Let’s go beyond the bath bomb and sheet masks. While typically inexpensive and reliable, there’s so much more we can do when we need to look after and take care of ourselves.
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1. Prioritize your needs
This is where it all begins. Realize that yes, you do need to take some time to look after yourself, that you need to put yourself first, if only for a few minutes.
Learn when to say no, know when to ask for help if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. You don’t need to be the perfect parent, wife, employee this second. Be kind to yourself.
This is such a perfect way to look after each other if you’re currently in self isolation or quarantine with loved ones. Massage can go beyond just the back, neck and shoulders. There are loads of YouTube tutorials for massage, this one is among my favorites to learn how to give each other hand massages:
Scalp massages are also amazing, whether “dry” but especially in the shower. If you want to kick up your scalp massage some more than what just your fingertips can do, I love these inexpensive little scalp massagers. They really help you get all up in there and you feel so invigorated after!
3. Drawing and coloring books
Confession time: I can barely draw a stick figure. But sometimes just grabbing a piece of paper and a regular pencil, some colored pens or even just a regular pen, and taking some time to doodle whatever pops into your head can be super relaxing, even if it doesn’t exactly come out looking “pretty”. If, like me, you’re not exactly a budding artist but would like to work on a drawing project that will have a conventionally prettier result, coloring books for grownups could be what you need.
Fitness Blender on YouTube offers free videos for bodyweight exercises that you can practice at home, in a small space, with minimal to no extra equipment needed. I love them for staying fit on the road, but their videos have been so useful while I’ve been cooped up at home too. The best part? Many of them clock in at a half hour or less, so you don’t need to commit yourself to a full-on sweat session.
5. Clean or declutter
No, this doesn’t mean you need to go in for a full-on spring cleaning all out deep clean. Most of us (especially moms) have enough of this to do day to day as it already is!
Here we’re talking about something smaller but still satisfying. Organize your smaller jewelry like rings and stud or small hoop earrings. Go through your shoe collection and decide what you want to donate, what can be repaired and what needs to be thrown out (hint: shoes with worn soles can often be cheaply and easily restored to their former glory). Clean your makeup brushes and tools. Go through your makeup and nail polish collection and get rid of anything that smells funny, or has a very different texture than when you first got it. Give your shower or tub a good scrub so that you can enjoy it for further self care. Delete a bunch of old and useless emails and make your inbox happy. Look around your living space and decide what you might want to tackle.
6. Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for what you need
This could be the hardest one for a lot of us. Why is it so hard for so many of us to ask for help or to admit that we’re lonely, scared, unhappy, stressed or that we could just use some kindness? Maybe it’s a fear of seeming weak. Maybe we’re trying to be the sort of person that wants to always seem like they fully have their sh*t together, even though we know by now that no one really and truly does. It’s ok to be human sometimes.
7. Stay hydrated
Another one that seems like it would be so easy, but isn’t always. If you’re not a fan of the taste of plain water, here are a few infused water ideas that could help you up your intake.
8. Write out a gratitude list
Start out with at least 5 things and try to see how long you can make the list. This can be a project you do in one sitting, or you can make it ongoing by adding what you’re grateful for on a particular day.
9. Shop your stash of makeup and wardrobe
So now that you’ve (maybe) gone through your makeup and gotten rid of anything gross or suspect, have some fun playing around with the best of what’s left. Even if there’s no one there to see it, have some fun experimenting with bright colors. Take some time to perfect that neutral smoky eye for your next big night out. Practice applying fake lashes if you haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
The same goes for your wardrobe. Now that you’ve gone through anything that you won’t wear anymore or that’s beyond rescuing and needs to be recycled, have fun playing with different outfit combinations. You might be surprised at just how good that print blouse looks with the boots you never thought you’d wear them with!
10. Dress up for dinner at home
And on that note, you don’t necessarily need to wait until your next big night out to show off that smoky eye or cute outfit you’ve put together. Try to make it a household activity, even if you’re just having simple food. If you’re on your own, try to get some friends in on the fun and make a Skype date. You might be surprised how many of your friends or family are also into the idea!