Self-Care Interview with Lauren Sandom
"It took me a while to make sure I viewed self-care as important as my other daily tasks, but I think consistency is key."
Loz is a lifestyle blogger who writes about her journey towards to sustainability and eco-friendly self-care. She is a mental health advocate and likes to share her tips how to look after your mental health. In her free time she loves to draw, read, and spend time with her collection of tarot and oracle decks.
What does self-care mean to you?
To me, self-care as a general idea means being kind to yourself. Treating yourself the way you would treat your loved ones. Giving yourself the time, love, and patience that you need to thrive in day to day life. I see it as a way to preserve and regenerate my energy. But I also see it as a way to be mindful, and to learn to care for not only myself but others and the planet too. We’re all intrinsically linked, so it makes sense that self-care has a knock-on effect.
Has your perception of self-care changed, particularly with the events of this year?
A little! I value self-care a lot and I know that I am only at my best if I’m taking care of myself, but sometimes I find myself in a cycle of being ‘too busy’ for self-care. When we were first placed in Lockdown, I suddenly had all this extra time, and I felt like I needed to fill it with new tasks, jobs, and a longer ‘to-do’ list. It took me a while to realise that, actually, it was the opportunity I needed to make sure I was consistently practicing self-care!
Now, I understand even more just how beneficial self-care can be, and no matter what happens in the future, I’ll always make sure I schedule the time I need to take care of myself.
What are some of the misconceptions around self-care?
I think a lot of people hear the phrase ‘self-care’ and imagine bath bombs and face masks. It’s generally quite a feminised term, which means it sometimes isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. In reality, everyone should be practicing self-care, regardless of gender! Self-care is so much more than a candle-lit bath (although that is a great example of what self-care can be)!
Instead, it’s about creating a connection with yourself on a deeper level, and understanding what it is your own mind, body, and soul needs to thrive. If that’s a face mask then great! But it can be anything you want or need it to be. I think if more people took it seriously, they would realise just how beneficial self-care can be.
What are some of your favourite self-caring activities or affirmations?
My favourite self-care activity has to be exploring nature. My partner and I love to go for walks and have recently taken up bird-watching! We make sure to get at least one walk in a week, and it has done wonders for my mental health. I think allowing yourself the time to forget about the stresses of daily life is a really important way to take care of yourself! Other than that, I also love to draw, read, and spend time with my collection of tarot and oracle decks.
With regards to the affirmations, I have a few! I love a good affirmation, and I would have to say my most used self-care affirmation is; ‘I am allowed to be happy’. As a perfectionist who is often quite hard on myself, I find this affirmation really helps me to remember that I am doing my best!
How do you make sure you’re regularly prioritising self-care?
It took me a while to make sure I viewed self-care as important as my other daily tasks, but I think consistency is key. I make sure I always have an hour before bedtime for chilling and doing things that make me happy, like having a bath or reading a book. I’ve also set aside Saturday mornings for my weekly walks. Being consistent with the time you set aside for self-care eventually builds habits, so it ends up being second-nature! It also gives you something to look forward to and work towards, which is especially helpful when I’m having a stressful time at work!
Why is it so important to keep going even when you’re feeling better in yourself?
As I said before, consistency is key. If you make sure you are constantly practicing self-care, you will have those habits set up for the days when you’re feeling not-so-good. I also think that it helps to prevent burnout, stress, and other mental and physical problems that come with not looking after yourself. I know when I’ve let my self-care slip when I start to feel fatigued and depressed. By practicing self-care regularly you can help prevent the bad days, rather than waiting until it’s too late!
Check out Loz's blog www.positivelyloz.co.uk