Since I’ve been dealing with my mother’s passing just last month, it’s made me appreciate the little things I subconsciously do, or used to do, to take care of myself–some of these even being things I did with her. I often think about how much better I could be, and how it’s hard to focus on striving to be that person, when I’m trying to figure out how to grieve and I’m constantly tied down by countless emotions. Then I realize, that sometimes, just like the version of myself I envision falling in love with, I’m not perfect… And that’s okay. People are allowed to go through things, and I mean really go through them. They are permitted to feel every ounce of pain, and sigh at every feeling of relief. I can’t blame my mom passing on a lack of a good relationship with myself, because to be clear, it was never really healthy even when she was still here. Because I have people to take care of, and because I have myself to take care of, I’ve been pretty determined to manifest this self-fulfilling friendship.
So I’ve been trying this out:
Make yourself your top priority at some point in the day, because sometimes, it’s selfless to be selfish. You can’t effectively help others unless you help yourself, and equally so, to be able to fully give or receive love, you need to be capable of loving your own vessel fist.
And when it all comes down to it, you deserve the same love you give to others.
There are plenty of ways to fall in love with yourself, and the relationship you have with yourself. While some are more direct, and involve self-affirmation, some take the back route, and distract you with things you can use to relax, and, as a result, you end up falling anyway.
So let’s explore some methods of self-care:
1. Be Positive
Start every morning by telling yourself that it’s going to be a good day, even if you think it won’t be (or you pulled an all-nighter and only got 3 hours of sleep before class or work). You woke up this morning, and I think that’s one reason, if not the most important reason to smile.
Try telling yourself something really positive–does that direct deposit come in today? Did you pull off an effortless top bun (even though it took more than enough effort)? Did you get the perfect winged eyeliner before a tenth try?
Tell yourself that, even if on a minuscule scale, you’re going to do something good in the world today. Whether that’s making someone laugh, or smiling at a stranger–tell yourself that you have more than enough power to affect someone, other than yourself, in a really beautiful way. You never know what people are going through, and how significant of a difference you can make with something seemingly small.
2. Take a Bubble Bath
And add a bath bomb! Some of my favorite bath bombs come from Lush Cosmetics. These include, but are by no means limited to,
- Pink: a sweet candy smelling bath bomb that turns your water into a dream-like frothy pink with cute little biodegradable heart confetti. It’s featured ingredient is Tonka Absolute, but is also made with natural ingredients like Vanilla and Lavender Oil. It’s sure to create luscious escape. Price: $5.25
- Twilight: this particular bath bomb is pink as well, but when it fizzles down, creates streaks of purple (think twilit sky), and finally turns into a deep indigo blue. This one’s featured ingredient is Lavender Oil, and you can never have enough of that. Note that if you have trouble falling asleep at night, essential oils like Lavender create a warm, fuzzy feeling, and help induce a more peaceful and restful sleep. So this one’s perfect for before bed! Price: $6.95
- Butterball: This one is almost always my top choice. I keep these stocked for a rainy day, literally. This bath bomb’s featured ingredient is probably like my favorite thing ever, Cocoa Butter. Ugh, yes. When you pop it into your bath, it oozes this blissfully dreamy vanilla scent. Because of the organic Cocoa Butter, your skin will feel soft and hydrated (and you’ll smell amazing). Price: $4.95
Baths at the end, or even in the middle, of a stressful day tend to relax your mind, thereby de-stressing you, and making it easier to function for the rest of the day, or sleep better at night.
Something that definitely helps me unwind is reading (something other than my Bio 102 textbook). This week’s picks are Jane Austen and this cute little book of poetry. I highly recommend taking a trip to your neighborhood Barnes & Noble. If you have a free day, spend the entire day in there, I promise you’ll feel lovely when you leave.
As a writer, self-reflecting at the end of most days in a journal, is something that 1) clears my mind, and 2) creates avenue for more inspiration. Get yourself a little journal a ridiculous ink pen, and put something down in it every now and then. It doesn’t have to be every day, but studies show that writing things down, sometimes makes them easier to process and creates room for more information intake. Journalling can help manage anxiety, cope with depression, prioritize concerns, and improve your mood.
5. Put on a Face Mask… or 2
This act of self-love gives you triple rewards: glowing skin, being able to unwind, and calming your mind. You can also double this up with some other self-care acts like reading or writing while it’s drying, or putting it on then sinking into a luscious a bubble bath (exactly what I’m about to do after writing this). I have to represent one of my favorite cosmetic companies again, so here you go Lush:
- Cup O’ Coffee: This is an exfoliating face (and body) mask that is perfect to wake you up in the morning. Because its featured ingredient is Coffee Infusion, it has the intoxicating aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. It also contains Kaolin that cleanses the pores, and ground coffee that scrubs away dead skin to reveal your glow underneath. Price: $10.95
- Mask of Magnaminty: Another face and body mask, Magnaminty is cleansing with out harsh exfoliation. It’s a bit more gentle than Cup O’ Coffee, so you can use it more frequently throughout the week. It’s made with Kaolin clay and infused with Peppermint Oil, Vanilla, and Honey which calm redness and moisturize. Price: $10.95
- Rosy Cheeks: PSSST THIS ONE’S MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. *Clears throat*, Rosy Cheeks is an uber soothing and uber softening fresh face mask. Made with Kaolin Clay, its featured ingredient is natural Rose Oil, which acts to nourish and tone your skin. It also includes fresh Rose Petal infusion, and Calamine Powder to remove dirt. This mask is perfect for people with oily skin (such as myself) because the Calamine Powder also tightens pores, and thereby* calming* your skin and leaving a smooth matte finish behind. Price: $12.95
- BB Seaweed: This is Lush’s newest fresh face mask and I’m completely in love with it. Like Rosy Cheeks, it has Rose Absolute, but its featured ingredient is Bladderwrack Seaweed. 7 pounds of this natural nutrient-rich seaweed goes into each batch.It’s made specially for those of us with sensitive skin, and has finely ground almonds for gentle exfoliation. Price: $8.95
*Lush’s fresh face masks must be kept in the fridge as they are made with fresh ingredients and without preservatives!
6. Do Some Yoga
One way I decompress is through yoga. I started two years ago with my mom, and now, even when I’m in school, I go alone to yoga classes at least 4 times a week. Just think, calming music, stretching, no thinking, and no outside distractions for an hour of your day. I feel like everyone needs at least hour of every day to get away from everything; whether it be school, work, social distractions, and even feelings. Yoga is a very good way to re-center yourself, and re-focus on your goals for the day, the week, and even for your life. Re-instilling your life mantra for an hour every day can prove to be extremely motivating, and then it’s a workout!
This one is very similar to yoga, just minus the stretching. Focused breathing, a focused mantra, or focusing on nothing at all. Take 15 minutes out of your day to sit down, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on nothing but your breathing, and you’ll see how your stress just washes away, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
8. Listen to Music
Because I am very fond of putting feelings into words, sometimes I tend to run out of words for said feelings. Sometimes music is a gateway to expressing those feelings you felt couldn’t really be expressed. Whether it’s making your own music, or listening to someone else’s, sometimes this is just as therapeutic as yoga, mediation, or a hot bath for me; and I can do this one while working as well!
9. Burn Some Candles
Here’s a list of essential oils with different uses and benefits:
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon has stimulating attributes that help fight mental lethargy and work to improve focus and concentration. Try a cinnamon candle while you’re getting ready for class in the morning for a more productive and memorable lesson!
- Jasmine. Jasmine can be used to calm nerves, but it is more so renowned for its uplifting capabilities such as confidence, optimism, and energy, making it a great antidepressant. Try some Jasmine oil, flowers, or natural Jasmine tea when you aren’t feeling quite like yourself.
- Lavender. Lavender has an über soothing effect on nervous tension and can help to control emotional stress. It also works to treat headaches and migraines. Try a Lavender bath before bed to help promote more restful sleep!
- Rosemary. Rosemary helps to improve memory recollection and combat physical exhaustion.
- Vanilla. Vanilla is a very a warm and cozy scent, and there’s a reason why people describe it as such. In several studies, researchers have found that smelling natural vanilla bean elevated feelings of contentment and relaxation. When you’re relaxing after a tiring day, a little vanilla bean may go a long way. Ooh and try some Vanilla ice cream! It’s a bit of a reach, but it still tastes good!
10. Get a Mani/Pedi
It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then. Just like yoga or mediation, this can be another way you dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to yourself and only yourself. If you want, bring a friend along! Just remember, a mani-pedi never stressed anyone out more.
11. Take a Nature Break
If you’re feeling cornered, bottled up, stressed, or like you’re about to explode, drop everything, and just take a long walk outside. If you have to bring your phone, turn it on silent. Use this time to look at the simpler, more beautiful things about life, and then go back to work, to school, to family, and see how much more productive you can be.
12. Watch Reruns of Your Fav Sitcoms
This one’s a definite fav. When I’m feeling stressed about school work, I make a productivity goal with myself. Once I’ve completed it, I shut every thing down, close all my textbooks, put on a sweatshirt and leggings, grab some yogurt or some ice cream, and watch re-runs of Friends, America’s Next Top Model, That’s So Raven, and even Proud Family. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but there’s something about watching or engaging in things from your past. It’s almost like a time capsule; it sucks you back into that age you were when your biggest fear was the boogie man, and your biggest responsibility was making sure you practiced your spelling words for the big 10-letter quiz the next day at school. So watch an episode, or 5, of Law & Order SVU re-runs; let Benson and Rollins take your mind off of life for at least a season
13. Plan Out Your Week
Get yourself a planner and some colored pens, and plan out your week! Yes, I’m talking Monday through Friday. Any big tests coming up? Due dates for that essay? A seminar you really want to attend? Maybe a social event with friends on Saturday. Write out a schedule for yourself, and a little to-do list. When you accomplish things, check them off. You’ll feel better, promise. Research actually shows that checking things off of a list of things-to-do causes your brain to release Serotonin, a chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure, accomplishment, and content.
14. Turn Off Electronics
Give yourself one hour, whether it be at the beginning of the day, or the end, where you turn off your computer, your laptop, your TV, your Apple Watch or your FitBit, and even your pager (if you still have one?) At the end of your hour, turn everything back on, and go back to your life, but just know that that one hour without all of those distractions, you’ve given your poor old brain a huge break. And during this hour, you could have done at least one thing from the list above!
15. Tell Yourself It’ll Get Better
Whenever you feel like you’ll never get everything done, you just can’t keep your eyes open in Business Law 102, or you can’t get rid of feelings of hopelessness, try telling yourself that it won’t always be like this. That all of the work you’re doing now will some day pay off. Say that you’re doing it for you, even if right now you’re doing something for somebody else. Because even if you are, you only started doing it, because of a vision you had or have for yourself down the line. Remind yourself why you’re doing something, and the contentment that it could possibly bring you, and I guarantee you’ll feel at least a little better about doing it. Know that at the end of the day, if you’re not making yourself happy by doing it, or you aren’t working to be happier as a result, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all. It’s a good feeling to be able to feel like the world is smaller than it really is… To feel like the weight of the world isn’t on your shoulders. Because to be quite honest, it isn’t.
You just have to try and remember that every now and then.
– – –
Hopefully this can be a help to some of you, because I’m working on sticking to them to help myself.
Today, the moon is in full Sagittarius, aligning with its opposite in Gemini, so this Friday’s feeling pretty sweet for this little Sagittarius girl.
Do you guys have any other methods of self-care that work for you? Or maybe do some of the ones I mentioned? If so, let me know down below! I love hearing from you ☺️
P.S. thank you for 300 WordPress followers, and 2,000 overall!
Until next time,