subscription-basis).
Look at your bank account everyday instead of Unless you’re a Nigerian billionaire prince with a penchant for chatting up the elderly, your bank account balance isn’t going to mysteriously inflate before the next time you got to buy coffee.
Stop pretending you’re not studying LLB304: Commercial Remedies for a whole semester until the week before the exam when you sit down to study and realise you have thirteen weeks of content to learn in a week and regurgitate in a three-hour exam. Ok, that one is mostly for me. But if you also need to learn an entire unit in about a week – hmu so we can weep together in the library.
It’s also important to keep on track of those important life admin tasks (going to the dentist, doing your tax return, getting your prescription renewed and ACTUALLY PICKING IT UP) that can get lost in the minutia of everyday life. These things, though little, can become big things if you ignore them. HUGE things. Little cavities in need of a filling can turn into an appointment for a painful (& expensive) root canal. Not filing your tax return can result in delaying a sweet, sweet tax refund (orrrrr getting in trouble with the ATO for not paying a tax debt). I don’t think I need to explain the consequences of not renewing and filling your prescriptions. Don’t be a silly billy.
I like to schedule a day to get a few of these tasks at a time off my plate (even if it means taking a day off work), especially if they are tasks that require appointments on during business hours. This may not be possible for everyone, but it might make sense for you. If you’re studying, a good time to schedule your life admin appointments might be during your mid-sem and summer holidays – which is also a strategy that can take the mental load off when that shit is going to get done if you know it’s pencilled into your schedule for when you have some free time.
A spoonful of honesty. Have some self-awareness.
As with the tip above, actually taking care of yourself means not lying to yourself about the reality of your life. This is important not just for finances and uni, but also for the even bigger stuff: your relationships, your mental health, and your relationship with yourself.
This might mean listening to your friends when they tell you that you are the arsehole, or that you’ve hurt or embarrassed them. It means acknowledging that you might not be right about everything or that you could have done something differently, and making tangible change in your life in response.
It also might mean listening to the warning signs that you might be unwell (mentally or physically) or experiencing burnout. Burnout can manifest in exhaustion and sleep problems. It also might mean being honest with yourself if you’ve just been a lazy little shite recently and need to pull your finger out (see ref to LLB304: Commercial Remedies above).
Stop overindulging where it’s not serving you.
Recently I made lists of everything that’s wrong with my life. I realised that so much of what I am struggling with is intricately tied to overindulgence – in sweet treats, online shopping (i <3 u the iconic), social media, gossip, and emotionally unavailable men.
I said this Guide would include some tough love, so here you go:
Don’t believe your brain when it tells you to buy chocolate on the way home because you feel sad or your boss has made you a frazzled mess. You need a hug.
You don’t need an extra set of lounge pants. Or ‘pillow’ slides to exclusively wear in the house. Or a 14-karat gold and diamond vintage ring from a German auction house. (Dad, if you’re reading this, these are probably most likely not things I’ve purchased recently).
Put the phone down. That Tiktok dopamine hit, while soothing in the short-term, is not helping you. If you notice yourself feeling overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy or sadness every time you open Instagram, take that as a sign and log off for a while. You don’t have to torture yourself just because everyone else seems to enjoy using social media.
Put some earmuffs on. I’ll take a juicy piece of gossip over a juicy t-bone steak ANY DAY. I’d say gossiping is one of my favourite ways communicate with others and solidify my opinions about myself, others, and the world around me. But it helps to know when gossiping is really just serving as a distraction from what’s going on in your own life – and earmuffing yourself when necessary.
Leave them on read. I’m embarrassed to even admit this but my penchant for emotionally unavailable partners has got me stuck in a cycle of icky heartbreak. If you’re the same, I think it’s time to reset that facet of your life by taking a break and relishing being able to sleep à la starfish in your bed all night.
I lied. Bubble baths do have a place in this Guide.
Soft self-care is just as important as hard self-care (and your soft self-care might be someone else’s hard self-care).
As above, optimise your self-care by automating that shit. This could look like: scheduling a bubble bath in your calendar for 9 pm every evening, making sure to take a walk with your favourite podcast in your ears every week, or making a recurring monthly booking for a massage.
Take care, Glassies. You got this.