“Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Those words were first spoken 80 years ago but could just as easily be used to describe this generation for the amount of time spent staring at a glass screen. If you’d like to know exactly how long, its actually 23 days a year, which could go up to 365 for Gen Z. Scrolling through Instagram is not part of practising daily self-care but in an age where your phone is your watch, best friend, PA, and entertainment it can be hard to switch off.
What’s the first thing you did when you woke up? Post an ‘I woke up like this’ selfie to your story? Check Daily Mail? Run through your list of the things you have to do this week or take a moment to really ease into your day?
If the former sounds like you, then you may need to stop and start practising daily self-care. What’s that I hear you say? If you haven’t heard the term or don’t know where to start, take a seat, grab a cuppa and let me explain how you can start taking better of yourself in a constantly connected world:
Create a Morning Routine
If your morning routine consists of the three ‘S’s – shit, shower, slay – then you may need to think about a more productive way to set up your day. A quick Google search for ‘morning routines’ will throw up anything from HIIT workouts to meditation, but you should try to make it personal to you. Break up with your snooze button and try getting up when your alarm goes off. Next, just sit in silence for a few minutes and take a moment to list three things you’re grateful for in your life. This can be followed by a cup of tea or hot water and lemon (to flush away last nights margaritas, hey no judgment here). Then try journaling a page a day; note down what made you feel good yesterday, what were the wins of the week, skills do you need to work on, and yes remember to call mum. Lastly, look in the mirror and repeat ‘I will only compare myself to who I was yesterday’. Now if you’re not ready to start your day, it’s probably time to pull that sickie you’re owed, get under the covers, and fire up Netflix.
Put Yourself First
No job has your best interests at heart, only you do. The fashion industry is notorious for being a 24/7 non-stop machine. No 9-5s, here I’m afraid, but there is a difference between working hard and working smart. It’s a good idea to go over and above what is expected of you but once your work starts spilling over into your evenings and weekends it can be hard to reclaim that work-life balance. This will inevitably lead to burnout, with you questioning if you even want to be in an industry you once loved. So it’s important to always have your goals in life – personal and professional – front and centre in your mind. This ensures that whenever an opportunity comes up you can ask yourself ‘Will this get me closer to my dream?’ It can also help on those days when you can’t seem to do anything right in your boss’ eyes and you want to quit. Write them down; tell them to your friends, and review them on a regular basis.
Protect your Magic
TAKE.TIME.OUT. Yes, working hard is a factor in success, but so is protecting your creativity. So, go see that exhibition – the Azzedine Alaia retrospective at the Design Museum is on my hit list – and spot all the references that designers today are inspired by. Feeling stressed? Bake, yes really, it’s been known to be therapeutic and a great stress-reliever. Start a folder of inspirational images, taking the time to really deep-dive into some new blogs and tumblrs to curate an edit that could inform your next project. Volunteer or offer to create content for your favourite zine. They are likely to be looking for contributors with fresh ideas. All this can be done outside of your working hours and will allow you to feel a sense of achievement that isn’t tied up in your main job.
Check in with your Network
We can’t all have a direct line to Edward Enninful but your network of personal and professional relationships is a priceless resource. Those days when you’re over your boss’s micro-managing, call your bestie and vent. When you want to apply for a role that will take you to the next level, tap into your mentor if you have one, if not seek out a colleague in that current position who can guide you through the interview process. When you face a struggle with self-confidence and you question if you’ve chosen the right career, tune into your family, who can provide no-strings support and a safe haven for you to talk openly about your concerns. It’s important to maintain a solid group around you.
Practising daily self-care is all about starting your day in the right way. Instead of allowing your phone to dictate how you are going to feel, use your free time to do things that really enrich you. You could start with any of my above suggestions or something of your own. If you want to continue this self-nourishment into your journey, I’d recommend these fashion biz podcasts.
Words by Angela Baidoo