As winter creeps in (is it just us, or is it DAMN cold?), there has never been a better time to start looking after yourself properly. We’ve all heard of ‘self care sunday’, right?
But why does Sunday have to be the only day you do a little self care, and start looking after your mental health? The truth is, it doesn’t. Self care Sunday should be every day, so we’re gonna give you our top tips to look after yourself every damn day, all year round.
Of course, as winter hits, dealing with those colder, darker days can be tough! So having a good self care routine is extra important. But what can you do to look after your overall health? Not every day has to be packed with a face mask and a meditation practice session, after all.
I mean, who has time for ALL of that, every day? Let’s jump in, so you can start planning for the week ahead and get a little dose of self care in each day.
What is ‘self care Sunday’ really?
Put simply, self care Sunday is a designated space in your week to look after yourself. We’re all busy, so it can be easy to forget to look after your mental and physical health.
And so, self care Sunday is that time of the week to help combat the effects of stress in your daily life. Of course, we’d all rather manage stress throughout the week (more on that later!), but here’s the gist of a self care Sunday:
Think of it as setting aside one day a week, specifically Sunday, to focus entirely on -you guessed it – self care! With all the lectures, assignments, and late-night study sessions, it’s super easy to forget about taking care of ourselves.
But here’s the thing: treating yourself to some much-needed TLC isn’t just about face masks and bubble baths (though they’re fab and highly recommended too). It’s about taking a moment to reset and recharge for the week ahead.
By carving out this me-time, you’re not only giving your mind and body a break but also boosting your overall well-being and productivity. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup, right?
The importance of self care: Period
Between juggling lectures, assignments, part-time jobs, and social lives, it’s easy to get caught in the whirlwind of uni life. But here’s the tea: self-care isn’t just a trendy hashtag; it’s essential.
Why? Because amidst the academic pressures and the rollercoaster of becoming adults, our mental, emotional, and physical well-being can take a backseat. Self care Sundays have been around for some time, but that doesn’t mean you need to only dedicate a day to your self care.
Prioritising self-care means acknowledging that to be our best selves – in studies, relationships, and personal growth – we need to recharge, refocus, and rejuvenate. It’s about understanding that burning the candle at both ends won’t help us in the long run.
By making time for self-care, we’re not only boosting our overall health and resilience but also improving our focus, creativity, and problem-solving skills. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that taking a step back to care for yourself isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.
Self care Sunday ideas
But what makes the perfect self care Sunday? Well, we’ve got a few ideas to help you get started. While some of these may resonate with you right away, others may not quite be up your street… Don’t worry! These are just a few self care Sunday ideas to get you started, any day of the week.
Adding a few of these into your self care routine can have a huge positive impact on your mental and physical health. So why not get started this week?
Take a walk
Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Whether it’s a nearby park, beach, or forest, spending time outdoors can have incredible benefits for your mental well-being. The fresh air, the sound of birds chirping, and the mere act of walking can be a fantastic stress reliever.
It’s a chance to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with yourself and your surroundings. And hey, a bit of vitamin D from the sun doesn’t hurt either!
DIY spa day
Creating a spa experience in the comfort of your own space can be both fun and therapeutic. Start by setting the mood: light some scented candles, play soft music, and run a warm bath infused with essential oils or bath salts. If you don’t have a bath at uni, no worries, why not try a shower bomb? Sleepy from Lush is one of our favourites.
While you soak, apply a nourishing face mask and relax. After the bath (or shower), moisturise your skin, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, and maybe even try some fancy hair oil.
Not only does this pamper your body, but the entire process helps you wind down and brings a sense of tranquillity, prepping you for the week ahead. These self care activities may seem small, but they make a big difference. Trust us.
Take some time to reflect on your week, your feelings, and your goals through a gratitude journal. This isn’t about perfection or structure—just let your thoughts flow freely. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else!
Writing can be incredibly cathartic. It allows you to process emotions, gain clarity, and even discover hidden feelings or thoughts. Remember, this journal is your personal space; there’s no judgment here. By externalising your thoughts, you’re making room for positivity and growth. Make journaling a part of your self care routine, you’ll thank us for it later.
Cook or bake something new
You don’t have to be Nigella to try cook or bake something new. Get looking online for easy baking (or cooking) recipes and try your hand at something full of flavour. Who knows, you might discover a hidden talent! Cooking or baking can be very therapeutic, even if it doesn’t quite turn out as planned…
All you need is a recipe you’ve always wanted to try, some upbeat music and simply let the magic happen! Not only do you get to enjoy the process, but you also get a delicious treat at the end. Win win.
Even if you’ve never tried meditation before, a self care Sunday can be a perfect place to start. Meditation helps reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and improve concentration. Find a quiet spot, sit comfortably, and focus on your breathing.
You can use meditation apps or guided sessions available online. Just 10 minutes can make a significant difference in how you feel, setting a peaceful tone for your day and week.
It’s totally up to you if you opt for a self care Sunday, or add a little meditation into every day as a part of your self care routine.
Do something creative
Looking for self care Sunday ideas? Look no further…
Dive into a creative activity that resonates with you, whether it’s doodling, painting, crafting, or even adult colouring books (there are plenty!). Engaging in these creative outlets isn’t about being perfect; it’s about expressing yourself and letting your mind wander. It’s a wonderful way to destress and reconnect.
Plus, your Mum is definitely going to want something to put on the fridge, no matter how old you are.
Have a digital detox
These days, we’re constantly connected. Whether it’s checking Instagram, scrolling through X (duh, Twitter), or getting lost down a TikTok rabbit hole, we’re always busy online. Often, taking a break from screens can be refreshing, and it doesn’t just have to. be a part of your self care Sunday routine.
A digital detox helps reduce the stress and anxiety that can come from the constant influx of information and notifications from a whole world of apps, allowing you to truly be present.
We all know that exercise is good for us, right? For both your physical and mental health.
Physical movement, especially in the form of yoga or pilates, can be incredibly grounding. It helps release tension, improves flexibility, and centres your mind. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, taking time on your self care Sunday (or a little each day!) to stretch out those muscles and practice some yoga poses can set a positive and relaxed tone for the week ahead.
Self reflection and setting goals
Take some quiet time to reflect on your aspirations, challenges, and accomplishments. Where do you see yourself in the next month, six months, or year? By setting aside time to think about your goals, you’re better positioned to carve out a path to achieve them. If you prefer to visually see your goals and aspirations, why not create a vision board?
Setting this up can be a part of your self care Sunday, and a great reminder throughout the rest of the week to keep you on track.
If some of these ideas take a little longer, why not dedicate a day for your self care? Self care Sundays may be the common theme (after all, relaxing is what Sundays are for!), but these more time consuming self care ideas might be better suited to a self care Sunday if your schedule is jam-packed.
Why self care is important
As a student, there’s a bunch of stuff that can get in the way of looking after yourself. Whether you’re stressing about writing an essay, keeping up with your reading, or studying for an exam – we totally get it. It’s tough.
In between trying to stay awake in lectures, you’ve also gotta juggle your social life, student budget, and everything else in between. So, how do you make time for self care?
Feeling a bit blah this winter? Here are 5 things to help with those colder, darker days
While Halloween and Christmas is on the horizon, it’s easy for your mental health to take a hit when those cold, dark days hit. Firstly, we don’t wanna get out of bed in the morning anyway, let alone when outside the duvet is damn cold.
Secondly, who wants to walk to uni when it’s rainy and cold? Erm, no one. That’s who.
Nevertheless, needs must! Staying in your uni room all day isn’t gonna make you feel better, but there are a few things you can do to make these chilly days a bit more manageable.
1. Stock up on cosy things
When the colder days hit, getting out of a cosy blanket seems like the biggest challenge ever, right? It’s probably harder than that essay you’ve been avoiding…
Anyhoo… Cold weather calls for cosy things. So whether it’s about time you bought a new warm hoody, some joggers or a coat that’ll actually keep you dry, we think cosy things are a self care investment!
Don’t forget to do a little shopping online, where you can nab deals and discounts without even having to leave your bed. Easy, huh?
2. Stay motivated to workout with new gym clothes
It can be difficult enough trying to hit the gym, let alone dragging your butt there when the days get colder and darker. But if there’s one thing that can help motivate you to keep up with your gym workouts it’s gotta be great new gym clothes.
If the only time to fit in a workout is after a hard day at uni, hitting the gym when it’s already dark outside is damn tough. Stay motivated this winter (and all year round, really) with a little self care retail therapy. Gymshark here we come…
3. Invest in a SAD lamp (ya know, to have the opposite effect)
If you find your mental health struggling in the darker months, incorporating a SAD lamp into your surroundings is a great form of self care. Self care Sunday or not, this lamp is gonna make a difference every day!
Seasonal depression is live and kicking my friends, so if you struggle without that glorious sun, now could be the time to add a SAD lamp into your self care routine. Simply relax, read a book and pop your lamp on in the evenings.
The light will simulate the sun with a range of warm colours and different brightness levels. Believe me, once you have one, you won’t be without it. Ever.
4. Look after your skin
Self care Sunday (or self care everyday, more like), is much more than having a nice bubble bath. Of course, that’s a great idea to combat those winter blues, but self care goes far beyond that.
It’s important to pay attention to the little things that make you feel better and relaxed. Whether you feel more yourself when your hair is done, or when you dress your best, self care is all about making small changes to look after yourself.
As winter hits, that icey cold wind and rain can also cause havoc with your skin. Whether you inject a little self care into your everyday, or focus on a self care Sunday, skin care is important! A little self love goes a long way, believe me.
From treating your hair to using lip balm to prevent chapped lips, spend a few hours shopping around for some suitable skin care (and maybe even some essential oils!) to keep your skin in tip top condition.
5. Try socialise in new ways
Going out drinking each week isn’t the only way to socialise with your pals. Scheduling in some time to hang out with friends in new ways can be a great part of your self care routine. It doesn’t have to be anything major, it could be cooking dinner and hanging out one evening, or a movie night with a close friend.
Feel like braving the cold? Why not head to the cinema? There are plenty of things to do across the UK that won’t break the bank. But if you do feel like doing something fun (and a little more pricey, depending on your budget!), why not take a look at Winter Wonderland, or Longleat’s Festival of Light? You won’t be disappointed.
It doesn’t have to be a strict self care ‘Sunday’, so why not have a self care evening with your friends any day of the week? Crack out the face masks, paint your nails, talk about Christmas, play some games, you name it.