Let’s face it, we all feel a little down every once in a while. Whether it is depression and anxiety (like me, and millions of other humans) or just feeling stressed out or down in the dumps, self care is such an important antidote. I’m not sure if I fully realized this until this year. Many people struggled through the COVID-19 isolation period, and for good reason. It’s really hard to feel happy and fulfilled when you’re stuck in your apartment (alone, in some cases).
So…what is “self care,” you ask? That’s the best part: it can be literally whatever you want. Self care is doing what makes you happy, but most importantly, forgetting about outside stressors and worries, and focusing on yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes–self care is for everyone! Whether it’s doing a plethora of face masks and cooking (yours truly) or bingeing true crime documentaries and doing a dumb puzzle (also me), self care is doing something for yourself, but most importantly, something that makes you feel good.
During quarantine, I’ve been focusing a lot on 2 forms of self-care, specifically: beauty/health and creativity. I found that these 2 things made me the happiest.
As we are slowly starting to get back to normal, I am coming out of “quarantine” feeling invigorated, inspired, and fulfilled because of how much time I was able to focus on myself.
One problem that I’ve noticed since life has started to get busy again is finding the time for these kinds of activities. I really value my time, and hate feeling like I’ve wasted any precious time throughout the day. However, when I don’t take the time to take care of myself physically and mentally/emotionally, I find myself needing a “day off” more often. Luckily, a lot of these activities only take a few minutes out of your day, but make a huge difference in how you are feeling! Doing these self care activities every day has definitely resulted in less days where I feel like I need a whole day off to relax.
So, here are some self care ideas and self care tips (some that I’ve tried and some that are on my to-do/wish list) to inspire you all to take some meaningful time for yourself–even if it’s just a few minutes!
Disclaimer: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means that if you choose to take my suggestions and make a purchase, I will make a little money so I can keep up these super cool blog posts. This in no way affects my editorial decisions, which are always genuine recommendations and only products or brands I would purchase myself.
1. At-Home Massage
I got my foam roller on Amazon a couple of years ago, and I don’t know how I survived without it. I use it mostly for my neck, which usually starts to hurt after a long day. It can hurt or be a bit uncomfortable at first, but I usually feel like a new person once I’m done. I highly recommend this for anyone with ANY kind of back or neck pain–it was seriously a game changer. Plus, it’s insanely cheaper than getting a professional massage every time your back hurts!!
I also just discovered something called an acupuncture mat. I’ve never gotten acupuncture (but as a long-time back pain sufferer, I’ve always been curious) so this was an interesting alternative! I tried it at a friends house and HOLY crap. It feels soooo relaxing (and a bit weird) and I just had to get one of my own.
There are lots of other options for body massagers etc. like this for similar results:
- Here’s the foam roller I have (I would recommend sizing up, it’s a bit short if you’re doing your whole back): 321 STRONG Foam Roller
- Some cute/similar options from SheIn (who knew they sold this stuff?!):
- The ridges on the roller that I have can be a little intense, so for someone just starting out, I would recommend a basic foam roller like this one: Therapy Foam Roller CanDo Slim Round Blue Polyethylene Foam 6 X 36 Inch
- The acupuncture mat I ordered from Amazon: ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set
2. All The Best Smells
This may not be actual “self care,” but for me, creating a relaxing and pleasing atmosphere at home always lifts my spirits. I absolutely love all kinds of scents, and an act as simple as lighting a candle or using a scented body wash immediately calms me. I LOVE seasonal scents like christmas tree, florals, pumpkin, ocean, cinnamon, etc. because it brings me to another place/time, and really helps me forget about the stress of life for a moment.
In addition to candles/air fresheners and scented lotions/body washes, I’ve recently started dabbling in essential oils (because I am that gullible, basic bitch). I honestly don’t know if they really work or are just placebos, but they smell damn good. I especially love the lavender oil–I put it in my oil diffuser/humidifier every night before bed to relax and unwind.
Here are some delicious-smelling options to turn your space into an oasis where you can really relax and take some YOU time!
|The Candle Company (Carroll & Chan) Reed Diffuser – Champagne Rose |
(lasts for 3-4 months)
|Kendra Scott Autumn Large Tumbler Candle (birchwood, cinnamon, brown sugar & crisp maple leaves)|
|Top 8 Essential Oil Blends & Maple Diffuser Set |
|Sabon NYC Signature Body Care Kit (Ginger Orange)|
3. Arts & Crafts
This may not be for everyone, but I truly believe it’s worth a try, even if you don’t consider yourself an “artistic” person. Creating something usually helps put me at ease–I highly suggest right-brain activity every once in a while.
For someone who is a “beginner” or looking for something a little easier, I suggest a paint-by-number kit. There are so many designs out there, so you can pick one that fits your personality, or matches your home décor (assuming you’ll want to hang it up when finished). It’s really simple, and is a relatively mindless activity, which usually helps distract me from life’s stressors. This may seem a little time consuming, but you have NO deadline to finish, so it’s okay to only take a few minutes a day to work on it! Plus, it’s an accomplishment and feels so satisfying when you’re all done!
Here are just a few other arts & crafts ideas for optimal relaxation and creativity (your right brain probably misses you)!
- Collaging or scrapbooking
- Watercolor painting
- Tie dyeing
- DIY jewelry
Okay, okay, I know. You’re sick and tired of hearing me rant about skincare. But, until I have every single person in the world doing at least 5 minutes of daily skincare, I won’t stop. It has been one of the biggest gamechangers in my life recently, for so many reasons! It has not only been great for my skin (obviously) but it’s morphed into a relaxing, essential daily hobby for me.
Some of the specific products and tools that are the most relaxing for me are jade/rose quartz (be sure it is real, not faux, or will not have the same effects/benefits) face rollers, Gua Sha, eye masks (Mount Lai makes all of my favorites, and explains the benefits here) and traditional face masks. Not only do you feel refreshed and relaxed afterwards, but it forces you to take a second to just sit and relax, taking a moment just for yourself!
Here are some suggestions (I recommend them all, obviously), and you can also check out my other Beauty blogs for more suggestions…
|Daily Concepts Daily Jade Facial Roller|
|Mount Lai Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool|
|GlamGlow BUBBLESHEET Deep Cleanse Sheet Mask|
|Too Faced Pineapple Glow Face Mask|
|Mount Lai Jade Eye Mask|
I encourage you to try as many activities as possible, and decide which ones make you feel like your best self! You’ll never know how big of a difference it could make in your life until you try!
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