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Words: Genevieve Phelan & Self Care Originals

We get it, life can be busy. Like very, very busy. You might work or study full-time, juggle mutliple jobs, have a side-hustle, not to mention you have a social and personal life too! It's a lot. This year we've decided to remove the phrase, "I'm too busy" from our vocabulary — especially when it comes to self-care because we know how important and impactful even small daily rituals can be.

We asked Geneveieve Phelan, one of the busiest writers we know, for her top tips for restoring herself when her brain feels like it's working overtime.

Tousle my hair

Okay, this one is perhaps niche and high-maintenance, but it’s a special form of soul-care for me. Having my hair zhuzhed while being forced to sit down and physically stop for a good 20 minutes is one of the most soothing things I do for myself occasionally. While I have finally found a good therapist, I think a visit to The Blow Australia’s dry-style bar (at Sephora) rivals the experience, and costs less. There I said it. You go in and they give you Rich Girl Hair in a flash. I feel really confident and uplifted after a blow-wave as it’s something I can’t do well myself, and I’m not ashamed of indulging in that.

Movement in blue or green spaces

I’ve always lived by the water, and feel very privileged to say that. Last year, when I moved out of home, I was in the metropolis of Melbourne and struggled to not see the sea in lockdowns. The lush backdrop of The Tan (Botanic Gardens) did the trick. I’d recommend reading Phosphorescence by the inimitable Julia Baird if you want to understand the psychology behind spending time in blue or green spaces. Breathing the sea air is the most restorative thing I can do, especially when my brain is working overtime and deadlines are looming.

A mindfulness app

I’ve been on a trial of the Headspace app lately thanks to a kind PR agency (smol journo perks), and really like its daily notifications feature. These quotidian pop-ups are filled with sage advice and thoughts that prompt perspective. Today’s was: “Is a problem still a problem if you don’t think it’s a problem?” I needed to read that. There are also heaps of tailored meditation recordings for different feelings you’re grappling with, whether it’s anger or sadness or stress of grief.

Call a friend

This one is golden. When I’m going for a daily walk by the beach, I try to call a girlfriend, my mum or my boyfriend to just walk and chat. Feeling connected with friends and speaking (in lieu of messaging) is one of the easiest and instantly-soothing ways to feel good IMO.

A market (hot girl) walk

I’ve always felt like a fresher, reinvigorated self at a morning market. My local used to be the Gleadall Street Saturday markets in Richmond, but any sort of stint to a produce-laden, bustling oasis will do. Being surrounded by fresh flowers and honestly-grown things and people gives me a shot of serotonin. I also love dressing up a little, donning my Friends with Frank Camilla Coat, some fresh New Balances, a reliable pair of jeans and a big, fluffy scarf. The whole experience is uplifting, and I always come away with a flaky pastry for a crescendoing treat.

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Self Care™ Originals respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country on which we work, the Wurundjeri Willam people, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.