I'll admit it, I'm kind of bad at taking care of myself. I can push myself really hard, run on only a few hours of sleep, continue to grind away at what I'm working on until my eyes burn and I've got a tension headache running down my neck. But, when it comes to taking the pressure off, I have to put in real conscious effort into self-care.
Personally, I think that self-care can take many forms. It can be physical or mental, can be about indulgence or relaxation. What works for me may not work for you. Just find something that helps you feel a little less like a giant ball of stress and a little more like a human being. That said, I wanted to share a few things that I like to do when I am starting to feel like I've been spread a little too thin.
- Face masks -
I am a skincare junkie. I absolutely love trying out new products and putting a little extra time into my routine. Recently, I've really loved taking a 20-30 minutes to just chill out and do a face mask. I'll put on a mask and read or watch some tv while it does its magic. Many masks, especially sheet masks, required that you not move around too much, so it is the perfect reason to kick back and relax. If you are looking for some great masks to try, I love the Pacifica sheet masks, Glossier's Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, and GlamGlow Supermud mask.
- Reading -
I feel like most of my reading time happens when I am commuting, but it can be great to take some time out of the day to focus on reading. Sometimes I'll put on a mask and read a bit, other times, I'll make some coffee and find somewhere comfy to read for a while. Reading is something that I often find gets crammed into the empty spaces in my day, but by making time just for reading, it is a much more enjoyable experience.
- Comfy clothes -
This one may sound kind of stupid, but if your job has a formal dress code or requires you to wear a uniform, you will know exactly what I mean. Sometimes, all it takes to help me feel a little more relaxed is trading a pair of trousers for leggings and swapping out a button down for a sweatshirt.
- Yoga -
I'm sure that this sounds like a stereotype, but yoga really does help! It forces you to take stock of what is going on with your body, to bring some mindfulness to your movements and breathing. After a good session of yoga, I tend to feel like my shoulders have dropped down a few inches because I'm not holding so much tension. If yoga isn't for you, maybe try taking a crack at meditation. Anything that forces you to slow down and take stock is a good thing.
- Running -
On the opposite end of the spectrum from yoga is my other favorite exercise: running. Where yoga can be calm and mindful, I find running to be blissfully mindless. I can just turn my brain off and run. Often, I find my mind wandering while I run and I can think through any problems I've been dealing with or ideas I've been trying to develop. Plus, there's a sense of accomplishment in running a bit further or faster than I've done before. I'll admit, running can be kind of miserable at first, but once you get up to speed, it can be an addicting escape from everyday stresses.
- Baking -
This is definitely one I don't do enough, but still something I love to do. Baking is really methodical and requires you to be exact in your measurements. I tend to turn on a movie or TV show and start measuring out ingredients. It is fun and the end result is that you have something really yummy to eat. I like baking cookies and brownies the most because they are really hard to mess up! If you are looking for some recipes to try, let me recommend the Minimalist Baker. Lots of her recipes are healthy and many of them are vegan too, so you can eat six cookies and not feel bad about it!
- Crafting/ DIY -
Much like baking, this is one I don't make time to do enough of, but I love crafting and DIY projects. I like some methodical things, like crochet, as well as some more creative things, like creating decorations and floral arrangements. I'm not especially good at things like drawing or painting, but I like doing DIY projects and crafts. I'd really like to figure out how to do cross stitch, so if you've got any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!