Natti from Fickle Friends’ self-care tips

With every new year comes a load of promises about eating vegetables or somesuch, but that's not all you can do to make yourself feel a little better. Natti from Fickle Friends clues us in on her best self-care tips ahead of the band's new album, 'Are We Gonna Be Alright?'.

With every new year comes a load of promises about eating vegetables or somesuch, but that’s not all you can do to make yourself feel a little better. Natti from Fickle Friends clues us in on her best self-care tips ahead of the band’s new album, ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’. 

Oh hi, hello! Now, Dork have asked me to share some self-care tips with you guys. It’s been a rough couple of years, and S-C has never been more important! Before I begin, I might just forewarn you that these tips are by no means groundbreaking; I’m not going to share with you the meaning of life or show you how to reach Samadhi (haven’t gone there myself yet…). However, if by reading this, you actually take a second for yourself, this little article has had the intended effect!

Numero Uno: BREATHE. Yes, yes, it seems obvious. We need to breathe to live. We do it all day, every day. But what about deep, meditative breathing. The stuff that slows your heart rate down and pulls you back from the cliff’s edge of a panic attack (speaking from experience). 

This is something that has honestly saved me in so many situations. Box breathing!

You simply inhale for 4 counts, retain the breath up there for 4 counts, exhale for 4, hold the breath there for 4. And repeat….5 minutes is my recommendation… however, you can do this as long as feels right.

Numero Dos: Take yourself for breakfast. I was chatting to my friend about this, because she is also is a big advocate for the solo breakfast date. There’s something about making time to sit with your own thoughts in the morning. No rushing out the house with half a piece of toast hanging out of your mouth; coffee spilling down the sides of your keep cup as you run for the tube. I do my best thinking around 8-9am, so sitting outside a cafe chowing down on some avocado toast lovingly made by someone else is quite the healing experience. 

Numero Tres: GOOD THINGS. Every day, no matter if you’re in the BEST mood or feeling crappy, take a photo or write down one thing during that day that made you smile/ laugh or feel great. I do this to remind myself that there is beauty to be found in even the murkiest of days. For example, this week is mostly photos of Christmas lights in London, and sentences along the lines of “watching the sunrise over Piccadilly Circus” and “Ron Weasley’s awkward love monologue in Deathly Hallows part 1”.

Numero Cuatro: Get your heart pumping. I know a lot of you might be like, exercise booooo gross, that’s not self-care! But it is! It’s a must! And the great thing here is there is literally something for everyone. No, I am not suggesting you go and kill yourself at your local F45 (although, can be fun). I am merely saying, moving your body is good for your brain and your heart. Therefore, self-care. 

My faves include: yoga (lots to be had on YouTube that are free!), a nice long walk (headphones in, podcast/playlist on), jogging (picture Phoebe from Friends), having a bit of a boogie while doing household chores (yes I do this, and my Apple Watch says it counts), riding your bike to work or dinner or drinks or just for the sake of it, swimming (especially if it’s in the sea or local wild swimming pond) and last of all, skating (all kinds, very fun – would recommend knee pads). There’s obviously a lot more, but I could sense I was starting to lose you…

Numero Cinco: START A CLUB. So I have this film club right, it’s a virtual thing, very nerdy. I have a list of films I have never made the time to see, and this club has forced me to start working my way through them. If you’re like me and struggle with structure but massively benefit from having it, this could be great for you. Every Wednesday at 7pm my online pals and I (some IRL if I’m lucky) watch a movie together. It gives me something to look forward to every week; it also forces me to stay in and actually CHILL (something I also struggle with lol party animal. It’s Covid’s fault, please don’t judge me). I think this idea could work for any group activity, you know, sewing club, book club – you name it. There’s something about knowing I’ll be doing that every Wednesday that makes me feel grounded. 

Numero Seis: EMPTY HEAD BEFORE BED. I love this one. Sometimes sleep can seem like an impossible task. Your mind is whirring. You start trying to count sheep, but your train of thought just leads back to the million and one things you haven’t done that day that you needed to do, and the various items you need to order from Amazon Prime tomorrow…and then you realise it’s 2am, and you start to panic even more because there’s less and less time to actually get some rest. STOP.

This was/is me a lot of the time. So I bought a book, journal, whatever. And every night before I attempt sleep, I write down everything in my head. Mostly complete nonsense.

But the physical act of emptying everything that’s in your head onto paper somehow alleviates that whirring feeling. And 9 times out of 10, you fall asleep instantly.

Honestly, do it. And hey, maybe by the end of the year, you’ll have a book deal.

And last but definitely not least…

NUMERO Siete: ANIMALS. If you have them, amazing. You will already know the healing properties of a hug with a good boi. If you don’t…perhaps you have a friend or family member with a pet you can borrow/visit. Either that or join borrow-my-doggy.

Taken from the February 2022 edition of Dork, out now.

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