Ways to Up Your Self-Care Game
Self-care is definitely something I’m a huge proponent of.
I love taking time out for a hydrafacial, getting my nails done & spending a few hours getting lost in a really great novel. On Sundays, I’ll let my hair soak in a deep conditioning mask while trying a new brand of under eye patches. However, sometimes even a great self-care routine needs a little shaking up. Today I’m sharing a list of new ways to up your self-care game, in case you are in need of a little inspiration, like I am.
Dabble in a little essential oils.
Admittedly, I haven’t jumped on the essential oil bandwagon… mostly because I’ve never taken the time to research it much… but I have friends that *swear* by their oils, & I’ve always been a bit curious. I’ve heard of it being used in cleaning the house, by adding in a few drops of a citrus oil like orange, lemon or grapefruit. My housekeeper also swears by using a mixture of bergamot & lime oil, diluted in water, to clean sinks.
Someone once gave me a mixture of peppermint, eucalyptus & lavender oils, mixed with coconut oil in a little roller bottle, to help with tension headaches. I’d roll it on my temples & the back of my neck… & I think that it really did help. At the very least, it smelled wonderful & reminded me of a spa… which helped me relax.
Try relaxation yoga.
Adding yoga into my fitness routine was something I had set as a goal at the beginning of 2018, however I haven’t successfully achieved it yet. My husband & I regularly talk about how we need to make it a priority to do a little yoga more often, because we have both experienced the benefits of the practice. Yet, we haven’t put actions behind our words. Recently I strained a muscle in my back, which prompted me to look up the schedule at my favorite yoga studio. “Relaxation Yoga” jumped right out, like it was literally on the calendar for me & only me.
I love the idea of yoga for relaxation, instead of a workout; using yoga for a time to calm down. I did a little research on what to expect from a relaxation yoga class & it’s benefits, finding that you’re simultaneously stimulating & relaxing your body for optimal health in muscles & joints. It also stimulates the nervous system to slow your heart rate & regulate your blood pressure, so there’s a wide range of health benefits. Relaxation, restoration & better sleep? Sounds like a perfect way to practice self-care to me.
Journal on a regular basis.
Obviously, gratitude coincides with happiness & well-being. I know this, you know this, we all know this… right? I’ve gone in spurts of making it a habit to write down three things I’m grateful for each evening before bed, & I really believe that this practice helps to rewire the brain to see things through a happier lens. So why do I drop off with this practice? I don’t know. Journaling, in general, can be so therapeutic. Writing down meaningful quotes & Bible verses that speak to me in the present season of my life has always been something that I enjoy. But then I get busy & get out of habit. When I feel my self-care slipping I always turn back to my gratitude journal. Writing down what you feel grateful for not only requires you to reflect on the things in your life that are good, it always helps me to refocus on what is most important in this life.
Splurge on an alternative treatment.
Have you ever tried a “dry pedicure”? Or cryotherapy? What about a float tank? I haven’t done any of these either, but I’ve always wanted to. All of these treatments boast all kinds of benefits… some of them being detox, assisting in weight loss, purifying your skin, increasing circulation. I typically choose to practice self-care in ways that benefit & improve my health, & being able to justify splurging a bit for these treatments becomes easier this way! What better way is there to up your self-care routine than to shake things up with something outside of your comfort zone? Even if you don’t find a treatment or ritual you want to stick to, or particularly enjoy, you’ll feel more confident taking your health into your own hands, rather than just doing what your doctor recommends. The more things you try, the more you begin to understand your body & what makes you feel healthy, happy, & at peace.
Reflect on the way you speak.
How often do you stop & reflect on the way you speak, both to yourself & in conversation? Do you build yourself up with your words, or do you find that you tear yourself down? Personally, I’ve never struggled with negative self-talk. I grew up with an example of how destructive negative self-talk can be in my mother & I always swore that I would never talk to myself in ways that hurt. However, sometimes I catch myself swearing more than I’d like to admit… & I often think to myself that there are way too many words in the English language that can be used to effectively express myself, why do I resort to these? Don’t get me wrong… I’m not super offended by swearing. I just catch myself swearing more frequently than is probably necessary in casual conversation sometimes.
At times, I catch myself committing to too much… to things I don’t even want to do. Or, making up a story or an unnecessary excuse for why I can’t do something, instead of just saying “no, but thanks for asking me.” I have no reason to not feel confident in my decisions, so in an effort to respect myself, practicing confidence in my decisions is a great way to practice self-care.
Download a meditation app.
Better yet, use it! Meditation has always been really intimidating for me; I’ve had Headspace downloaded for… ever… & have never dived in. The idea of totally emptying your mind & focusing on one thing, in order to get the full benefits, well, I don’t even know where to start with that. But I thought it was downloading an app. Building businesses, being a wife, maintaining my individuality, trying to chase down my dreams while respecting my husband’s insecurities… well, there’s a million things running through my mind at all times. The thought of making that all stop sounds like a miracle, so I should give the app a shot!
Take yourself on a date.
I know nothing about wine, but that I really enjoy a glass or two when I find a bottle I like. When I travel alone, I’ll almost always sit at the bar when I go out for dinner. I’ll bring a book, I’ll order something to eat & I’ll ask for a wine recommendation. This is pretty out of character for me, as I rarely ever pour myself a glass at home & drinking for me is typically a social activity. But, I really enjoy these occasional solo dinners when I treat myself. They feel special. Like, a really great date. With myself.
Do a digital detox.
The list of benefits the research shows is endless: better sleep, better connection, discovering more & accomplishing more. Experiencing more peace, thinking more… I mean, really thinking & stepping away from the habit of multi-tasking. We are all so attached to our inboxes & scrolling our social media feeds has become such a habit. Setting boundaries around our screen time is so much easier said than done, but I love the idea of it. The best part of D. & I’s vacations together is that we find it so much easier to set boundaries. We typically devote 2 hours over coffee in the morning to catching up on emails & touching base with those that we need to, & then we put the devices down. We enjoy each other & the place we are visiting with no distractions. No one ever wants vacations to end… but this connection, this lack of distraction… this is the part that I don’t want to give up to go home.
Nail down a nighttime routine.
I know what I want my routine to look like. I’m just terrible at executing it. It’s pure laziness on my part, but what is my excuse? I am my favorite person, sometimes I slack on treating myself that way. A really good skin care routine is what I wish for & what I have the very best intentions of having. One with retinol, lol, because I know it’s supposed to be the tried & true *magic* ingredient to fighting aging. & teeth whitening strips. Because really, can one’s teeth every really be too white?
&, perfect your morning routine.
I’m a morning person & a person who thrives with a routine. My 6:30am workout, followed by a cup of coffee with Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer while checking my email & reading the daily Skimm, followed by writing up the day’s list of priorities. A lukewarm shower, followed by hair & makeup & picking out an outfit that makes me feel like the best version of myself, before heading down to The Dostal House for a day full of meetings or doing *all the things*! But here’s the struggle I face: I have my best ideas in the morning. My focus is really ridiculously good in the mornings. When creativity & productivity meet, I kind of panic! I need to take advantage of that moment before it passes… & then I can find myself still sitting in my sweaty gym clothes at 3pm; still unshowered & I’ve barely come up for air. Nailing down a routine that allows me to take full advantage of my amazing creative-productive spurts & shower, do my hair & get dressed for the day… ah, that just sounds heavenly!