I think most of us have heard it by now that self-care is really important. Taking time away for yourself to rest, recharge, and show yourself some love is very important for our emotional well-being, health, and happiness.
I would like to say self-care can help us with our emotional well-being, can help to foster positive feelings, can contribute to our health, and lower stress, but it won’t solve our problems particularly mental-health problems. Self-care is more about temporary relief and release, and less about a long-term solution of larger mental-health problems like difficulties in our relationships, grief, depression, anxiety etc. But nonetheless, self-care is still important and absolutely helps us to live a better more balanced life. So while it can’t replace mental-health care, it’s still worth pursuing.
There are so many different ways to explore self-care. And like so many things in life there are a lot of ways that can suck you into spending a lot of money. While occasionally investing in an extra fun self-care experience like going to the spa or a retreat can be nice, there are also a lot of more affordable ways to try self-care at home.
Here are 5 of my favourite ways to do a little self-care at home:
- Washing My Face & Skincare. Instead of the just the quick splash and wash I usually do at the end of my day, I love to take 30 minutes to double cleanse my skin, exfoliate, maybe use a mask, and then moisturize my skin. It makes me feel clean, relaxed, and like I’m taking care of my body. I think those moments when we take the time to touch and care for our bodies (I know it might sound a little strange) can really help us to feel grounded and calmer. I think in some ways our north-american culture has discouraged us from a more natural and intimate connection with our bodies and nurturing that relationship is important.
- Painting my nails. A bright fun colour on my fingertips always makes me feel more put together, even if I’m not perfect at it. Not to mention taking the time to cut, clean, and file my nails gives my brain some time to turn off. I love to paint my nails while watching a comfort movie, something light and uplifting.
- Reading & Lighting a Candle. I love to spend some quiet moments curled in my bed with a good book and a candle lit on my bedside. Reading helps my mind to focus on things other than my worries and stresses. The warmth of candle light is also somehow relaxing, I think watching fire dance is a very primal comfort as well as the physical warmth it can provide can add an extra element to a lot of at home self-care.
- Bubble Baths. I find a good long soak in warm bubbly water with a spa playlist in the background can really help me to let go of stress. You don’t even need fancy soap just some shower gel will do. This is also a great way to deal with aches and pains or inflammation in the body.
- Going for a Walk. Whether it’s with my dog, my husband, or just by myself with some good music, a walk is a great way to turn off my mind, move my body and benefit from some endorphins, and get out my stress and anxieties.
I try to do some of these things at least once a week. Sometimes life will get so busy that we can just end up plowing through our days without slowing down. Recognizing and listening to my mind and body when I need to slow down and take some time for myself has really changed my ability to cope with life’s stress but also improves my productivity. We aren’t going to be productive 100% of the time and that’s okay. But, sometimes slowing down actually allows us enough time to rekindle our inspiration that leads to a surge in productivity.
I’d love to hear from you if you try any of these self-care practices at home or what your favourite ways of self-care are.