Wellbeing – Make some Free Time for some Free Self Care

At Annabel & Grace magazine, we firmly believe that we women should remember to look after ourselves as well as those we love. For many of us, years of nurturing others has meant we leave little time for self care – that needs to change!

But what does ‘self care’ mean to you? For some it means spending time on a new skincare routinekeeping fit, relaxing with a good book, seeing friends, pulling off a new recipe or getting outside in the fresh air.

Love all of the above so I’ve got a new routine that I’d like to share with you all. As one of life’s procrastinators, I need some sort of system for my self care. So I’ve started regularly doing a couple of things every morning before I get on with my day. I find it best to start my routine before I do anything else. Then the rest of the day somehow seems all the more pleasant.

FREE YOGA

Adriene with her much loved dog Benji

After I’ve showered, I pull on my underwear and spend a few minutes doing some yoga. I probably should wear some leggings then I wouldn’t have to look at my unnervingly crinkled thighs when I’m doing a downward dog! But hey ho, such is life. Much like aching knees and twitchy hips – both of which I find immeasurably better so long as I manage even just 10 minutes yoga a day. If I take a break, the tweaks and niggles flare up again.

I am a huge fan of Adriene Mischler – a 37 year old American teacher based in Austin, Texas. Her soothing voice welcomes everyone, whatever your age or ability. The fact that she’s been uploading free yoga on YouTube for years and has 10 million devotees says a lot.

What I particularly like about her YouTube yoga is that I can choose whichever of her many videos suits me best… this morning it was Yoga For Low Back and Hamstrings, yesterday for my Neck and the other day, yoga for Stress. There are so many routines – some of them very short, many of them very gentle indeed, so even if you are new to yoga I think you will find Adriene a real tonic at the start of each day. You don’t even need a yoga mat and some can be done in a chair. Am only mentioning this because I truly feel that even the gentlest yoga improves not only your aches and pains but also your flexibility, breathing and mood. It truly sets you up for the day.

FREE FACE YOGA

I was first introduced to this by The Joy Club and enjoyed it so much that I decided to do some exercises every morning before starting work on A&G. Again, this doesn’t take long and everyone raves about the benefits which include healthy, glowing skin, firmed and lifted muscles (including the jawline – hurray!) and smoothed lines and wrinkles. The massage element of the routine helps to boost circulation, improve lymphatic drainage, and release tension.

Thanks to world leading expert Danielle Collins, you too can spend 10 minutes giving your face a gentle workout. I like her instructions which are clear and concise. I like to apply a little serum, moisturiser or facial oil before I begin. My skin always feels vibrant and glowing afterwards. Again, Danielle does a range of free YouTube videos, so you can just choose the one you feel like doing each morning. You’ll be making some strange faces, but I think it’s worth it! It’s also the perfect activity to keep your stress levels down while you’re holding on the phone for customer services to answer!

Danielle Collins

FREE FRESH AIR

If it is not bucketing down with rain or a howling gale, I then get outside. Working from home, I could easily find myself stuck in my study the entire day, so I am making a real effort to go for a walk or a cycle (even if it’s a very short one!) before I settle down to work. Easier in the summer I readily agree, but a pair of lightweight walking boots take me safely down any path, dry or muddy. Being in nature has scientifically proven benefits and is, again, totally free.

I’ll be 70 next year and it seems to me that it’s more important than ever that I keep myself fit and healthy. Don’t care about my wrinkles these days (well, not much) – although I have to say that the face yoga and my new skincare routine of hyaluronic (£5.90) in the day and retinoid (£11.90) – both by The Ordinary – before I go to bed seem to be working – mind you my bathroom lighting is very flattering (essential for one’s daily dose of self esteem!)

Did you read our wellbeing articles on Pamper Missions?

6 Comments

  1. Thank you Grace for such a brilliant article. I agree with everything you say. It’s so easy to make excuses or put off taking time out for ourselves and I have lately been dealing with the results of that. You have encouraged me to not waste anymore time and just get on with enjoying spending some time on myself! I think you look wonderful on your bike. Have fun. Andrea x

    • Hi Andrea, thanks for getting in touch and for your kind comments. Even for a procrastinator like myself, I tell myself to “just do it!” and I’m always glad that I have… best wishes, Grace

  2. I really enjoy your writing Grace. I am the same age and live in the suburbs of Chicago, IL in the USA and I am always amazed how we all face the same challenges. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Eileen

  3. Thank you Grace. I have tried messaging before but perhaps you and Annabel didn’t get it, but I’d really love it if you two would do an article on your daily routines: that Means what do you tend to eat, what do you do for mental health, what do you do for exercise, what do you do for relaxation.

    I think you both look absolutely marvellous and I would like to emulate you as best I can. I am a postmenopausal 61-year-old who has a few health issues and is overweight. I suspect you have a tried and trusted and routine that keeps you looking gorgeous and slim and fit and healthy Both physically and mentally. Onward! And thank you for your honest articles.

    • Hi Tess. I think everyone is different and no one regime will suit all. One thing we all do have in common is to try and take time to nuture ourselves. You may be postmenopausal and not as slim as you’d like, but you are beautiful in your own special way. We need to love ourselves – thinking less about our perceived faults and more about what is good in our lives. Walking in the fresh air, gentle yoga and being positive make good start (in my humble opinion) to being happier with ourselves, faults and all. Best wishes, Grace

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