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Self-care Sunday: how to feel refreshed for the week ahead

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Feeling overwhelmed after a long week at work? Anxious for what the next seven days may hold? Take some time for yourself this Sunday with these stress-busting solutions

By definition, self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve and improve one’s health. But however you doll it up, it’s essentially doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s working on a puzzle, going for a long walk or catching up with friends. Although you can do that at any point in the week, designating some time before Monday abruptly arrives can give you an extra sense of calm and readiness — and that’s where self-care Sunday comes in. Here are five helpful ways to ease those Sunday anxieties and boost your productivity.

Read more: Skinimalism: How to create a super simple skincare routine
Woman applying face cream
Morning Routine © Seventyfourimages | Dreamstime.com
1. Stick to your skincare routine

We all know the importance of a skincare routine, but it can get a little confusing when you delve deep into ‘must-have products’ and ‘essential ingredients’. Essentially, you should do whatever works for you, but if you need a little help to get things started, here are some simple tips we’ve tried and tested.

Kick things off with a cleansing, which is the practice of cleaning your skin while removing impurities such as dirt, pollution, pollen, make-up and excess oils. There’s a range of cleansing options out there, including balms, oils and micellar waters (we’ve reviewed some of the best in this article), so pick whatever tickles your fancy and suits your skin type.

Next up is exfoliating, which aims to boost your natural skin-renewal cycle by scrubbing away dead skin cells and encouraging new ones to form. Pick up a clay mask, such as the L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Detox Face Mask, which you can leave to dry on your face for 10 minutes before wiping off with a clean cloth. Lastly, find a moisturiser with SPF and apply all over your face and neck, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple.

2. Put away the devices and have a digital detox

The digital drain is very real, especially when you stare at a computer all day, enjoy the odd TikTok break and have your mobile phone on you at all times. Although spending time away from devices that are so rooted in our day-to-day routine can seem daunting, the benefits are many.

Evidence suggests prolonged device usage can interfere with sleeping patterns, with more than 15% of us spending an hour or more on social media while in bed. Excessive digital exposure can also have adverse effects on our mental health, too. The University of Pennsylvania published research linking the use of social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to decreased wellbeing. The study revealed that limiting social media use reduced symptoms of depression and loneliness. So, ditch the doom scrolling, even if it’s for an hour before bed, and pick up a book or magazine to help you unwind away from the screen.

Read more: Five London getaways to book for National Spa Week
Woman resting with a book and a cup of coffee in hand.
Photo by Anthony Tran
3. Write to-do lists

Adult life can be overwhelming — you don’t need us to tell you that — and, at times, you can feel like you’re being pulled in several directions at once. Need to drop off a parcel at the Post Office and nip to the bank? What about that prescription you forgot to pick up last week? Things can easily pile up, so writing to-do lists and physically seeing the tasks you need to complete can help you feel more organised and in control. If getting them all done on a Sunday feels counterintuitive, you could designate yourself one job a day, then by the end of the week you’ll feel more on top of your life admin, all thanks to a note on your fridge.

4. Batch-cook your favourite recipes for the week ahead

While nipping into Pret to grab a sandwich or picking up a salad from Neighbourhood Organic can result in a delicious lunch, your bank account could be taking a hit. Ease some of the financial burden by batch-cooking your favourite recipes, perhaps a delicious spag bol or hearty lentil curry, and divide them into several portions for the week ahead. The best bit is it takes the stress out of cooking dinner when you get home from work, so you can regain your weeknights. But how to spend all that free time? Why not join that new yoga studio or become the prolific reader you always wanted to be.

Read more: Belly dancing: how this inclusive exercise can help muscle toning
Man and woman cooking in the kitchen
Photo by Jason Briscoe
5. And finally, get an early night

We all know we should be aiming for at least seven hours sleep each night to meet the recommended scientific amount of shuteye, but be honest: how often does this actually happen? However, the incentives really are fruitful, with good sleep helping to strengthen your memory, elevate your mood and even boost your immune system.

If you struggle getting to sleep, put your phone away for at least one hour before bed and perhaps read a chapter of a book or spend 10 minutes meditating (the Balance: Meditation & Sleep app is a good place to start if you’re a beginner). If you require complete darkness to nod off, investing in a comfortable eye mask could help, too.

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