Sure, taking care of yourself involves a body scrub, sorting out your toe nails and deploying a much-needed hair mask, but it also goes way deeper than this – especially if you’ve got a habit of burning the candle at both ends. When you’re cramming a lot into life, it’s super-essential to recognise the tell-tale signs that you’re getting run down and are in need of a mind and body MOT. Now it's time for some real self love...
We’re talking about when it’s totally ok to say no to everything, hunker down at home and just do *you*. When was the last time that happened?
And it makes total sense, too. Because by giving yourself a little self-love now, you’ll be back on track – both physically and mentally – in time for the start of party season. Hurrah.
Here are five red flags to remind you that you’re in real need of an RnR sesh.
1. You’re getting sick
It’s not so much the full-on-flu sort of sickness you need to watch out for (we all know *that* beast needs taking care of), but instead a pesky low-grade illness that can hang around for weeks, slow you right down, yet isn’t deemed serious enough to take time off work. Urgh. This could be an un-shiftable cough, reoccurring headaches, or a cold sore outbreak that pops up out of nowhere. Emotional stress and depression can slightly weaken the immune system, which is why sickness often strikes when life gets out of balance. Skipping meals is a no-no, so factoring in time to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, remembering to guzzle more water, and not letting your sleep get out of whack can keep things on an even keel.
2. Your sleep is messed up
Talking of sleep, a good way to assess how you’re *really* feeling is to take a look at your sleep patterns. If there's a bout of insomnia going on or you've morphed into the incredible sleeping woman and can’t get up in the morning, it could be a sign your body needs something. Alcohol, the lack of natural light in winter, and increased stress levels can all play havoc with our circadian rhythms – the internal body clock – so reset it by establishing a ‘clean’ sleep routine. This means keeping devices out of the bedroom, giving yourself time to wind down in the evening (by reading, doing some gentle yoga, or having a bath) and attempting to stick to the same sleeping and waking times. Try this type of self love for a week to notice a difference.
3. You’re having a breakout
PMS spots can be expected, but if your skin suddenly gets all kind of gross – whether that’s dry and flaky or oily and spotty – it’s asking for some serious love. During times of stress, the body is flooded with the "fight-or-flight" hormone cortisol. A little of this is ok, but over a period of time, too much cortisol can stop the body functioning as it should. Cortisol can affect how the skin holds on to water (hello dehydration) and can increase inflammation that’s responsible for a breakout. Remember the mantra, healthy skin comes from the inside out so giving yourself some self love by reducing stress levels can have a positive effect on your complexion.
4. You’re cancelling plans
Yep we’re all super-busy, but if you’re starting to feel majorly overwhelmed by everything going on in your schedule rn, or are struggling to follow through on commitments, it might be a sign that you need to scale back before you burnout. Learning to say no is a honeable skill but we all fear disappointing others by letting them down (plus FOMO is real, right?). Follow your own track though – only you know how much is too much. By choosing self love and declining the non-essential diary fillers, you’re giving yourself a much needed breather to re-energise, re-focus and re-jig your priorities. Crucial.
5. You’re kinda aggy
Road rage? Queue rage? Instagram feed rage? If you’re usually pretty chilled yet you find yourself getting agro and annoyed over the slightest, tiny thing, your overloaded brain could be misfiring. Happiness and positive emotions are controlled by the brain’s frontal lobe, which freezes if bombarded by too much unnecessary information – you can literally stress yourself into a negative mindset. Calm your life and the happy vibes will follow.
If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.