As today is International Self Care Day, it’s important to put the focus on taking time of ourselves, doing activities that help us relax and de-clutter our minds. With this guide, you’ll get a wide range of budget-friendly activities to try out that can easily be done at home.
1. Move Around
Exercise is usually a word people do not like to hear especially if you’re someone who works a 9 to 5 or even overtime. It is hard to fit exercise in your day. Yet, no one said you have to do a full fledged workout with sets or run several laps to get your energy up. A little movement can go a very long way. If you merely jog on the spot for five minutes, your blood will immediately start pumping and you will feel your body waking up.
Another quick way to get your serotonin boost is through some push ups or even a simple one minute plank which can help reduce lower back pain especially if you have a tiresome desk job. If upper body exercises are not your cup of tea, you can pump up your speakers, close your bedroom door and put on your very own dance party blasting fun tunes like Hussain Al Jassmi’s old classic “Seta El Sobh” . Make sure to dance like no one is watching, go crazy and let out all your frustrations. We are so used to conforming to society and controlling our actions, your body needs a break to move around freely.
2. Put Pen To Paper
On a day to day basis, our mind would constantly be working and many times our thoughts can get jumbled up into a messy tangle especially if we do not try to sit with ourselves, reflect and figure exactly how we feel and what we want. One of the ways to slowly navigate through your tangle of thoughts is to try and jot things down. It can be hard especially when you are sitting down, facing an empty notepad. You might not know where to start or what to write in the first place but the best way to start is to start.
To help you get some inspiration and get your flow going, you can check out any of the journal prompt guides available online. They will include a large list of questions that can help spark your inner thought process and help you learn about yourself. For example, some of the prompts include questions like, what are you most grateful for right now? or what are you most afraid of? Once you get into the flow of it, you may eventually reach a better understanding of yourself, your current state and what you can do to better your life.
3. Activate Your Inner Child
Sometimes when we’re stressed, anxious or feeling down, we can’t help but revert to our childhood as a source of comfort. As kids, we would try to spend every waking moment playing, running and just having a good time. Yet, as adults with the daily grind of our lives, some of us have forgotten that facet of our existence. Its time to re-activate it. There are many ways to do so.
If there are no kids around, there can be other ways to tap into your childhood comfort. You can watch some of your favorite cartoons as a child whether its Space toon’s Detective Conan or MBC 3’s Power Rangers. You can eat your favorite snacks like sour punk or your favorite brand of cereal. The taste will bring back many memories but will also give you that warm feeling you get in your stomach when you’re feeling happy and safe.
4. A Budget-Friendly Home Spa
You do not need to leave your house and head to a very fancy spa to get pampered. It all can be done from the comfort of your home. The key to an effective home spa is making sure its a head to toe full-body pamper session.
Starting with the hair, make henna your best friend. Despite it being commonly used as a dye for your hair, another way you can make use of this special ingredient is to use it as a hair mask. Some of the benefits of applying a henna hair mask include hydration, detangling as well as reducing the fizziness of your hair.
You can easily make a henna mask at home by warming a cup of coconut milk then adding 10 tablespoons of henna to the liquid. Accompany that with four tablespoons of olive oil. Mix everything together until it forms into a smooth paste. Then apply it to your hair and leave it on for an hour.
Next up is the face. Start off by cleaning your skin with a gentle cleanser like CeraVe then follow it with a relaxing face mask like Ekel’s Royal Jelly Hydrating Face Mask Sheet. It will give your face a rejuvenating feel. With the face cleansed, time to move onto the body. You can make a homemade body scrub at home. Here’s a simple brown sugar and coconut oil scrub recipe you can try out. The scrub will remove any dead skin cells and will improve your blood circulation. Exfoliation is a great way for your body to get softer and newer skin. To end the home spa on a high note, follow your body exfoliation with a relaxing bubble bath.
When it comes to de-cluttering, it does not have to be a full-fledged spring cleaning activity as that can be overwhelming in itself. You can instead work on specific areas in the house. Like for example, for today, you can put your focus on your desk. If your pens are scattered all over the table, you can gather them together in one pile and put them in a cute mug. In terms of your cables and cords, for only 38 EGP, you can buy a Joyroom cable organizer to gather all the cables together so they are not all over the place and adding very unnecessary clutter.
For tomorrow, your focus can be on your closet. You can try grouping your clothes so they are easier to find. For example, you can organize them by color. One shelf can have all your white shirts and tops, another shelf can consist of your blue, green and yellow tops and so on. There are many other ways to organize or group your clothing depending on your preferences. You can continue this bite sized dose of daily de-cluttering to your hearts content.
6. Get Some Fresh Air
Going outside and breathing in some fresh air lead to a lot of health perks. With the outside having more oxygen than indoor spaces, you’ll get more Oxygen into your lungs which will help to circulate more oxygen around your body, boosting your energy levels. It can also be an opportunity to reflect back on your day.
If you have access to a roof or even a balcony, you can make a quick cup of tea with milk, take a chair and sit under the star light. While sipping on your tea, you can enjoy the view of the star studded sky. You can even download the app SkyView and use it to identify the constellations.
However, if you prefer a more active route and have access to a place to walk, you can pop on your earphones and take a nice long walk while listening to a podcast, audiobook or some relaxing, positive music like Mohamed Mounir’s ‘El Forsa’.
7. Make your own at home movie theater
A great way to not only unwind but also boost your mood is with a nice tub of popcorn and your favorite movie. You can go for a cute classic rom com like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” or the Egyptian classic “إشاعة حب”. If you’re more in the mood for some comedy, you can watch the fan favorite “طير انت” or any of Ahmed Helmy’s flicks.
To make the night even more fun you can prepare special snacks for the occasion. A known favorite of many are chocolate chip cookies. For a simple and very delicious recipe, you can try out Tasty’s simple chocolate chip cookies. While your in the process of baking, don’t forget to lick the batter off the spatula as that is always the best part If you have any vanilla ice cream, they would be the perfect accompaniment to the chewy cookies.
Once the snacks and movie are all set, sit on your favorite couch if your using the TV or lay on your bed if your using your laptop and enjoy!
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