How to Have the Perfect Self-care Sunday
As the traditional day of rest, Sundays are made for self-care. Yet in the modern world, they often pass by in a blur of life-admin, family duties, or feeling slightly delicate from the evening prior.
Reset your priorities - it only takes a few tweaks to put the luxury back into your Sunday, and have the day of indulgence you deserve after a busy working week. Here are a few ways to incorporate this into your routine:
Start as you mean to go on
Whether your Saturday night involved an elevated evening out or relaxed moments spent on the sofa, get off to the right start on Sunday morning with a breakfast that’s fresh, healthy, and simple. Forgo thoughts of a cooked, fried breakfast and opt for a fruit smoothie with honey instead. This will set you up with a burst of morning goodness, and adding oats for some slow-release energy will help keep you fuller for longer .
Find your friendship fix
After two years of isolation, there’s nothing like a face-to-face catch up with our loved ones. Mental health experts advise that conversations with other people are best had in the morning, as it has a positive effect on morale and gets us out of our own heads . As it’s a Sunday, there’s no pressure to overdo it with decadent plans, instead choose a relaxing coffee or brunch and allow plenty of time for a proper catch up.
Embrace the outdoors
Many mental health experts officially acknowledge ‘the Sunday blues’ - a feeling of anxiety and dread that we are all familiar with . But it’s possible to significantly boost your mood by simply getting outside and moving; it’s been found that spending five minutes doing ‘green exercise,’ such as walking in a park or nature trail, can improve our wellbeing.
Do good to feel good
If you prefer to relax by doing things, consider setting time aside on Sunday to give back to your community. It’s not a completely selfless act, as studies have shown that acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of our own wellbeing. Discover doit.life/volunteer to find volunteer opportunities near you, or search in local community groups. Alternatively, Age UK and their partners The Silver Line offer a free telephone befriending service with the elderly, meaning that you can chat with someone who may be experiencing loneliness and find a feel-good glow without leaving the house .
Find your balance
For a splendidly slow self-care Sunday, nothing beats the feeling of deep relaxation after a yoga session. Not only does yoga help with strength and flexibility, it’s also been shown to help relieve stress and improve mental health . If you struggle with the initial motivation to roll out your mat, book yourself into a class in advance. Or, there are plenty of free routines on YouTube, with sequences ranging from five to 60 minutes, meaning you can choose the one that best suits your time and ability.
Edit your screentime
We all know by now that spending too much time on our phones can negatively impact our mood, but it can be hard to resist the pull of social media during a Sunday afternoon slump. When you feel yourself reaching for your phone out of habit, try putting the display onto greyscale. The lack of bright colour makes it harder for our phone screens to hold our attention - meaning more time to spend on ourselves rather than our screens.
Slow your beauty regime
Nothing says self-care like indulging in a leisurely beauty regime. Embrace a holistic approach by beginning with a bubble bath; light candles for a relaxing glow, add magnesium flakes to soothe skin, and switch on a podcast to take your mind elsewhere. The Happiness Lab with Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos, provides bitesize episodes with the latest research and stories on how to increase feelings of wellbeing.
If you don’t have a tub, a hot shower with luxurious body oil is just as effective at washing away the day and setting you up for a good night’s sleep. Finally, don’t sacrifice your night-time skincare routine. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser and warm water to remove the day’s dirt and make-up, before applying night creams as needed.
Take a moment of gratitude
Studies have shown that practising gratitude makes us feel better in the moment and more optimistic about the future . So, take some time before bed to write down three things that you’re grateful for today. It might be catching up with a friend, having the freedom to have today to yourself, or simply an appreciation for the glass of wine you’re holding right now. If you’re at your best in the morning, set your alarm fifteen minutes early to start Monday this way instead.
Practise sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is about creating the best possible environment for a quality night’s rest. One of the easiest ways to do this is by going to bed at a regular time each evening, even if you’ve had a lie in that morning. This helps your body clock to stay on track and expect rest at a certain time. Then, keep your room cool - studies show that we sleep best at around 18 degrees Celsius. Lastly, only use your bed for sleep and sex – that way your brain associates it with the appropriate activities. By making these things a habit, you can get all the sleep you need to take on Monday.