Hey friends, we need to talk about something: self care. I feel like there has been a lot of discussion on how to perform self care, and a lot of it has been consumerism based. It seems, however, that towards the end of 2019 and as we’ve begun 2020, people are relishing in the fact that self care has a big range of what it can be.
Listen, I love face masks. I will go off for a sheet mask, a good exfoliating mask, or just a clay mask; I think they’re an important part of my skincare routine. They’re also a fun way to perform self care! Same with bath bombs; Lush is my Achilles heel, but I’ve been staying away from it for a bit now. Not because I have any issue with the company, but because I’m learning more ways to care of myself, that don’t always require spending money.
Self Care is defined as: “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” and “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” None of that says you have to buy a lot to participate! So let’s chat about some ways that I practice self care!
Is this beyond basic? Yes. Does it help me organize what I need / want to do? Heck yeah! Above is a screenshot of my list for the week of 2/2, because I need to go through things week by week sometimes. I used to make my lists on post-its, but as I try to reduce my waste further, I use as few post-its as possible. Plus, I’m not going to run out of space or lose a list on my phone!
This is one of the more shown-off types of self care. I really enjoy a good bath, especially with a bath bomb. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who has used a fancy bath bomb and not shared how beautiful the water is. I find it extra therapeutic, because it can be an entire ritual. If you’re looking to go all out on a bath, make it an experience.
Clean your bathroom the day before, then the day of the bath run hot water while lighting candles and playing music, choose your bath bomb, and soak. Add a mask and some water (hydrate, ya babes), and you’re in a spa, not your bathtub.
I know this one may seem obvious, but not everyone realizes that reading can be self care! As someone who recharges when alone, reading can be the perfect self care. I really like that it can be combined with other personal care things (face masks, baths, calm music), and it feels so good (to me). I love disappearing into another world for awhile, and focus on someone else’s life.
Here are the books I read in January, as a means of self care!
I have at least 10 different face masks at my apartment right now. I’ve got sheet masks, clay masks, and exfoliating masks. I like using an exfoliating mask on Sunday mornings, before my shower. Much like the bath, I think masks can be made into a whole experience.
Using a sheet mask while reading before bed sounds like the perfect night to me. Clay masks are great for the day after a night out. Heck, if you’re feeling super bougie, you can do an exfoliating mask in the morning and a sheet mask at night! I think I know what I’m doing this weekend…
Hear me out, please! Laundry can be a dumb thing that takes up too much time, I know. But I find that it feels so good to get through a basket of laundry. If you think about it, laundry is just a lot of organized waiting; waiting for things to be dirty, loading the washer and waiting for that to do it’s thing, and waiting for the clothes to dry!
I air dry my clothing (I don’t see a reason to spend money at my building’s washing room when I have clothing racks, and it’s a bit better for the world), so that’s even more waiting! I really enjoy folding, also. It reminds me of which articles I wear the most, and helps me to cycle my wardrobe. I just really like laundry, y’all.
This one definitely isn’t for everyone, and I get that. But I love doing my nails. I also love splurging and having my nails done. But this year I’m trying to not get my nails done until I am out of nail polish (which definitely will not be happening soon). I have so much nail polish, and I’m sure if you’ve painted your nails, you do as well! My nails are currently a translucent purple that shifts to a yellow green. Nails are such a good and chill way to do a little something for yourself.
Okay, I know that much like laundry, this isn’t what everyone thinks of as self care! But again, let me say my piece before you go off on me. Cleaning is such a positive way to do something for yourself. Recently I visited my hometown to celebrate Christmas with my family. When I came home, I had to unpack all of my gifts and clothing, but I hate unpacking. I waited way too long to do so, and my room looked like my suitcases exploded.
So, I ended up spending most of my Sunday unpacking and cleaning my room. I unpacked, put things where they belonged, and when I finished, I felt better. No, my room is not spotless. My laundry is not all done, and there is still some luggage on the floor. But since it’s less messy, my brain feels better. And that’s important.
Another super exciting one, water!! Again, I know it isn’t a wildly fun thing to say, but water is so dang important. You need a ton of it to survive, but we’re trying to do more than survive here! It’s basic as heck, but drink some water right now. You’re honestly probably not hydrated enough right now. Fun fact about me: I love to drink (alcohol), but I’ve never had a hangover. Wanna know why? Because I drink so much water all the time. If you’re out drinking cocktails, there are two super easy ways to make sure you get enough water; always chew/drink the ice in your cocktail, and have a glass of water in between your drinks. Yes, you will break the seal sooner, but you will feel better the next day, I promise.
Even if you don’t drink booze, water is great for your skin and body. Just drink more water, please!
I think this is the least accessible way to perform self care, but it can be the most helpful. Obviously, therapy isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s something that if you’re able to try, you should. While I’m not super healthy or great at coping, I wouldn’t be where I am without therapy. My mental health care team (yes, it’s a team) is super important to me.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with needing or wanting to go to therapy! We have this big terrible stigma around it, and I really wish we didn’t, because it can be so positive. Still, I know that I am speaking from a place of privilege; therapy is expensive and not accessible to everyone. Here are two resources from my psychiatrist for online therapy options: Talk Space & Better Help.
I know that this list is nowhere near complete, but it is full of things that I find benefit my mind and body. What do you do for self care? Lets turn the comments into a giant list of self care tips, so everyone can find something that could work for them!
Here is another piece I’ve written about self care, and one about sustainability in beauty (which is very important)! Also, on Sunday 3/8 at 10am EST, my friend Sydney & I will be doing an Instagram live about free self care! Check out her (and my) instagram there!