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TOP SELF CARE TIPS: Helping you take care of you

Claire Boyle 24th January 2021

Ok. So here we are in Lockdown 3.0 (in the UK) and let’s face it, we’re all feeling, well, a bit shit! It’s barely the end of January and it’s already been a long ass year! Most of us are stuck staring at the same four walls day in & day out and almost no one has a clue what day it is, right? Which is why now more than ever it is so important to talk about self care! Taking the time to look after yourself should always be a priority, but especially now during this pandemic when many of us will be facing struggling times, looking after our mental health is vital! So self care isn’t just about a sheet mask and a bath bomb – although these can be great – it’s about making sure that you prioritise taking that little bit of time that’s just for you. So here are some of our favourite self care tips to help you look after number one!

1. Take a bath

Now usually we’re always on the go, so hopping in and out of the shower is just what we tend to do. But right now when we have the luxury of time on our side, we’re realising that sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than a nice long hot bath. You can choose to have an indulgent bubble bath while reading a book & drinking a glass of wine, or make it fun with a colourful bath bomb. Or you could go all out and add bath oils, candles and spa themed music for an at home spa experience. We feel more relaxed already.

2. Pamper yourself

If you’ve followed us for a while you’ll know there’s nothing we enjoy more than a good pamper session. Now for us, that means hair washed, full body scrub, full skincare routine with sheet mask, facial roller, fake tan, THE WORKS! It might look the same for you or it might be something like painting your nails, giving yourself a blow dry, or putting on your make-up just because. Anything that gives you a little pick me up and puts a bit of pep in your step, we say go for it!

3. Read a book or listen to a Podcast

One thing we’ve promised ourselves this year is that we will make more time for reading books and listening to podcasts, which means less time scrolling through social media & watching 96437 series on Netflix. There’s something about curling up in a quiet cosy corner under a blanket with a hot drink and a good book that just hits different than watching a movie. Check out this post to see our recommended reads. And if you’re not big on reading, well that’s the great thing about audio books and podcasts, you don’t have to do any of the work. You just pop your headphones in, then lie back and relax. You don’t even need to use your eyes or really concentrate on anything like you do when you’re watching TV. How often do you honestly just lie down, close your eyes and relax?? Try it, we guarantee you won’t regret it. You can check out our post about our favourite podcasts here.

4. Do some journaling

Sometimes there is no better way to switch off than by writing down your thoughts. Whether that’s actually journaling or maybe just writing a to do list, writing down your goals for the month or year, making a list of things you are grateful for or even just brain dumping all of random miscellaneous thoughts onto paper just to get them out of your brain. Looking after your mental health is a huge part of self care and sometimes when you have a lot on your mind it can be hard to switch off and can be a big cause of anxiety. We know that writing things down in a notebook or journal helps us to think more clearly and make things seem a lot less overwhelming.

5. Talk

Just like writing things down, talking to people can be a massive help when you’re feeling down or anxious or overwhelmed. Remember, we’re all going through this right now, so if you’re feeling a certain way then we can guarantee you are not alone. And on top that we are all lacking in human interaction right now, and those who live alone will be finding it especially difficult. So be sure to schedule time to talk to your friends, and preferably via Zoom or FaceTime. Just seeing a friendly familiar face can make a huge impact on your mood. And it doesn’t have to be for a quiz or games night (although these are really fun). You could just arrange a virtual girls night in complete with wine & pizza or it can just be for a good old fashioned chin wag. Whatever it is, just make sure you are making the time to talk, especially if you are struggling, and remember, our DM’s are always open.

6. Meditate

There’s nothing worse than being unable to relax or switch off because your head is overwhelmed with thoughts. As two people who are serial over thinkers we know the struggle of brain overload. So that’s why we have both benefited massively from meditation. Taking some quiet time just to reflect, empty your mind & focus on nothing but your breath, is sometimes all you need to make your mood do a complete one eighty. Meditation has loads of amazing health benefits such as helping to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and is even linked with increasing your productivity! If you’re not sure where to start, a quick YouTube search is all you need. You can search for guided meditations for anything from stress relief to mindfulness, pain relief and even to manifest money! So just choose one that works for you and prepare to feel zen.

7. Exercise

In the words of the great Elle Woods “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins makes you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands!” Which is a good thing considering from what we’re hearing, lockdown is making the prospect of killing their spouse cross many women’s minds! Like, have they always chewed so loudly!? Anyway… It’s no secret that exercise has numerous health benefits. But besides the obvious physical benefits, exercise is also proven to have massive mental health benefits. Exercise can help to ease symptoms of anxiety & depression, relieve stress, as well as help improve self esteem & confidence. So whether you prefer a hardcore HIIT session, or a high energy aerobic dance workout or are more into a relaxing yoga or Pilates workout or even just taking a walk. Whatever it is works best for you, just getting your body moving and working up a sweat can have a huge impact on a negative mood. Sometimes even just buying new workout gear can give you the pick me up you need to get moving. Check out some of our favourite activewear below.

8. Do some DIY

And no we’re not talking about the painting & decorating kind! You guessed it! We’re going full Salt-N-Pepa! Let’s talk about sex baby! Just like exercise, sex releases endorphins, which as we already know, are pretty great for your mood – please refer to the words of Elle Woods mentioned earlier. Sex, or we should say orgasms, have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. First of all is the aforementioned mood enhancing endorphins released during orgasm (dopamine & oxytocin) which basically, give you a natural high. There is a Huffpost article about female masturbation that says “who needs drugs when you can make your own?” And we couldn’t agree more! Plus, orgasm can also relieve stress, be a form of pain relief and help you to fall asleep. Not to mention it improves your sex drive, burns calories and makes you feel more comfortable & confident with your body. And of course there’s the fact that it just feels damn good! So ladies make time for some “me” time. It’s good for your health! And if you want a little inspiration then treat yourself to one of our picks below.

9. Switch off your phone!

Or at least put it down for an extended period of time. Social media and in fact media in general can be overwhelming at the best of times. We are constantly fed a combination of negative stories on the news and picture perfect filtered highlight reels on instagram. And that was before the pandemic! So now we have all of the above plus fear, confusion, anger, conspiracy theories and more to contend with. Sometimes it just gets all too much and it’s time to switch off. We have personally tried and tested this method and trust us it does wonders for your mental state. Here’s what we did and highly recommend you do too. First, delete the Daily Mail app, or any other celeb tabloid media app, just do it! It’s full of crap and you don’t need to spend your day obsessing over Kim & Kanye’s divorce and whether or not he’s give a beauty guru a good seeing to, and you definitely don’t need to know which Kardashian/Jenner/(insert random Towie/Geordie shore/Love Island person here has had what done to their lips/face/tits/arse. Who cares? Yes we are guilty of looking at this stuff too but trust us. DELETE IT! Good! Now, and this will be a shock coming from us, delete the Instagram app! We know, blasphemy! But just for a day or two, or a few if you need it, along with Facebook & Twitter etc. This is the best option if you need to have your phone switched on but, if you can, switch off your phone! Or at least put it on airplane mode. We just texted the people closest to us something like this: “I’m feeling overwhelmed and need some time to recharge, so I’m switching off my phone & you won’t hear from me for a couple days. I’m ok, I just need a break.” (P.s. We did make sure to check it once a day just in case of an emergency). This did us the world of good, and it will help you realise how much time you spend attached to that little device. So spend all that extra time meditating, going for walks, reading, maybe do some DIY?… see what we did there 😉 Trust us you will feel completely recharged and re-energised after the break from all that negative energy.

And number 10… Sleep Zzz

It might sound obvious, but sometimes the best thing you can do to take care of yourself is making sure you get a decent amount of sleep. So whether that means taking a nap when you feel like you need to recharge or maybe not watching the next episode of that series on Netflix and just going to bed an hour earlier. Good sleep will help you to feel refreshed and energised and reduce your stress levels as well as improve your brain function throughout the day. If you struggle switching off at night try putting your phone away an hour before you go to bed, buying a pillow spray or listening to some sleep sounds using an app like Calm. You could even invest in some new bedding to make your bed feel more luxurious and make you look forward to getting into bed at night. Because all the caffeine in the world is just no substitute for an amazing night’s sleep! 

So there you have it. Our top wellness tips for helping you to take care of you. Self care might look different for each of us, so whether for you it’s a long bubble bath with a glass of wine, a pamper night, a good sweat session, or just some good old DIY, as long as it makes you feel good, that’s all that matters! Happy self caring 🙂

Click here to check out an edit of all our favourite self care products in The Key Shop and be sure to share your favourite self care tips in the comments!

All opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links meaning if you purchase through these links we do earn a small amount of commission.

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Katie Kelly 17th January 2021

Is any self care day actually complete if you didn’t use a sheet mask? In short the answer is no, not if you want the ultimate hydration for your skin. Picture this, it’s a rainy and cold Sunday evening. You run yourself a hot bath, soaking up every last bubble. When you’ve finished it’s time for your nightly skincare routine to add all that moisture back into your skin. So you reach for a sheet mask and go lie down on your bed (complete with cucumbers of course). You can just feel how hydrated and refreshed your skin is. Sounds perfect right?

So allow us to run through our favourite sheet masks because trust us when we say, we’ve tried a lot! These are essentially our ride or die masks but please let us know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of these or have any recommendations. Enjoy!

  1. Saturday Skin intense hydration mask – available on Cult Beauty (£4.60) So there are three masks available from the Saturday Skin range but the one we’re going to talk about is the blue intense mask which is designed to hydrate the skin. The idea behind the brand is that it gives you that start of the weekend glow. Now depending on where you are in the world that idea might seem like a distant memory (lockdown probs) but there is nothing stopping us getting our fix either way. We found this mask extremely cooling which is probably down to some of the ingredients used including watermelon and aloe vera extract. It also has that all important hyaluronic acid which helps draw moisture back into your skin. These masks give you a nice introduction to the brand as a lot of the products use the same ingredients, and at only £4.60 it’s hard to go wrong!

2. Pixi Beauty Vitamin C sheet mask – available on Pixibeauty and Cult Beauty (3 for £10) One of our go-to masks that we’ve been using for what feels like years, is the Vitamin C mask by Pixi Beauty. We personally don’t use a lot of products in our routines that use vitamins as an active ingredient which is why we love using the Vitamin C mask. Vitamin C is great for brightening the complexion and promoting collagen in the skin. This mask also uses caffeine extract which is used to de puff the skin. This is one that is great to use after drinking one too many wines as skin usually looks quite dull the day after consuming alcohol. What we also love about purchasing this on the Pixi Beauty website is that you can set up an auto replenish subscription meaning you can get your masks delivered straight to your door as often as you like without having to place the order every time. What more could you want!

3. Dr Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution – Available on Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay (£6.00). Okay so we could probably list quite a few of the Dr Jart sheet masks on here but the one that stands out to us as an absolute must-have, is the Water Jet Hydra Solution. Seeing as this post is all about the most hydrating masks it’s only right that this one got the honourable mention. Packed with hyaluronic acid and aquaxyl (an ingredient used to limit water loss) this mask gives you an instant boost to your skin leaving you feeling all hydrated and glowy afterwards. And that’s what we all want from a sheet mask right?

4. Skin Republic Collagen Infusion sheet mask – Available at Superdrug and (£4.99) As with the Dr Jart sheet masks, we could easily mention all of the masks in this range, trust us when we say they are all so good. In this post we’re just going to focus on the collagen infused mask as this is the one that, in our humble opinion, gives the best results, and here’s why. This mask is injected with Collagen, elastin and vitamin E. Combining these ingredients together helps to revitalise the elasticity in the skin, making the skin appear more youthful. So if you think about it your getting an affordable quick fix to make your skin look instantly boosted and younger! (Adds to cart immediately). This is one that we love to use in the morning, especially on a Monday to start our week off the right way and give us that fresh, dewy ‘I woke up like this’ glow!

5. Beauty Laundrette Hydrate and Soothe sheet mask – Available at Superdrug (£3.00) A brand we only discovered just last year but one we both instantly fell in love with. We’ve bought their products as gifts before and always get messages saying how much people love them! So let’s focus on the sheet masks. There are two masks you can buy, the radiate and glow and the hydrate and soothe but we personally prefer the hydrate and soothe. This mask is targeted for dry and dehydrated skin and helps to hydrate the skin leaving it feeling refreshed and soft. It’s filled with desert plant sugar and sodium hyaluronate which help the skin feel revitalised. It’s also worth mentioning the price of this mask compared to some of the others, this is just £3.00 and considering how good this mask actually is it’s probably the one we would recommend stocking up on the most!

So that’s it for our favourite sheet masks that we use time and time again. We hope you enjoyed reading through our list and hopefully you found some new additions to add to your skincare routine. Be sure to check back in for more beauty posts coming soon and you can shop more of our fave sheet masks below or click here to shop more of The Key skincare favourites!