Showing posts with label self care

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There’s nothing better than a self-care evening, especially if you’ve had a stressful day or week. Sometimes we just need to take some time out to focus solely on ourselves and practising self-care can really help both your physical and mental health. In today’s post, I’m sharing some self-care ideas that I would personally say work best in the evening but obviously, it depends on what time works best for you. I’ve tried to include a variety of different things so you can pick and choose what you like the sound of the most and you could build your own little self-care routine from the ideas.

-If a product is marked with an * then it is a PR sample. This post does not contain any sponsored content-


I thought I’d do a little blog post about some ways to practise self-care this Spring. Also, I’m not going to lie I’m kind of writing this blog post for myself to take note from considering I’ve been a total stress head lately. So if you’re like me and need to take some time out and do things which are good for your mental wellbeing then hopefully this post might be helpful. 

-If a product is marked with an * then it is a PR sample. This post contains an affiliate code-

I reviewed some products from handmade and cruelty-free brand Fat & The Moon on my blog here last year and since then they've changed up their packaging a little and added more products to their evergrowing range so I'm back again with a review of three more products from them which are all available via Live in The LightTheir products are all handmade in California and their founder created the brand for people who prefer to use natural but effective alternatives to chemical-filled products. The brand is all about self-care, self-love and healing which I really like.

-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted to me. This post is also in collaboration-
 Although we're technically not in "lockdown" anymore because of our incompetent government (let's not get into that in this post) I'm still staying home as much as possible just because I feel safer that way and so does everyone else in my household thankfully. I know I'm kind of lucky because I already work from home and a lot of people don't have that option and have to go into work because of the new "rules" but I thought I'd share some ways that I've practising self-care during my time in lockdown as they're things that everybody can do.
-This post contains PR/Gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I thought I'd talk about some simple ways that I do self care when I'm feeling stressed or when i just need to "switch off" from everything. These are all super simple, easy things I can do at home, no matter what time of day it is which is handy considering how messed up my sleeping pattern is right now. 


When I'm in my self-care mode I like to watch or read something that's been on my watch list or reading list for a while but I've just not got around to watching or reading them. I think this because then I'll invest all of my attention into it instead of checking my phone or writing my to-do list for the next day etc. At the minute I've got a lot of films on my watch list that I haven't seen yet from Crazy Rich Asians, Mary Queen of Scots, Toy Story 4 and more but if you have any good suggestions then let me know in the comments.



I've said this before on my blog but when I've got my nails painted I feel like I have my shit together. If I want to give myself a bit of a boost if I'm feeling a bit crap then I'll paint my nails. I have been loving doing my own gel nails recently but if I want something quick and don't want to faff around then I'll just use basic nail polish instead. I was recently sent some of Sensationail's new Nailtural range which are composed of up to 85% bio-sourced ingredients such as potato, corn and wheat which means the formula is 100% cruelty-free and vegan friendly. They have 20 polish shades to choose from, so there's definitely going to be something for everyone! The polishes are also 10-free which means that they're free from the 10 most commonly used toxic ingredients in nail polish but it doesn't mean that the formula lacks in any way. I was sent 2 of the shades - "Optimistic Orchid*" which is a lovely deep purple-red shade and "Sensitive Storm*" which is a lovely medium grey shade. I'll admit, I wouldn't have necessarily have chosen the two shades I was sent because I like my nude shades more than anything but now I've tried the two shades I really like them and I think they're perfect for autumn/winter (I'm so done with summer right now). I really like the formula and the shiny finish they give even before applying the Fast Dry Shiny Top Coat* also from the Nailtural range. The brush isn't too big or small so you can apply the polish at ease and they also dry really fast too. I'm definitely going to be picking up a few more shades from this range soon once I'm done with my beauty spending ban. You can pick them up from the Sensationail website from just £9.90.

Turning off my phone off or having a social media detox is something I've been doing a lot lately. It's already made my screen time significantly drop which was something I was aiming to do and I just find that you need to get out of the "bubble" of social media sometimes even though it's technically my job to be online a lot of the time. I'm not going to lie, I've really been struggling with my mental health over the past month, mainly due to my chronic pain basically stopping me from living my life and because I keep being messed around by brands who owe me money (what's new) and there's also been other things going on too. So when I'm having a really bad time with my anxiety/depression, the last thing I want to do is go on social media where everyone seems fine and happy. No offence. 


Now let's go back to the basics... popping on a nice face mask has been one of my favourite go-to self care rituals for a long time. I find that using a nice face mask not only is a good way to take 15 minutes out of your day to just relax but it should also (hopefully) help with any skin issues you may be dealing with too. I'm really liking the Evolve Beauty Radiant Glow Organic Face Mask* which literally smells like a chocolate dream and it also washes off easily and leaves your skin feels super soft. I've also been enjoying The Body's Shop's Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask which has an almost jelly-like consistency which warms up when you first apply it and exfoliates your skin leaving it looking more awake and refreshed. I highly recommend both of them!


I don't really follow any breathing exercises but I find that just breathing in and breathing out deeply without counting the seconds you're breathing in or out really helps when I'm stressed or when I'm tired but struggling to fall asleep. It's so simple but it really is a miracle worker. Also making sure I relax my shoulders is something I'm trying to do more because I've been getting really achy shoulders and neck pain recently. Something else I've gotten into recently is light stretching which has been helping with my chronic pain a little. I've now spent over 18 months being very inactive because of my chronic pain and I just feel so weak. So I'm trying to do little bits of exercise when I feel like I can and stretching is one of the more simple ways to exercise. I've also bought a rowing machine but I'm yet to try it out because I'm literally scared of using it and making my pain really flare up but I'll have to try it out soon and see how I get on.
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-*This post is in collaboration with ThriveTalk, all opinions are my own. It also contains PR/gifted items-
 Some days I hate myself and I hate my body due to my chronic pain and I purposely don't give my body the self-care and rest it needs because I'm so annoyed (silly right?). Other days, I'm kinder to myself and stop kicking myself when I have to take a day off work, cancel plans and say no to a blogging opportunity etc. I'm trying to be kinder to myself as this is just me now and I have to accept that. I think anyone reading this with a chronic illness/chronic pain will understand where I am coming from. 

So how do I do self care when I'm basically crippled up in pain with my back or pelvic pain and can barely move from my bed and/or on days when I'm feeling really down in the dumps?

Catching up on sleep or or even allowing myself to have a cheeky nap in the afternoon if I really feel I need to works wonders most of the time. I've also found that using a self heating Space Masks eye masks* has been a complete game changer on nights when I'm struggling to sleep or even if I have a bad stress or hormonal headache. It is more of a luxury product but it does help.

I'm a big fan of using face masks in general and I prefer to use clay based masks usually just because they suit my oily skin the best. However on days when I'm feeling unwell or when I'm just feeling low but want a pick-me-up I tend to pop on a quick fix face mask like the Sanctuary Spa 1 Minute Daily Glow Face Mask, Pixi Glow-o2 Oxygen Mask or a sheet mask. I highly recommend Yes To and Oh K! for sheet masks btw. 

I've come to the conclusion that Multi Use Balms are such a good invention! My current fave is the Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream* and I always keep it either on top of my bedside table or somewhere in my bedside table drawers as I use it every single day. I've found it to be great to use as a lip balm, eye cream, hair balm and hair mask and it can also be used in more ways too. It contains Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis.

I really enjoy watching something funny and/or cheerful when I'm feeling rubbish. I'm currently rewatching Stella which is brilliant (starring Ruth Jones) and I'm watching the final season Jane the Virgin which always makes me laugh without fail. I also like to listen to happy, sing along kind of songs too just to try and perk me up.

I've found that having a warm bath filled with Epsom salts or Pink Himalayan bath salts has really been helping to calm my pain when it first starts to flare up bad. I obviously like to use some Lush products including their shower gels and bath bombs too. 


-L-R from top to bottom: Strike a Posie, Follow The Petals, I Feel Flower-ful
Gardenia My Heart, Merci Bouquet, Young, Wild and Free-sia-
-Wearing the shade Merci Bouquet*-
 I know it may sound silly but sometimes just painting my nails a pretty colour just makes me feel like I have my life together (when I really don't lol). I've been really enjoying Morgan Taylor's Spring Collection nail polishes* as they are literally my perfect kind of shades as I love a pastel or nude colour on my nails. I'm not too keen on super bold shades as I just don't think they suit me. The Morgan Taylor polishes apply so easily and they stay on well too. I also love the names of the shades - Strike a Posie, Follow The Petals, I Feel Flower-ful, Gardenia My Heart, Merci Bouquet, Young, Wild and Free-sia (see above photos for reference).

I don't want to sound horrible but sometimes talking to my family or friends on either the phone or via text is the last thing I need when I'm in a lot of pain or feeling low. It kind of drains my energy even more. However I know they are always there for me if I do need or want to reach out and have a chat or just to tell them how I'm feeling. I've got a good bunch of people around me who I know I can rely on and the past year has really shown who is really there for me no matter what and who isn't. I've also reconnected with some old friends over the past year too which has been nice.

Getting out of the house in general is quite hard for me. It's not that I don't want to make plans or go out shopping and etc. It's because I don't know how I'm going to be feeling from one minute to the next as my pain can just come on strong and that's it, I'm pretty much on the floor in agony. Thankfully I find CBD oil and balms help to take the edge off the pain most of the time. But I definitely have the fear of flaring up in the middle of a supermarket or shop and having a crowd of people around me wondering what's going on and that really plays on my mind even when I'm having a better day. But if I feel like getting out of the house then I will try to. Sometimes even just having a little walk down my garden and back up again is a good way to clear my mind and to get some fresh air if I've been stuck in the house for a few days.

Haley Neidich, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and the clinical director of ThriveTalk.com and has some great tips and advice on doing self care when you have a chronic illness.

She says "It's easy for mental health and wellness professionals to preach about self-care, but self-care takes real devotion and the underlying ability to care for, nurture and honour yourself. When you're dealing with a chronic illness, self-care looks much different. Self-care with a chronic illness is honouring where you are and what you're capable of on any given day and being very patient and kind with yourself on the days where you have less to give. In practice, self care can be as simple as closing your eyes for one deep breath, peering out the window to really soak in the view, listening to a great song that takes you away or having a morning journalling practice. One of the greatest gifts that those suffering from chronic illness can give themselves is the space to talk about their feelings. Talking to an online counselor is a great option for those you might be short on energy but nee the support." 


How do you do self-care and what ways work best for you?

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*This is a collaborative post
I know people throw the word "self-care" around for basically anything and everything nowadays but I really do think I've nailed my perfect cosy self care evening and what I feel works best for me when I'm having a bit of a rubbish day/week and just want to take some time out and get away from everything and just have some "me time". It's no secret, this year has been a tough one for me - I'll even go as far as saying it's literally been the worst year ever. Yep. So I've been having a lot of self care evenings to try and make me feel better and take my mind off everything, even though it's hard when my body apparently hates me and wants me to be in pain pretty much 24/7 - yay



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You may have heard the term ‘Self Care Sunday’ used by bloggers and Instagram stars recently. It’s a new trendy term used to describe taking some time to pamper and treat yourself once a week, normally on a Sunday. This could be anything from going for a
walk to mindfulness, or even just spending an extra hour in bed if your body needs it!



The benefits of taking time out for a bit of self-care can be huge. You’ll be able to de-stress, unwind from your week, and get prepared for the week ahead. Time spent looking after yourself can also make you feel happier, calmer and able to sleep better. Sounds great, right?


Read on for our easy tips to have a blissful #SelfCareSunday.

Ultimate Self Care Sunday Routine -

Have a lie-in

This is probably the easiest way to take care of yourself. Spending a little extra time in bed is a great way to recuperate after a tough week. Listen to what your body is telling you - if you need an extra couple of hours in bed, go for it!

Make a to-do list

Simply writing out a to-do list for the week ahead can help you to feel calmer about tackling your tasks. It’s easy to feel a little anxious when it seems like you have lots to do and no time to do it, but breaking it down into manageable tasks will help it to feel a lot less daunting.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation which can help to train your mind to be a little calmer, help you to reduce stress and manage the symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. The free app Headspace is a great place to start, or you can find plenty of short guides on YouTube.

Prepare some nutritious food

Making sure you’re eating well is a great way to show yourself some love. Why not try a smoothie bowl with lots of yummy toppings for a quick nutritional boost, or whip up a big stir fry for a hearty dinner.

Figure out how to fit more self-care into your week

Although it’s great to set aside a chunk of time once per week to give yourself a little attention, spend a little time figuring out how to fit more self-care into your week.

Try adding a multivitamin such as Wellwoman from Vitabiotics to your daily routine, or get off the bus a bit earlier and walk to work. Little changes like these will have a real impact on your mental and physical health and will give you a little boost throughout the week.

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*in collaboration with Vitabiotics 





So this is another posted stolen from my old blog that I've kind of abandoned (explained in my previous post) But I've tweaked this post a little. I was planning on writing up a new post but plans changed I kind of ran out of time to write one. Will write that one up tomorrow and post probably on Friday. Admittedly when I wrote this I was going to do a Top Five but it’s impossible to choose just 5 products when I love so many. I’m a complete sucker for Lush. I have been for about 2 years now. If I go in a Lush, it’s takes ages to get me out of the doors again (it’s like I’m hypnotised by all the colours and gorgeous smells or something) Since swapping and changing products from other brands to Lush, my skin has got better and I have found products which really do what they say. Another reason why I love them is because you get free samples when you ask them so I’m not wasting money on things that maybe don’t work for me or I don’t like the smell of etc.

Also another thing I wanted to add is that I just got these product pictures from google because I haven't got all of these products in to take pictures of right now. I was expecting my delivery to arrive before posting this post but it hasn't been dispatched yet :(
My Top Ten aren’t in any order and all these are products which are all available at all times and not special occasion/seasonal products. 


Rose Jam Bubbleroon
So the Rose Jam scent is one I discovered due to the Boxing Day sales. Personally I’m not usually a huge fan of rose scent so I never bothered even giving it a try. I think it smells maybe a little old fashioned sometimes and doesn’t stay on for long. But the Rose Jam Shower Gel came in the “Home For Christmas” gift set and now I ration it because I love it so much but it never comes in the Lush Kitchen and waiting until it's released in the Christmas range is so annoying. It’s a different kind of Rose smell, it’s less old fashioned and smells sweeter and stronger and it lingers for hours and hours. So the next best thing to the Rose Jam Shower gel is the Bubbleroon. It turns your water into a lovely deep pink and makes tons of bubbles. I use this when I need a pick me up pamper and it definitely makes me feel better. Price: £3.95.


American Cream Conditioner
This conditioner smells gorgeous and makes my hair look really healthy and shiny! I tend to only buy the smaller 100g bottle just because I think it is a tad pricey so I usually just put it in my mid lengths/ends when I have a pamper or fancy a change of conditioner and the smell sticks around until my next hair wash. It smells like strawberries and cream but not in a sickly way, more of a fresh way. Whenever I use this I can’t stop from smelling my hair either. (Yes I may look like a crazy person doing this but it’s so worth it) Price: £4.95


Twilight Bath Bomb
I know I said I didn’t put these in any order but this probably is my favourite product of all time from Lush. I think it was the first bath bomb I bought from there and it smells so good. Whenever I have a really bad day or when I need to try and get some extra hours sleep but feel quite awake I use this bath bomb. I’m never without one. I never shop in Lush or on the website without buying one of these amazing things. It smells like a sweet Lavender smell but not too overpowering like some lavender scents are. It’s just amazing. Currently priced at £3.75.


Intergalactic Bath Bomb
Minty fresh work of art. That’s how I would describe this. I probably would have this bath more in the morning/early afternoon because it does wake you up and gets you motivated for the rest of the day. But at the same time you may get sidetracked by all the colours and glitter and stay in the bath for hours too. (I did warn you)  But it’s definitely a refreshing treat for your body. Price: £4.25


Coal Face Facial Soap
Here we have my holy grail for part of my skin care routine. I have pretty oily skin on my t-zone and then I go through phases of dry skin on my cheeks here and there and then get dry patches on my chin then it goes really greasy again and then it goes around in a circle again and again. I did use to swear by the Dark Angels Exfoliating Cleanser but it was really drying out my skin more and when I bought it online it didn’t always have a long product life span left. Like I’ve literally had a Dark Angels which was dated to expire 3 weeks from when it arrived. I love the smell of charcoal though and my face literally squeaks after using Coalface and I think it’s mattifies my skin too. I’ve also noticed since using this, that my make up stays on my skin better as an added bonus. Definitely wouldn’t change to a different product and if it was discontinued I think I would have some sort of breakdown. Currently priced: £5.95 / 100g | £14.85 / 250g | £29.75 / 500g


Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub
This product I do love a lot which is why it’s in my Top 10 but I don’t really use it for what I should use it mainly for. I find it isn’t gritty enough for a shower scrub for me even when you use it on dry skin before getting in the shower like the pot suggests. It just doesn’t feel like it’s done anything. The reasons why I buy this product is because it makes my hair look voluminous because of the fine sea salt present and because it smells absolutely delicious. But if you’re looking for a really good exfoiliator then this probably isn’t your product. Maybe you should try looking at Cup o Coffee? Price for Rub Rub Rub: £8.95 / 350g | £14.95 / 665g


Big Shampoo
This makes me feel like a mermaid or like I have sea air in my hair. First of all I want to talk about is the smell! If they did it in a perfume I’d buy it in a heartbeat. I can’t even describe what the smell is but it’s so good. I find the sea salt is a little bit rough on my scalp sometimes though. But on the other hand it makes my usual frizzy natural hair look amazing and easy to work with and can help to make the perfect beach waves style on my hair. I think it’s more of a trial and test kind of product. I personally find that this is best used with Big Blue bath bomb just to get the perfect seaside feel. Price: £6.75 / 100g | £12.75 / 330g | £21.50 / 600g

Karma Soap
This lathers up so well and it’s last forever and doesn’t lose it’s scent. If I had to choose one soap to use for the rest of my life it would definitely be this. It’s uplifting, does what it supposed to do and is very well priced at £4.25 / 100g | £10.60 / 250g | £21.25 / 500g
If you like citrus-y smells this is definitely one for you.


Don’t Rain On My Parade Shower Gel

So this is a new one for me. It’s the most recent shower gel I’ve just bought purely because it smells of violets. It was sent with one of my orders as a unexpected extra sample but in the wash sheet version. The only reason I didn’t buy/sample this sooner is because of the blueberry juice that it says is present in it. But thankfully I can barely really smell the blueberries (I’m not a huge fan) and more of the violet kind of smell. Another good thing about this is that I love the colour of the gel and a little goes a long way because it lathers so well. I think the wash sheet sample smelled a little more, I don’t know… maybe musky? but in a good way but I still love the shower gel and will definitely repurchase. Price: £5.95 / 100g | £11.95 / 250g | £19.95 / 500g | £34.95 / 1kg

Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
Another newbie for me because I’d heard so many good things about this dusting powder! It was actually given to me in a Lush gift bag in April this year for my birthday. and I use it probably every other day and there’s still over 3/4 a bottle left. Considering it’s only a 60g bottle I think it’s lasting really well. It’s got a very light, delicate jasmine scent which is really lovely. I think considering I only got this just under 3 months ago and it’s made it’s way onto my top 10 lush products list, then I must really like it. I think it’s a must buy for summer time especially. Another good thing with this product that I’ve read about and also I’ve tried myself is that it can be used as a light deodorant too. Price: £4.95 / 60g
If you have any questions about any of the Lush products mentioned then don’t hesitate to comment this post or even tell me your favourites! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. New post will be up probably on Friday or over the weekend. Thanks for reading!
Kirsty x 
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