Although we might have had a strange year, self-care certainly flourished. COVID-19 evolved beauty and wellness as we either took up new ways of looking after ourselves or developed our existing routines. Two of the major ways we did this was through skincare and exercise.
2020’s first lockdown was taken over by skincare – we swapped our foundation and powder for serums and hydration. TikTok users were giving informative videos on how to achieve great skin, we were buying products that were being raved about online, doing our own research, and creating new, bespoke routines. We’ve had so much spare time in the last year that we’ve been able to focus on attaining healthier skin.
The same goes for exercise – the constraints on our social lives led to some unanticipated benefits, with research from May 2020 finding that three quarters of Britons began at least one exercise since lockdown rules were first introduced. However, research found that not everyone has stuck to an exercise routine as much during this lockdown, so we need to find ways to keep motivated.
With lockdown and working from home saving hours on the commute and giving us plenty of free leisure time, we can lather all our serums on from the comfort of our own home and potentially feel motivated to work out straight after finishing work. This begs the question, however: what does the new normal look like for self-care? How do we adapt our exercise and skincare routines when we are back to living our normal lives?
Back to ‘normal’
Our ‘normal life’ is in sight as the UK is planning to ease lockdown restrictions over the next couple of months. Although we are likely very excited to return to our old lives, it’s expected that some of us may feel stressed about going back to a busy and sociable lifestyle and feel like we won’t have the time to maintain our self-care routines. Self-care is extremely important to our mental wellbeing, reducing levels of stress and anxiety. That, and making us look good, too!
Prioritise your free time
One of the best ways to maintain your skincare and exercise self-care routines is by prioritising your free time. Be conscious of how much time you’re spending on your devices – absent-mindedly scrolling through your social media feeds can actually cause more upset and stress, so avoid wasting lots of time looking through other people’s posts and focus on your own enjoyable hobbies. This will also prevent you comparing your own situation to others.
Put your phone down and pick up your self-care routine – apply that ten-step skincare routine or reach for those dumbbells. Applying tan lotion and nail varnish will certainly pick up your mood more than Instagram.
If you find that you struggle to take time enjoying your routines, perhaps start your day earlier and wake up earlier than you would. By making more time in the day, you can spend more time doing things that make you happy.
Don’t be hard on yourself
If you find that you’ve slipped out of your self-care routine, don’t beat yourself up. Just because you might have had a hectic week, doesn’t mean you now have to abandon doing the things that you enjoyed – try to slowly reintroduce them and find where they can fit in your life. If you can’t do them as often as you did, that’s expected. It’s all about adapting and compromising your time between different things.
But most importantly…
It’s important not to forget the other lessons that lockdown has taught us. Over the last year, we’ve been separated from our loved ones, having significant time with our friends and family taken away. When the rules are lifted, it’s important now more than ever to enjoy life with those who matter and live in the moment. Have fun and appreciate living with your new freedom by spending time with others and making up for the memories you missed out on.
While self-care is incredibly important, appreciating what we have in our lives should be considered a form of that. Try to minimise wasting time with screen time and watching television when you could enjoy a coffee with a friend or visit members of your family you haven’t seen in a long time. Take some time alone to enjoy things that helped you in lockdown so that you feel your best for mate dates!