Dr Tanya's Five Secrets to Prioritise Self-Care

Written by: Rebecca Eaton



Time to read 6 min

“Beauty to me is expressing who you are. It’s about feeling confident and happy in oneself. The face is a mirror of our heart and mind; it is a reflection of our inner happiness.”

Dr Tanya Unni

At Dr Tanya Skincare, we believe that radiant skin starts with self-care. From the food you nourish your body with and the ways you manage stress to how you prioritise your mental wellbeing and make time for the things you love, your journey to optimal skin health requires more than just incredible skincare. It requires a ritual that prioritises your skin, scalp, and soul… A topic our incredible Dr Tanya is all too passionate about!

Whether you're struggling to prioritise a healthy self-care ritual or are simply seeking new ways to nourish your inner wellness, here are Dr Tanya's tried, tested, and loved secrets to making self-care a non-negotiable part of your day. 

1. Compartmentalise your day & prioritise self care

It's easy to feel overwhelmed and unproductive when you glance at your day as a whole. From the never-ending work commitments that seem to seep into home life to the growing list of life admin tasks piling up before you, it can be hard to justify squeezing in time for self-care. 

Yet, one of the most effective ways to make time for everything that matters to you is to compartmentalise your day — a tactic our busy mum, entrepreneur, and business owner, Dr Tanya, swears by.  

Simply divide your priorities — i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and wishes — into a pie chart, and allocate time for each based on how long the individual tasks will take. If you need that extra push to stick to it, add your time slots to your calendar, like an important appointment, to make it a non-negotiable part of your day. This will allow you to be present in the moment without each task fighting for your attention.

Tip: Consider all the important aspects of your life and draw a pie chart. For example, this might include health, social, exercise, family, work, sleep, relationships, hobbies, and mental wellbeing. Then, allocate time for each of these tasks, knowing some may require more attention than others. Lastly, audit your current pie chart to understand what areas need the most work. Again, each area will be weighted differently for everyone. Just ask yourself: 

  • Which area gets the most attention
  • Which area doesn't get enough attention?
  • Which area stresses you out the most
  • Which area brings you the most joy? 

2. Focus on hobbies that bring you joy 

Everyone tells you that self-care is about sitting in a hot bath while reading your favourite book by candlelight. Yet, the truth is, while this might be the answer for some, self-care will look different to everyone… that's the beauty of celebrating our uniqueness. 

Instead of following what those around you find therapeutic, consider the activities or actions that help you rebalance and re-energise. For Dr Tanya, this means making time in her week to have a solo dance session in her living room. The simplicity of exerting energy and releasing endorphins by moving her body allows her to recentre and find peace in the chaos of daily life.

Most importantly, don't overthink it. Self-care doesn't need to be a grand gesture. It doesn't need to be a two-hour massage or a day to yourself each week (although there's nothing wrong with that). It can be as simple as enjoying a coffee alone, journaling for 10 minutes a day, or having a 30-minute solo dance party. Find something realistic that resonates with you, however big or small it may be. 

Tip: Write a list of all the activities that fulfil you and slot at least one of these into your weekly schedule. A great way to know what hobbies are best suited to your self-care ritual is to consider which activities drain your energy and leave you feeling depleted and which make you feel recharged and full. The latter should be your priority. 

Just remember, there is no wrong or right answer when deciding what brings you joy and energy! 

3. Turn your daily tasks into rituals, not chores

We're all a little guilty of mindlessly going about our days, ticking off a monotonous to-do list, and wishing time away until the weekend rolls around. Routines can feel uninspiring from time to time, and unfortunately, if we remain in this state of mind, we become slaves to our daily habits. 

While there are many non-negotiable aspects of our lives — from sleeping and eating to working and running errands — they don't necessarily need to be considered burdens or chores. Instead, make a conscious effort to turn your mundane activities into powerful rituals that become an exciting and rewarding part of your day. 

By doing so, we rewire our brain to look at every task and action as a privilege, where we can slow down, show gratitude, take back a moment for ourselves, and revel in the beauty of everyday life. Likewise, turning your daily tasks into rituals is a great way to compound your tasks. Instead of accepting that you don't have enough time for self-care, combine your tasks by connecting your moment of self-care to a daily activity. 

For example, instead of looking at housework as a burden, combine it with an activity you love. While mopping the floor, create a ritual whereby you play your favourite playlist or podcast.

Tip: Let's look at how you could turn your skincare routine into a ritual. Your skincare routine can feel like a mundane task when you have to religiously cleanse and apply your serums, moisturiser, and sunscreen before stepping out into the world. 

Instead, why not turn it into a nourishing ritual where you're tackling more than just your skin health? While applying your AM and PM products, practice self-gratitude and mindfulness. While cleansing your face, express three things you're grateful for. When mindfully applying your serums and nourishing your skin, set your intentions for the day. During your night-time routine, wash away the day's troubles and practise your breathwork. 

4. Remove the guilt attached to self-care

When juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities — from kids to work — often, taking time out for yourself can feel like you're stealing time away from other essential areas of your life (i.e., time spent at home with your family). The end result? The guilt of feeling as though you're selfishly putting your needs first. 

While being selfish suggests that the world revolves around you, self-care is all about acknowledging that the world includes you — it's an important difference that highlights the significance of making time and space for yourself as you do for others' needs. 

We can't pour from an empty cup. If you feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, remember that meeting your needs allows you to show up as the person you want to be when tackling life's other priorities. Plus, it helps you help others more effectively, improving your relationships at work and home. 

Tip: Each time you feel guilty about taking time out for yourself, think of self-care as a finite resource, like depositing money in the bank. You can't give money you don't have without going bankrupt. Similarly, you can't give your best self to all areas of your life if your cup is empty. Having the energy to give to others is only possible when you've recharged your batteries and renewed your energy stores. 

5. Write a weekly note to self

The daily stressors of life can feel daunting at times. Journaling is an incredible self-care technique that helps you process thoughts, feelings, and problems in a proactive way that reduces stress and feelings of anxiety. 

By transferring your thoughts and problems from your mind onto paper, you're freeing up head space so you can live more presently in the moment, focused on the task at hand. For Dr Tanya, this is a core part of her week that allows her to digest her thoughts while tapping into her creative side as a source of inspiration to seek solutions to problems. 

Tip: Implement a weekly journaling ritual (for Dr Tanya, this means dedicating four hours a week to writing what comes naturally to her). Decide exactly what this will look like for you — whether it's 15 minutes every night or 1 hour every weekend to write your thoughts, concerns, and feelings in a notebook.

Approach the task without judgement and note what comes to mind. Take notice of the subtle ideas that come to you when you're relaxed and on autopilot — this may be your authentic self shining through, offering new ways of thinking or solutions to problems you've been struggling with. 

Remember, it's not selfish to love yourself, take time out for yourself, and prioritise your needs. When we look at our health holistically — prioritising mind, body, and spirit — we flourish, inside and out.