Self care is one of my favorite topics, so much so that I’ve been on a mission to help friends of mine think about self care and how to implement routines into their daily lives. I think it’s one of the strongest acts of self kindness, to understand what self care means to you and how to ensure you are taking care of yourself in this way.
Self care is about the actions you take to provide a little TLC to your physical, emotional, or mental health. It’s intentional practices that you put in place to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, anxious, sad, or upset. In doing so, you trigger your body to begin to relax, calm down, and get centered. It provides a routine to leave your worries behind, if only for a little bit.
Here are some of the self-care practices I use regularly:
- Bubble baths – Yes, I know that this is a pretty basic self-care practice, but it truly is my most favorite one. I take a bubble bath almost daily, usually right after I get home from work. I make the water as hot as I can handle it, squeeze out soap (I use regular body wash; nothing fancy here!), and then sink into the warm water and bubbles with a book. There’s truly nothing more euphoric for me than the moment when I submerge my body below the bubbles.
- Naps – I love taking naps more than anything in this world. My affinity for napping is probably why I’m so hesitant about children. (I hear there’s something about getting less sleep as a mother? Ehhhh.) There’s something so delightful about crawling into a cool bed on a warm afternoon day and falling into a deep sleep with my snoring dachshund by my side.
- Five minutes of sunshine – I use this self-care practice mostly at work, when I’m feeling stressed out or anxious and need a break. I take myself downstairs to this beautiful deck area that is quiet and has a great view of the water. I soak in the sunshine, let my mind wander, and enjoy the quiet. It’s blissful.
- Taking a day to read a trashy romance novel – If I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed and overstimulated, I’ll spend a Saturday stretched out on my bed reading a romance novel. I have a few authors I can always count on for giving me a book I won’t want to put down. It feels so indulgent and truly helps my mental well-being.
- Baking – I used this self-care routine when I moved a year ago and was feeling lost and anxious. Baking centered me. It’s such a precise science, baking is, and it requires your full attention. The end result is something sweet and tasty, and since I’m an emotional eater, that also takes care of this need for self care.
- Going for a walk while listening to a podcast – I don’t do this as often as I’d like because there aren’t too many great walking paths around me (other than Bayshore Blvd, which isn’t my favorite). But I do love a long walk by myself where I can listen to a podcast and get lost in my thoughts.
You’ll notice that all of my self-care routines are solo activities and that’s because I’m a highly sensitive introvert that needs a ton of alone time to recharge. I typically indulge in self care when I need this recharging, and then I’m free to get out there and socialize with friends and colleagues. Extroverts (and introverts who aren’t highly sensitive) might enjoy having a long phone conversation with a good friend, window shopping at the mall, or going to the beach for the day. We all have different self-care needs and it’s up to us to build these routines into our lives so that we have an action plan in place when we need to slow down.
What self-care routines do you use?