Self-Care Tips From Debrief Writers

It might be self-care week but, let's face it, every day is self-care day.


by Vicky Spratt |
Updated on

As far as buzzwords go self-care has to be one of the most prolific. You’ll have been reading a lot about it this week in particular because it is officially Self-Care Week. Like many things associated with mental health and wellbeing, self-care has definitely been commodified by brands who want to make money out of us. According to adverts online, in magazines and on billboards self-care is everything from £20 yoga classes to £40 bath oil and £60 candles.

Self-care is defined as ‘the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health’. It is ‘taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress’.

The truth is that while expensive toiletries might well be self-care to some, I’ve certainly been known to go down that pricey road in the past, it won’t work for everyone. In fact, I’ve learned anything about looking after myself in my twenties it’s that spending money probably isn’t the answer.

So, with that in mind, Debrief writers share their self-care practices because every day is self-care day:

Vicky Spratt, Deputy Editor

There’s an Audre Lorde quote about self-care which has helped me to understand the importance of the very act of looking out for yourself, having your own back and carving out your own space in the world. That space has boundaries which nobody else can penetrate:

Lorde said: ‘caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’

I used to try and shop my way out of anxiety, towards happiness and peace. It left me broke and even more anxious. These days, self-care to me is silence. I try to spend one day a week in total silence. This day tends to be a Saturday. I speak to people all week long so I have one day where I don’t say anything out loud, it helps me to regain my strength. I might go for a long walk on the marshes near my flat, spend a few hours cooking something difficult from scratch for nobody but myself or take a two-hour bath during my silent day but, whatever I do, I give myself a chance to listen to, engage with and sort through my thoughts without anyone else clouding them.

Saying no is also a huge part of establishing the boundaries within which I can practice self-care. Nobody can do everything, be everywhere and please everyone. Sometimes you have to push back with your friends, your family and your work and simply say ‘no, I can’t do that right now’.

I think this is what Lorde meant self-care as ‘an act of political warfare’. We live in a world that tells women we should give more, be more, care more, share more and spend more. Stepping back, refusing to engage with that and gathering your strength is truly one of the most radical things you can do, IMO.

Sophie Wilkinson, Contributing Editor

To me, self-care is treating you like a fantastic relative would treat you as a child - wash yourself, eat your greens, put brand new sheets on, make yourself concentrate on whatever you’re doing (don’t idly scroll through nonsense memes on Instagram instead of watching a good hour and a half of a great film you’ve always wanted to watch). It’s about filing all your important papers and sweeping your flat. It’s about taking time out of whatever’s stressing you and rebuilding yourself. Some people’s self-care might be a lot more meaningful, objectively, than another’s. An activist will occasionally need to fall back on self-care in a much more important way a CEO might need a bit of self-care. But the only harm that comes from self-care competitiveness is when self-care is sold as an exclusive product or a commodity. It’s neither it’s carving out time in your incredibly busy life to do basic useful and enjoyable things outside of any pressures - that includes the pressure to conform with the status quo by, say, buy a rejuvenating face pack in order to prove the worth of your self-care.

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Phoebe Parke, Social Media Editor

Self-care is a really important part of my weekly routine, to me it means escaping from the daily grind, reminding myself that I’m actually doing a good job, and (most importantly) lying down.

I have a few different ways to relax, reset and take my mind off the week’s worries:


My favourite podcast to relax to is The Friend Zone, it’s a weekly show where the hosts discuss mental health, wellness, music and TV shows, and laugh uncontrollably. And if I want to laugh some more, my go-to is The Read, another weekly that dissects pop culture with cutting dry humour.


I know… it’s so cliché and I’m very basic, but baths are great for relaxing, I pop a glitter bath oil ball from LUSH in there so I feel like Mariah Carey.

3.Cartoons and chill

I watch kids cartoons and eat cheese strings and tiny yoghurt pots with the door closed so no one catches me.


A tip I learned from the podcast Therapy for Black Girlsis to have a folder of your achievements on your phone, so I leaf through that when I’m feeling low – I called the album ‘You Did That’ because sometimes we forget that we’re actually quite accomplished and have done quite a few very impressive adult things.

Lucy Morris, Fashion Editor

Lucy self care

My self-care practice is erratic and not very original. When I’m feeling stressed or tired or overwhelmed I like to exercise as those endorphins can’t really be beaten. Plus, I appreciate a yoga or HIIT class when it’s 60 minutes of someone telling you exactly what to do and when it stops me overthinking and focusing on anything but the task at hand. As I spend most of my life typing or staring at a phone this an instant escape from screen-time and distractions, it helps me focus and get to grips with what my body can and can’t handle.

You might also be interested in:

The Real Meaning Of Self Care? It's About Boundaries, Not Bath Bombs

Can We Be Mindful And Have Nice Things?

Can Astrology Explain Why The World Is So Crazy Right Now?

**Follow Vicky on Twitter ****@Victoria_Spratt **@Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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