Self Care Beyond the Surface

 Photo by  Arzu Kir

Photo by Arzu Kir

We’re not talking about pampering or treat yo-self today.


I feel like I talk about self care a lot in my personal life. It’s a topic I’d like to continue to talk about, in its various forms, here as well. Because sometimes even the most self aware people find themselves run down and worn out, having somehow forgotten to slow down for their own sake. Because there’s often someone out there who, at this moment, needs a little reminder. Because sometimes I need a reminder myself.

So today, instead of publishing a post about my experience moving overseas, my heart wants to talk about this instead.

To talk about slowing down. De-stressing. Reviving your energy levels. Taking time for yourself. And knowing what you can do to rebuild from within.

Ground yourself with gratitude

When sh*t is hitting the fan, or you’re just feeling completely worn out, it’s so easy to see everything that’s going wrong — everything that’s contributed to feeling depleted. But so much of it is perspective. Reshaping your thoughts to focus on gratitude, as obvious (and sometimes cringy) as it sounds, makes a massive difference in your overall mood.

Me? I’m wrapping up my first term of grad school. And let me tell you, a masters program is no joke. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days I came home from class exhausted and irritable. But then I remind myself how hard I worked to get here. I remind myself how grateful I am to be exhausted doing something I enjoy rather than something I can’t stand.

Though I’m well aware that there are days and circumstances where you can’t find it within yourself to turn something seemingly unideal into a blessing. In these cases, focus on the pieces of light in your life you may have forgotten about or taken for granted: FaceTimes with family, the coffee you had to start your morning, slipping into your favourite pajamas at the end of a long day — whatever makes you happy. Trust me, you’ll find your list is endless.

Spend time with the people who lift you up

It goes without saying, but your time is too valuable to be spent with people who drain you of your spirit. You know those people who radiate energy? The ones who make you feel infinitely lighter after you’ve spent time with them? Those are the people you want to keep close. My friends and family keep my heart full, and my mascara smeared (for someone who cries of laughter all too often, I have still not been converted to waterproof mascara — oops). Spending time with them is a crucial part of feeling my best.

Get offline

In whatever capacity suits you. Whether it’s reading a book, spending time outdoors, or my personal favourite — a nice combination of both. I promise you won’t miss out if you take a break from Netflix, or * gasp * social media.

After moving to London, I was pretty MIA in the digital world and it was so refreshing. I’m not saying you have to delete your accounts and shun all things technology, but are you really going to look back in 10 years and think “damn, I wish I would have scrolled through Instagram just a bit more”? Think about it.

With love,

Esra