24 Hour Self Care Sunday
Since beginning to research the importance of self-care, I have learnt just how beneficial it is to incorporate a self-care Sunday into my week. I have come to the simple conclusion that although we should practise it every day, having a special day in which I particularly focus on it, makes it easier to fit self-care into my routine. It’s also a positive and motivating reward after lots of hardwork.
And what better day than a Sunday?
Why You need a self-care day?
I used to mainly measure how well I was looking after myself through how often I would exercise or how healthy I was eating. Even though this wasn’t wrong, as these two things are fundamental in living a healthy lifestyle, I now realise that resting your body and feeding your soul from time to time is equally as important as HIIT workouts and eating enough greens.
By this I mean listening to your body and when it needs a break, enjoy a softer form of movement such as walking or yoga. By nourishing your soul, I mean letting yourself have the balance of indulging in treats when you really feel like it.
Having a self-care Sunday for me helps me keep that balance of working hard and being disciplined but also allows me to check in and renew my mind and body. It’s all about balance and enjoying the little things in life that make you smile.
You are the designer of your life and home.
Reasons to add self-care Sunday to your week:
- Feeds your soul and mind
- Replenishes and rests your body
- Less likely to get that ‘Sunday feeling’
- More likely to have a productive week
- Self-Care is the key to living a balanced and healthy lifestyle
Read my article on; “6 Types Of Self-Care & Why You Need Them”.
1. Give Yourself The Full 24 hours
Why do you need 24 hours? To properly benefit from the full day you need to start with 8 hours or more of wonderful sleep. This is especially easy at the moment as our Saturday nights are more resembling Sunday nights. And of course, you can do this any day of the week that you have free, it doesn’t have to be a Sunday. This is a great article by Dr Rangan Chatterjee interviewing Mathew Walker in which they discuss ‘Why Sleep is the Most Important Pillar of Health’
They don’t call it beauty sleep for no reason. So my first tip is…
Get an early night!
2. Waking Up Early – ‘ish’
You are probably thinking ‘what, self-care sunday doesn’t have a lie in?’ I understand but trust me on this one. If you have a huge sleep in, you are much more likely to feel sluggish and not get everything you want done. Early rising has often been linked to success, as well as improving levels of concentration, memory power and the amount of energy you carry with you for the rest of the day.
It’s a fantastic habit to build and can easily be acheived even if you take tiny steps at a time. For example, waking and getting up 5 minutes earlier each day until you are content.
I like to differentiate my weekdays from my weekends, as then I have more of a structure and a healthy balance. So instead of waking up at 7 am, I choose to wake up at 8 or 9 am, depending on what I need to do that day.
3. Tea Time!
Matcha is the perfect wake up call and will easily persuade you out of bed – even on the bad days. Not only is it earthy, warm and delicious, it has so many amazing benefits, like providing you with more energy, antioxidants and aiding concentration levels. I’ve tried multiple different ones but by far my favourite matcha powder is Pure Chimp’s. The brand itself is also great as everything is 100% natural and they give 5% of their profits to charity.
To make this feel like a proper Sunday, after I’ve made my morning matcha (or you could go for a steaming mug of coffee), I make myself a decadent but healthy breakfast – my top Sunday pick is fluffy buckwheat pancakes with stewed berries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. When all of this is balanced precariously in my arms, I hop back into bed again, grab a great book or magazine and sit back and relax.
3. Time To Get Moving
So now we are fully renewed and feel truly rested it’s time to get our body moving. I love to start my day with some kind of exercise and fresh air. I find it wakes me up, gives me a rush of endorphins and puts me in a good mood, no matter what. A morning walk for me is a necessity and I would highly recommend incorporating it into your daily routine.
As it’s a Sunday, after a walk – if your body feels like it – a great thing to do is some yoga or pilates. I only discovered pilates in the last couple of months and way prefer it to yoga as it works muscles I never even realised existed.
Regardless, do whatever you feel like doing and whatever makes you happy, it’s your day so do something you love. If maybe you don’t have as much time in the week to go for runs or cycling, then Sunday is a good day for it. Or perhaps you‘re knackered and even a walk is too big of an ask, it is down to you.
4. Wash Away the Worries of the Week
What would be a self-care routine without a candlelit bubble bath? Or a candlelit shower? I mean come on, this really is a necessity.
Tips & Tricks To Try For The Ultimate Bubble Bath:
- Add a few drop of lavendar essential oil – the scent of lavender is believed in aromatherapy to help with anxiety, relaxation, depression, insomnia and even menstrual cramps. (Source)
- Epsom Salts – 3 or 4 handfuls of this in your bath can reduce soreness, muscle pain and stress levels and the theory is the magnesium and sulfate absorbs into your skin. Whenever my muscles ache, these are what I reach for. (Source)
- Listen To a podcast or read a book
- Use a hair or face mask to feel fully pampered
- Light some candles or incense
5. Setting Goals For The Week Ahead
If you are a planner like me, then to properly prepare for the week ahead and to fully relax, some sort of planning is usually a good idea.
Starting your week on a Sunday could be the answer for you. Sounds a bit weird? Well, by doing this you are less likely to get the Monday Blues as you’ve already started the day before. What I like to do, is sit down after my pamper and write down my goals; what I want and need to achieve in the next week.
My Tip & Trick:
Use some visualisation to develop your future and your goals. Imagine you have woken up and it is Friday, now write down all the things you are proud to have achieved during your week. Turning what you have imagined into reality is your plan for the week ahead, you are much more likely to stay productive and organized as you have visualised how it feels to succeed.
6. Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
Now you have your goals and have thought of the future, time to come back to the present. By practicing gratitude and mindfulness you are appreciating what you already have. It’s great to have aspirations but if you spend your whole life wishing for what you don’t possess, you will never be comfortable.
Tips & Tricks:
- Guided meditation
- Your own meditation or deep breathing
- Or if that’s not your cup of tea, you could perform an act of kindness to someone you love. For example, sending a fun care package in the post or checking up on a friend.
7. Feed Your Mind
Watching a great series on Netflix? Go for it, why not. But if you are searching to do something for your intellectual self-care whilst relaxing, how about switching to a documentary – something you find interesting or about one of your passions?
Tips & Tricks To Stay Productive On Your Self-Care Day:
- Reading a book (The Power Of Now I would highly recommend)
- Organize, clean or de-clutter
- Listen to a podcast
- Do some baking or cooking (perhaps a comforting bowl of soup? I tried this delicious recipe the other day)
Read my article on; ‘6 simple and effective ways to de-clutter your entire home’.
8. Be Kind To Yourself
Now, this may seem like an obvious one but actually, it’s probably the most important. This article isn’t called a self-care sunday for nothing! There is no point in taking time out to look after yourself and have that ‘me-time’ if you don’t let yourself enjoy it.
Struggling with that guilty feeling at the back of your mind? Remembering all the work you could be doing? Or worrying about how you ‘should’ be doing something else? It’s a vicious circle and I completely get it. But what you have to understand is by giving yourself time to rest and replenish, you are being proactive.
If you are constantly putting yourself in a state of stress and running around all the time, you will over-exhaust yourself which is counter-intuitive and will only make things worse. Read this article on exhaustion and why it is so vital that you take the time to rest.
Takeaways For Your Self Care Sunday:
- Get enough Sleep
- Wake up early – so you can fully appreciate your day
- Enjoy breakfast in bed
- Move your body – some fresh air always starts the day off well
- Have a pamper session
- Start your week off by setting your goals and planning ahead
- Live in the now through some meditation
- Save some time for the intellectual side of self-care
- And ”Be Still and Be Kind” – remember it is all about balance!