The Self Care Rituals Our Editor Swears By to Prepare For a Busy Week
2020 is almost over (finally!), but it's not showing any signs of slowing down. As Christmas plans, end of year celebrations and general life admin begin to up the ante massively, so can stress levels.
Keeping self-care front of mind during busy periods is essential. Making the smallest changes to take care of yourself can make the most impact, and it'll ensure you actually enjoy whatever your calendar throws at you. And after the year we've had, being able to let your hair down and fully embrace the good moments without fixating on anything else is a huge mood.
POPSUGAR Australia's editor Kate McGregor is no stranger to a stacked schedule. So, we got her to share her expert knowledge on how to manage intense schedules while practising essential self-care habits. For Kate, it's all about keeping a solid routine and utilising her spare time to prepare and relax — here's what she had to say . . .
POPSUGAR AU: Can you walk us through your daily self-care practices?
Kate McGregor: For me, it's setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier than I need to in the morning so I can slowly wake up with my husband. Our days are so busy (like everyones!) so that little slice of time together tops my heart up and makes me feel like I've had a moment to breathe before diving into the day.
I also exercise 5-6 mornings a week, whether it's a 5km run or Fluidform Pilates at home, it's non-negotiable for me. Moving my body and having that time to myself before arriving at work helps to clear my mind, calm any anxiety I might be feeling, and puts me in the right state of mind to make decisions, move through my to-do list, and support and inspire my team to also achieve theirs.
I'm also massive on skincare and sticking to a routine. My nightly skincare routine — while not extensive — has become somewhat therapeutic for me. Regardless of what time I get home or how tired I am, I never stray from it.
POP: When you're staring down the barrel of a busy week how do you prepare yourself?
KM: I wish I could be one of those let's-have-a-Sunday-cider people, but I'm really not. I need to spend those last precious hours of the weekend preparing for the week ahead. That means stocking the pantry, cleaning the house, getting my wardrobe in order, clearing emails and my favourite — prepping my skin.
On Sundays, I make an extra effort to nourish my skin. One of my favourite rituals is to press an oil into my face, neck and decolletage area — I'm using the Swisse Hemp Seed Enriching Facial Oil at the moment, it's ultra-hydrating and melts into my pores — and then use a Jade Roller (I keep mine in the fridge so it feels nice and cold) to massage the product deep into my skin. This ritual signals the end of the weekend and the start of a new week. Depending on what my skin needs, I'll then apply the Beaute Pacific Hydrating Mask to sleep in, or the Vitamin A cream.
POP: 2020 has been particularly overwhelming for most people, how do you recognise when you need to take a step back and focus on self-care?
KM: When I'm feeling overly anxious or notice that I'm struggling to concentrate on the task at hand, I can tell I've taken on too much and that I need to take a step back.
POP: When we're stressed it often shows on our skin, are there any changes you notice in your skin during stressful times?
KM: On extra busy days — I'm often juggling multiple deadlines while leading my little team — I admittedly don't drink enough water, and this always shows on my skin. If I've let this fall by the wayside and can see my skin needs extra hydration, I'll switch my foam cleanser for a cream one instead (I recommend the Swisse Hemp Seed Gentle Cream Cleanser). It's gentler and helps to give my skin a little extra TLC when it's craving hydration.
POP: If so, what products and ingredients do you find most effective to relieve stressed skin?
KM: Hyaluronic acid is my ride or die, and I also love natural ingredients like hemp seed and macadamia.
POP: A lot of people use exercise as a stress reliever — how do you like to move your body when you're stressed?
KM: In my opinion, exercise is the most effective way to relieve stress, and it's the first thing I do if I'm feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I find running is the fastest way clear my head, so I do this 3 times a week. I also do 45mins of Fluidform Pilates from home 2-3 times a week. It really helps to tone and strengthen my body.