Is it just me or is self-care getting like, really trendy?
I mean, it shouldn’t be something that trends. Self-care is an essential part of taking care of our mental and physical health. But alas, we’ve grown to neglect the basic needs of our bodies and shifted our attention to instant gratification solutions to make us feel good for… a couple minutes.
But there’s no reason we can’t learn self-care! Taking the time to do one or two things for yourself weekly can make a huge difference for stress, anxiety, sleep quality, and so much more.
Here are 5 self-care activities I (try to) do every week:
Make A Home-Cooked Dinner
I might be in the minority when I say it’s not an everyday thing for me to cook a fresh meal for dinner (or maybe not). Usually I’m eating my Time2EatRight meal preps, something I’ve prepped myself, or eating out. Sure, I eat at home during the week, but it’s not a made-on-the-spot-then-eat dinner.
There’s something therapeutic that comes with the act of cooking for me. My dad has always been a great cook. When I was little, majority of our quality time was spent in the kitchen. And it still is! Every time I go home to Michigan, it’s a requirement that my dad and I cook dinner for the family. It’s just our thing.
But even if you don’t have emotional attachment to cooking like me, I still believe it has its benefits. Taking ingredients and putting them together to create something entirely new is a challenging feat that requires you to think critically and focus on the tasks at hand. If you cook with your SO or BFF, it takes teamwork to achieve the goal. The final product gives a sense of satisfaction, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect. Plus, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it!
Shop The Farmers Market
A Sunday itinerary is not complete without a trip to the Farmers Market. I live right across the street, so it’d be a shame to waste the convenient proximity by going to a grocery store.
My shopping list varies from week to week, but usually I get a big bulk order of whatever veggies look good. Sometimes vendors will have large variety baskets at a discounted price. That’s my favorite route, because I’ll end up with veggies I wouldn’t usually grab. Then, depending on what I need to cook for the week, I’ll grab protein for the week, usually salmon, shrimp, maybe some steak if I’m feelin’ it.
But beyond getting my produce for the week, I love walking around the space, talking to the vender operators, asking about products or charities. I’ve always been a huge supporter of small businesses, so helping contribute to these people’s livelihoods lights me up.
They also have much more than just food. You can find organic soy candles, handmade soaps, the cutest home décor, and other cool, unique things. Beats buying something off Amazon that every Influencer and their mom owns, yano?
Take A Hot Bath
Ok, I’ll admit, I’m not the best at making this happen every week, and it’s a pretty standard self-care tip. But when I am able to fit it in, my body thanks me.
There are some specifics when it comes to this bath, though. First off, I like to make the water as hot as I can stand. Then I add Epsom salt, lavender or eucalyptus are my favorites. Followed by some essential oils like tea tree oil (soothes irritated skin), jasmine (reduces anxiety), and chamomile (promotes relaxation).
Some days I’ll just leave it at that and call it a day. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add a couple bath bombs and bubbles. But I’ve found that my body reacts poorly to most fragranced or perfumed soaps, so I avoid them majority of the time.
Along with the salt and oil medley, I love to pair my bath with a strong scented candle. My favorite scents at the moment are Jackson Vaughn’s No. 9 and Thalia from Society Candles (they’re a musky, moody dream).
If you follow my InstaStories, you’re probably sick of seeing me post about yet another yoga class. Wellll #sorrynotsorry they’re not going anywhere! Yoga is my sacred space. An hour of no text messages, Instagram scrolls, emails, calls, anything remotely responsible. An hour completely dedicated to making ME better, physically and mentally.
The reason I’m always posting about yoga is because I attend 3 variations of classes during the week. I break these down in detail in my fitness routine blog post, but the one we’re talking about today is meditative yoga. The kind of yoga where you very well might be lying completely still the entire class, maybe with a few adjustments here and there.
In theory, it sounds easy. But to let your mind break away from the day and just be still is hella hard. You’re going to want to scratch your face, fix your clothes, even just give your fingers a wiggle, but the goal is to resist all of these urges and remain in your meditative state. Any unwelcome thoughts are kicked out of your mind space to make room for restorative breathing.
It’s challenging, but massively rewarding, and eventually you’ll walk out of a 30-minute meditation feeling like you got a full nights sleep. And you don’t need a class to accomplish it! There are plenty of apps, like Headspace, that will guide you through meditation right on your bedroom floor.
UNPLUG, UNPLUG, UNPLUG
This may be the most important item on the list. And I’ve never been good at it, but after 3+ years working in digital media, I’m starting to realize it’s not an optional thing – it’s wildly necessary.
Blue light from electronics can have major impacts on your mood, anxiety and circadian rhythm, especially at night. Not to mention, most time spent on our devices is dedicated to social media, which is largely filled with garbage, if we’re being honest.
I do my best to take 30 minutes before going to bed to completely unplug. I’ll journal or read poetry or a fiction book. Nothing too complex so I can get lost and relax in my own thoughts. It works miracles for insomnia episodes, fr.
The biggest excuse for neglecting self-care is time. But if you take care of your mental and physical health, your body will reward you with mental clarity and mountains of energy. If I ever end up achieving all of the above, my mood for the whole week is at a level freaking 1000. I have a positive attitude and motivated mentality, helping to reach for goals I never thought I could make.
The small sacrifices to make self-care happen are always worth it, swear. Do you have a routine or self-care tip you swear by? LMK on my latest Instagram post (or just DM me and we can discuss).
Now go light a candle and chill TF out!