This is it! The Self Care Experiment comes to a close (it’s been real y’all). I have learnt a lot about self care, and at the end of this post I will revealing my conclusions, opinions and scoring how much of a difference self care has made to my month. But, first…we have the final three days to look through.
Day 28: Recite Affirmations
Affirmations are cute little sayings that are supposed to uplift you, and reset your mindset to be more positive. Typically, people who practise daily affirmations tend to stand in front of a mirror and say encouraging sentences, as though they are having a conversation with themselves. People say them in the morning (instead of get up bitch, its more that you go bitch), and before bed.
Daily affirmations should be tailored to you, so whatever is going on in your life, that’s what your affirmations should reflect (I did my research here). When I thought about what affirmations would suit me, I thought of my mental illnesses, the struggles of being gay in an ignorant society, and other trials and tribulations that have shaped me into the woman I am today. Overall, I think it’s good to have little mantras to remind yourself of how important you are, but the whole standing in front of a mirror thing is not for me.
So here are my affirmations:
- I’m getting stronger every day
- I know my worth
- This storm will pass
- I am proud of who I am
Review: Be proud of you. Be proud of what you’ve faced. If I’m standing in front of a mirror, I’m looking at me.
Day 29: Watch the Sunset
Ahh, the end of the day can bring such beauty. And what’s more romantic than watching a glorious sunset? Unless you’re single and its too cloudy for a colourful sunset.
So, watching the sunset has been on my self care list for a while, and I have been waiting for the right evening to take a moment outside and appreciate the sunset. On Day 29, it had been a bit cloudy, but there had been some clear spells (obviously the Brit is talking about the weather), and it was pretty mild. I had set a reminder on my phone to let me know when the sun was due to set, and then destined moment came…and it was rubbish! There was no orange/red ombre, or no pink skies – just cloud and darkness.
Review: Watch the sunset. Unless it’s cloudy. Sigh.
Day 30: Go Out With a Friend
Friendships are some of the most important relationships you form in your lifetime (but for more wishy washy content on friendship, see my post Friends, Romans, Countrymen).
Spending time with friends can turn a crappy day into a happy day (that rhyming tho). A couple of days before Day 30, I had been trying to get a doctors appointment for my mental illnesses, and due to poor NHS funding and unhelpful reception staff I was unable to do so – forcing me to ration my medication in order to avoid going cold turkey. As a result, I had been having some pretty dark days. Prior to this, however, I had made arrangements with one of my oldest friends (in that we’ve been friends since we were about 8, not that’s she’s super old) and I was determined to get myself out of the house to see her.
It was so WONDERFUL. We laughed, gossiped (I’m a gay, get over it) and went for desserts…what more could you want? Afterwards, I felt refreshed and talking to someone I trust about my struggles with my mental illnesses was extremely beneficial.
Review: People are friends, not food. Desserts are needed on bad days. Who needs internal enemies when you have friends.
Self Care Experiment Review:
The journey has come to a close, and so it is time to review the whole process.
With the average score for the first three weeks being 4/5, after the fourth and final week, the score dropped down to an average of 3/5. Now, there are a few factors that I think affected the score, and if we look at the decimals (we’re not going to though) then there wasn’t a significant decrease. One factor that I think affected the score, and became apparent throughout this journey, was that there are some self care practises that I didn’t enjoy that others might enjoy. If we take the nail painting from Day 22, I really disliked doing that and I didn’t feel any positivity from it – but that’s just me! The same happened when I had to colour in a picture on Day 8, but some people find it incredibly relaxing. For me, my favourite practises included decluttering my wardrobe (see Day 17) and reading on Day 9, and others might hate the thought of both.
The moral of the story is, self care is important but you need to choose practises that make you happy – rather than watch an influencer doing a face mask and then thinking that you have to do the same. Taking time for you, is vital and I can’t recommend it enough. Find what is right for you.
Photo Credit 📷: Oscar Ivan Esquivel Arteaga