"Self-care” became a popular phrase during the pandemic, especially, because we were looking for activities to do at home that made us feel good. We gave ourselves facials, painted our fingernails, tried new workouts, and took on new hobbies, including making sourdough bread. But like anything, we can spruce up our self-care routines, by considering adopting some of these unconventional forms of self-care into your life.
- Make your bed: OK, so you probably do this every morning, but how much care and attention do you put into making your bed? Giving yourself a good night’s rest begins with an inviting bed. Start by laundering your favorite sheets. Then, put your linens on the bed with the precision of hotel housekeeping – hospital corners, symmetry, and all. As you’re making up the bed, spritz linen spray in an aroma that helps with sleeping, like lavender. As you go about your day, your made up bed will be an invitation to get quality sleep later.
- Send yourself a gift note: Shopping can certainly be a form of self-care (as long as you’re not getting into debt for something new). The next time you place a new order, don’t skip over the gift note field. Instead, write yourself a touching message, like your favorite inspirational quote or a line from a book, film, or series that makes you laugh.
- Unplug and moisturize your hands, instead: We all deserve some time away from our phones, but it can be difficult to break the habit of endless scrolling. So why not complete three tasks at once? Slather your hands with a thick moisturizer and apply cotton moisturizing gloves. You likely won’t be able to use the touchscreen on your phone, so you can catch up on your favorite magazine or read a book.
- Restock your favorite hand soap and lotion: Speaking of your hands, washing them doesn’t have to be a mundane task. It can be a delight if you’re using an aromatic hand soap and lotion that you keep near the sink.
- Treat yourself like a best friend: It’s very easy to have negative thoughts about ourselves. It’s also very easy to treat your best friend with kindness. Let the latter fix the former by treating yourself like you treat your best friend. You wouldn’t insult or demean your bestie, would you? Well, you deserve the same kindness.
- Check in with yourself: The same way we have to be gentle with ourselves, we also have to hold ourselves accountable. Are we setting boundaries and communicating them well? Are we holding ourselves to the same standard we hold others? Are we taking ourselves too seriously? Do we laugh or cry enough? It’s important to check in with yourself emotionally, psychologically, and physically.
- Clean your space: Cleaning as a form of self-care isn’t as big of a leap as one might think. Who doesn't love a clean space? I know for myself, it really opens me up and helps me breathe a bit better.” A clean home will give you a sense of accomplishment and a clutter-free space will lead to a clutter-free mind. Plus, cleaning can be good cardio.
- Document your nature walk: Taking a walk is self-care 101, but documenting your walk takes the activity to another level. Photograph the flowers and other flora that catches your eye and wildlife you may happen upon. Look up at the clouds or catch the sun rising or setting. Record the babbles of a river or brook on video. The goal is to enjoy the moment and capture a memento that will later serve as a reminder to appreciate the beauty around you.
- Go shopping in your closet: At the beginning of every season, take an assessment of what’s in your wardrobe so you can rediscover garments you may have forgotten or that are having a style resurgence. Take your shoes to the cobbler, tailor a piece so it fits well, and take other items to the dry cleaners. When the clothes and shoes have been repaired or cleaned, you’ll feel like you have a new wardrobe.
- Create a fine dining atmosphere at home: You know those dishes, china, or silverware you rarely use? Pull it out and set the table as if you’re dining at a Michelin star restaurant. Anything you want can be on the menu and you can have as many or as few courses as you want. The main goal is to create a space that brings you joy.
Self-care can be as simple or extravagant as you want. What’s most important is that you take time to make yourself feel good, pour into your own cup, and reset.
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