There is nothing I love more than taking some “me time,” whether it’s a staycation lounging in the backyard by the pool, or spending the day getting pampered at a spa. But let’s be honest, that kind of day is rare and special…and often expensive. Even taking a mental health day can cost you personal time at work, or sometimes money, depending on your job. What I’m saying is, it’s hard to find the time and money to practice real self care. We worry about being selfish. We fret over the time “wasted” on ourselves. We think of all the other, more important things we could be doing instead. Right?
But on the other hand: eff that! It’s important to do something for yourself, even if it’s small, and not just on special occasions. I try and practice at least one act of self care every day. Sometimes this is as small as making myself a cup of tea, or making a bigger life change that I know will make me happier.
1. Bring the spa to you: Turn down the lights and take a long, hot bubble bath. Throw in some sea salts or essential oils. Burn a candle. Bring in a book, or a glass of wine, or just place a cool compress on your forehead and lie back with your eyes closed. I am personally very into baths and take one almost every night–not a fancy as the one I just described, but at least a nice 20-minute soak.
2. Get an oil diffuser: Diffusing essential oils can have tons of benefits, mentally and otherwise. They can relax your mood, help with physical ailments and more. I personally love the smell of clary sage, which has calming properties. Unfortunately, almost all essential oils can be harmful to cats, so I can’t do this one at home. If you’re a pet owner, make sure you check to see if the oils your using are toxic to animals. If it’s safe, using a diffuser can really be a mood booster.
3. Do something physical: Get up and walk around, or stretch for a few minutes. Rotate your neck back and forth. I do this at my desk at work all the time, and I probably look crazy, but oh well.
4. Unplug: I know, I know.! I will be the first to admit that I almost never unplug, even right before bed. My iPad is the last thing I look at, and my email is the first thing I open in the morning. Ugh. But if you have more self control than I do, giving your eyes (and mind) a break really can be nice.
5. If you can’t unplug, unfollow: There’s no reason to keep following that guy on Twitter who’s like, “Not all men!” or reading your racist aunt’s Facebook thoughts on Black Lives Matter. Make use of that mute button. Hide posts. Unfollow.
6. Take care of that face: Take ten minutes and use a sheet mask before getting ready for your day, or whip up a homemade mask using the ingredients in your fridge before bed. Men, use a hot towel before and after shaving.
7. Get some rest: Go to bed early, or sleep in if you can. Take a nap.
8. Do something just because: Call a friend just to say hello. Re-watch your favorite episode of television, even if you’ve seen it 100 times. Wear slippers around the house. Watch cat videos on YouTube. Draw a picture or write something.
The bottom line is, do something that will boost your mood. Something that is for you and only you. Make sure it’s something you want to do, not something you have to do–and enjoy it without guilt.