I ran a quote on Instagram the other day that I’m still laughing about...
“I respect parents who have it all together. But parents who stumble in to drop their kids off at school, looking like they just got attacked by a flock of angry birds? Those are my people.” I feel attacked by angry birds most mornings when I arrive at drop-off. The morning rush is like running a mini-marathon. Eat your breakfast. Get dressed. Please get dressed. Stop fighting with your sister or I’ll cancel your party. Right, your birthday party is cancelled. Brush your teeth. Find your shoes. Wait, I’ll help you find them but I just need to hang out this load of washing first. It goes on and on. And it’s exactly why I need little self-care rituals at home which make me feel sane. It has taken me years to really understand what self-care means. As mothers, we’re wired towards putting everyone else first and running on empty. It’s just what we do. We’re the designated worriers in the house. We’re the jugglers. And we’re the ones that carry the mental load (French cartoonist Emma brilliantly explains the mental load and its effect on working mothers in her comic titled “You Should’ve Asked”). We’ve got a never-ending to-do list and frankly, it’s exhausting. Which is where self-care comes in.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR EDITOR GEORGIE ABAY’S TWO NEW FAVOURITE BEAUTY RITUALS
When we talk about self-care, it’s not necessarily something which needs to be out of the house, but it should be part of your daily experience. Each day, you should do something, no matter how small, for yourself. Some days it could be simple rituals such as putting a face mask on and having a relaxing bath or having a cup of tea in peace and sitting still in silence for five minutes. Other days, it might be a walk along the beach, a swim in the sea, a massage, a gym class… just something where you put the mental load (and the washing pile) to the side and focus on you. It could even be a moment of self-kindness (we’re often brilliant at being our harshest critic). One of my favourite self-care rituals is creating an at-home spa experience. We all need a little pampering and for me, looking after my skin is one of my self-care rituals. I have a pretty fuss-free approach to beauty (see notes about angry birds – there’s not a lot of time for complicated grooming in our house). I stick to my tried-and-tested brands that I’ve used for years. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, mainly because I’m terrible at applying it but also because I don’t like that feeling of being too made up. Instead, I use skincare products that work to soften and soothe my complexion. So there are a few things I have up my sleeve – a few little self-care rituals – for when I want to feel pampered. First up: cleansing. This is non-negotiable. I’d never go to bed without cleansing my skin. Never. For me, cleansing, especially at night, makes me feel refreshed. It signals that sleep is near (thank goodness). And that I’ve made it through another day (just) and that it’s time to unwind.
I’m a big fan of probiotic skincare. Why? Because they help your skin regain its natural balance, a lot like probiotics do for your gut. Even if you aren’t suffering from chronic skin problems, probiotic skincare can help reduce water loss, increase moisture in the skin, and leave skin looking smooth, radiant and supple. Basically, they help it to remain in a balanced state (we’re all searching for that elusive balance, right?). Probiotic treatments can aid all skin types, but are really beneficial if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation. For those with acne, or skin conditions like rosacea and eczema, probiotics can yield calmer skin and better control over breakouts. One of my favourite brands, Elizabeth Arden, has recently expanded their fantastic Superstart line with the addition of Superstart Probiotic Cleanser – Whip To Clay and Superstart Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocelluose Mask. The cleanser has a really lovely whipped clay texture. I’ll apply this to dry skin. I’ll wait one minute for it to dry and it’ll transform into a mineral-rich clay and remove dirt, impurities and makeup without drying the skin. Then as I wash it off, it’ll foam into a soft lather, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth. You can feel all of the probiotic goodness working.