Self care is an evergreen topic for me. I am wildly passionate about nurturing myself. It’s also wildly important In the self development realm; if we want to grow we HAVE to first take care of ourselves.
Self care is essential but it’s also been twisted into a marketing scheme. I have a centering question I like to use before making a purchase in the name of self care – ready for it?
How does this NURTURE me?
I treat myself like a seed. Is this something that helps me grow and blossom? Does it bring me joy? Am I just purchasing it because I’ve been fed a lie that it will fill my cup?
These questions prevent me from spending stupid amounts of money on bath bombs that give me hives or face masks that break me out. Ask yourself these questions and really noodle before making a purchase in the name of self care.
That being said – I have accumulated a little (lot) of items that help me fill my cup. I’m listing and linking them below BUT before purchasing please ask yourself that key question – how does this nurture me? My personal favorites may not be yours.
*All Amazon images and links below are affiliate links.
Apps & Tools
I love meditating. I also SUCK at it when I need it the most. So I use guided meditations. I prefer the Calm app and have used it for years but I know a lot of people love Headspace or find youtube meditations to do. Best of all, you can find a lot of these for free!
I try to take at least 5 minutes each day to journal. Sometimes it’s a gratitude list. Some days it’s just whatever weird dreams or thoughts I’ve had. Some days it’s simply what happened. I let myself write whatever I feel like and try really hard not to judge it. Getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper is life changing.
Puzzles & Puzzle Mat
For me, a really good way to check in with myself is to get totally immersed in the moment and a good way to get present is to work on something that is hard for me. I suck at puzzles. I cannot multitask and work on a puzzle. Because I absolutely suck at puzzles I have a puzzle mat that I can roll up when I’m not using it. This is the one I use and I love it. I’ve been working on the same 1000 piece Golden Girls puzzle for almost a year now and this mat made that possible.
Baths are BIG in the self care industry and I wholeheartedly support the idea IF the baths are done with intention. Self care is less about what you do and more about how you do it.
I usually surround myself with candles, books and random crystals that I think will make me feel better. I also ALWAYS have water with me in the tub (we don’t want to overheat and dehydrate in there). This is the bath caddy I use but there are so many options!
When I take a bath I move into the tub. My apartment tub is wildly uncomfortable so I use this cushy friend to keep my back supported while I binge read or stare at the ceiling (both valid forms of self care).
No, not the Florida man kind. A big part of my day to day self care is exercise but because of this I end up with sore muscles a lot. Epsom salt baths are ideal because they are aromatic and helpful for my sore and tight muscles. I like scents like mint or eucalyptus because they are relaxing but non-drowsy. I personally get too sleepy with lavender scents.
Bubbles bring me joy. They are FUN. As a kid I would pretend they were snow and as an adult they bring my inner child so much joy.
Scents, Incense, Oils or Bath Sprays
I like to use rose spray when I take a bath (or in the middle of the day to add a little energy back). You might have a different scent that brings you joy. I personally LOVE the strawberry incense linked below. Find one and keep it around to add zest back into your day.
I’m a big fan of pre-bath dry brushing. It helps clear your dead skin, supposedly helps reduce cellulite (no clue if that’s actually true or not nor do I think trying to get rid of it is a worth while endeavor) and it helps your lymphatic system. The key to dry brushing is to always brush towards your heart. I like to use it to visualize brushing the energy of the day off and then move to the tub to clean it all away but do what works for you.
Homewares & Comfort
Self care as an everyday activity can be as small as putting on your favorite slippers or turning on your salt lamp before bed.
This is my mood setting piece providing friend. I’ve had it for a couple years and I love it. I have no idea if it actually does anything BUT when I see the soft glow of it I feel relaxed and a little more zen.
Lighting a candle changes my mood instantly. I use different candles for different moods. Scents are a personal decision but if you aren’t usually a candle person I recommend starting with one with little to no scent. You can always burn unscented candles with others to set the mood.
Word of advice – don’t light too many scented candles at the same time. Sensory overload.
If I want to feel fancy I drink out of a wine glass. Assuming it’s not actually wine, I usually use a straw. I recommend this practice if you need to give yourself a mid day moment of luxury. Metal, glass, any sort of reusable straw is ideal. Here is one of my favorites.
Robe & Slippers
Getting cozy is self care for me. Feeling cozy is comforting and safe so I like to snuggle into a blanket with arms (or robe) and some slippers. I have day time summer slippers and nighttime Uggs because I am dedicated to the cozy cause but once again – it’s all up to you.
Slippers: Cheap, comfy and wonderful for day time wear
Slippers: UGGs too comfy for their own good and for my wallet
I invested in comfort a couple years back and have no regrets. I adore my UGG robe. It’s like wearing a blanket.
Self care is taking moments for yourself and setting intentions to fill your own cup. Growing my plants has been my favorite act of self care during quarantine. If you have never grown anything from seeds I highly recommend this. It has been SO EXCITING to check on them everyday. If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I dance and sing to my plants almost daily. I’ll link the post with all my patio items here for you.
Not a plant person? Self care can be making something from scratch (like bread), trying something new, getting involved in social activism to nurture yourself and the world you want to live in.
Contrary to this post, stuff is not self care. Keep trying new things until you find what works for you.