The ultimate guide to self-care

If you haven’t noticed by now, self-care is everywhere. At first it sounded like this luxurious spa day with fluffy hotel robes, cucumbers on your eyes and somebody painting your toes. It’s actually so much simpler than that.

It’s doing something just for you, to take care of you, and whatever makes you feel good. 

When the pandemic hit, self-care became the new hot topic. That's one positive that came from covid. Everyone started to slow down and listen to themselves a little more. Now that we're well beyond the bread baking stage, we can start to go deeper with our self-care and watch our wellness rituals evolve. We're past just jumping on the latest trend on TikTok or trying whatever's supposed to be the thing. With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it's time to take our self-care to the next level. That means checking-in with ourselves and to determine what serves us and what doesn't anymore.

I haven’t tried all the things but I have tried A LOT and am always open to more. Aside from your general, movement, meditate, drink water list… all great, but let's go deeper. Here are the things that truly give me clarity and keep me balanced. 

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Walking in nature

Don't get ahead of yourself, this isn't a hike or even a visit to the park. I'm walking in the neighborhood! Trees, sky, dogs on leashes = nature enough for me! Usually in the mornings but, I absolutely love an evening stroll too. I typically listen to podcasts but sometimes it’s nice when I forget my earbuds and listen to the birds chip while letting my mind wander. The benefits are movement, fresh air, natural sunlight. It sounds cheesy but, listening to the birds, smelling fresh flowers starting to bloom, feeling the wind on my face and cold air in my lungs is everything. Plus, trees, duh. Greenery is known to be very soothing. I also think this is where I subconsciously work a lot of things out. I process everything else going on in my life and always gain perspective here. If I’m not too consumed catching up on my phone. Either way, it's always a win in the end with all the extra steps.

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Cut back on the news

Need I say more? I turned off all notifications on my phone and limit my intake to 1-2 sources per day. Once I’ve had my coffee, it's time to move on. Last year, we were so consumed. I think I check my phone 5000x a day during the election. We will find out what’s going on, all in good time. It’s distracting, it’s depressing, it’s not conducive to building boss babe status.  

At-home Spa

If someone told me in February 2020 that would be my last manicure, I would have laughed in their face. Nail polish fetish aside, I’ve saved so much money nixing the bi-monthly mani-pedis. It used to be a luxury getting your nails done. Then it turned into a chore. Before you think, I can’t do my nails…let me tell you, mine were AWFUL when I started. Like, couldn’t get much worse. But eventually, after enough practice, I got it down. Two things about doing your own nails. 1. It’s almost meditative, you can’t really think about anything else let alone do anything. 2. Immediate gratification. Set aside some time in the week just for you and turn your space into a sanctuary. Candles, some jazzy tunes, hot baths with bubble bars, face masks, lavishing your 50-step skincare routine. You do you. 

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Breath-work, Guided Meditations, Journaling

I tried for months to sit with a timer and meditation music… ya, didn’t do much for me. What’s helpful is the guided meditations. I like Insight Timer and usually do 10-20 minute sessions. The positive affirmations and energy work have been transformational for me and help keep my negative self-talk at bay. Listening to someone saying “you are worthy” in your ear is not weird, I promise.

There’s so many wonderful ways to journal. A gratitude list is a great place to start. I love simply letting my hand flow, it helps me express my thoughts and emotions. This is the place I feel most free of judgment. While it’s positive 99% of the time, sometimes I just need to let it out. 

The most important thing is to set aside the noise and listen to what your mind and body need.

The benefits will often be instantaneous, like an almost perfect DIY mani. Sometimes you’ll wonder what’s the point, like when you’re checking your watch during your 6th day of meditation. Just remember, the most important thing is positive vibes and SELF-LOVE.

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