self care, salt lamp, house plant, candle, selfcare,

Self Care Shopping List

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 

CALM 

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!

Journal 

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.

Bath Stuff!

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. 

Bath Caddy 

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!

Bath Pillow 

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).

Bath Salts 

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! 

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.

Dry Brush 

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. 

Salt Lamp 

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.

Candles 

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.

Metal Straw 

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 

Robe 

I invested in comfort a couple years back and have no regrets. I adore my UGG robe. It’s like wearing a blanket.

Honorable mention goes to my patio garden! 

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. 

Take care!

I’ve been Should-ing All Over Myself

A Bad Case of Should-ing

When was the last time you told yourself you “should do” something? If you’re anything like me, you should yourself all day, everyday. I should workout, I should take the dog on a walk, I should get up earlier and be more productive. 

Now ask yourself, when was the last time you did something because you truly wanted to? For me, that answer is a little harder to pin down. Did I workout because I thought I was supposed to or because I wanted to? 

Should and want can really blur the line – especially in our hectic day to days. I’ve definitely let my “should’s” take control of my “wants”. So how do we find balance between these tangled concepts? 

Video Presentation for my non-readers!

Stop Shoulding all over Yourself

Recently, I was on a Facebook Live Panel about managing change gracefully. The group goes live every week and thanks to this opportunity I was re-introduced to a phrase that I hadn’t thought about since college.

Shoulding all over yourself. 

The act of should-ing is telling ourselves that we must do or be a specific kind of person based on our interpretation of what society expects from us. In other words, when we should be ourselves, we tell ourselves to stop being authentic to ourselves and to comply with what we are supposed to do. When we should, we miss out on our wants. 

Should and Shame

Shoulding all over ourselves also breeds guilt. When we believe we are supposed to do something and we end up not doing the thing we make ourselves feel guilty about it. Guilt is a major de-motivator and can trigger shame and negative emotions towards the thing we think we are supposed to be doing. 

When we start shoulding it’s hard to stop. If I decide that I should go on a run but don’t end up running – I start to lose motivation. If I miss one run I may decide that I should go on an extra run later this week, or I should do another workout. And if I end up continuing to not do things I think I should I continue to build that pile of guilt and shame for not doing what I think I’m supposed to do. 

When the should’s start coming, they don’t stop coming. 

Quitting Should and Identifying Wants 

When we should all over ourselves we lose sight of what matters most – what we want. So how do we get out of should? We pay attention to when we use it and the language we use when referring to the things we are working on. 

Am I doing this because I want to or because I should? 

Ask yourself, do I want to do this or do I think I should do this? If you’re struggling to determine (I usually am) I ask myself who’s idea was this thing? Is it something society tells me or something I came up with? What happens if I don’t do this thing and what happens if I do? 

The answers to these questions were illuminating for me – especially when it came to evaluating my career post grad. Dig deep and be honest with yourself. 

What do I want and how will I know when I have achieved it? 

When something ends up on our want list it’s important to identify some of the details. What is it that I want from this? How will I feel when I have achieved it? It might be helpful to visualize yourself with the want already in your possession. What changes once you’ve achieved this want?

If the details are fuzzy on this or you aren’t sure how you would feel keep asking yourself probing questions to get the details. You do not have to have every detail planned out but if you can’t picture it fully it may be a should in a want’s clothing

Play Time

This may feel a bit weird at first but sit down and ask yourself what you want to do. If you’re a calendar/organization junkie like I am block off time on your calendar for play. Do you want to read? Color? Dance? Just sit there and stare at the ceiling? Ask yourself what you honestly feel like doing. If you are recovering from a bad case of the shoulds this may feel forced but keep trying. 

I hope this helps and you discover something new about yourself along the way! Leave your should do’s that you are letting go of and your wants in the comments below! 

If you need any additional assistance kicking the should’s to the curb reach out – I’m happy to set up a session to chat through your should hang ups and chat through your answers. butreallythocoaching@gmail.com 

*I am not a therapist. Please work with a licensed professional for anything health related. 

But Really Tho – I’m on YouTube

Second big announcement for 2020 coming in hot – I’ve started a YouTube channel! 

I started this channel to share some of the tips I’ve blogged about in another medium. I wanted to make my self development content accessible for everyone so I’ll be working on more videos in the future. 

This first video is an intro to self development with my top tips for making change that sticks. Enjoy my tips, awkward pauses & cheese puns. 

Going forward expect a wide variety of content including work from home vlogs, baking and crafting videos, and chatty moments.

Love you! 

Goal Setting for Success

Goal setting is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting down and writing out all the things I want to accomplish and sit in the glory of my imaginary future successes. What I enjoy less is actually putting in the work. Like most humans (I presume), I am inherently lazy and struggle to find motivation, especially during the dark days of winter. Luckily, 2019 me has a leg up on the competition because I have 5 strategies I use to get myself moving towards my goals.

  1. Only set goals that are realistic and only set a couple at a time.  I think most goals should be made up of bite-sized goals that you can check off as you go (more on this in strategy two). That being said, not every goal needs to be a time consuming project to manage. One of my favorite goals that I have continued with from 2016  is to try to meditate more so that I can eventually solidify a daily practice. I don’t expect myself to meditate everyday because life happens, but I prioritize making time to meditate each evening.
  2. Make a plan to get started. Once I decide on my goals I write down a list of things I think I need to do to accomplish them. For example, I want to learn conversational spanish this year. To meet this goal I need to research Spanish schools in my city, sign up for a courses, participate in the courses and study. I then set myself due dates. I must select a Spanish course by the end of this week, sign up by the end of January and begin taking courses in February. From there I can decide if I need to continue taking courses, sign up for a different style of course or attend retreats to practice conversation. I don’t know what the process will look like in the end but I know where I am going and how I am going to get started.
  3. Tell everyone. Once a plan is in motion I have to actually do the work, which is the shitty part. My number one tip to hold myself accountable is to tell everyone. By everyone, I literally mean everyone. My boss, therapist, boyfriend, mother, best friend, and dog are all well aware that I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. This is easy for me, since I am a giant blabbermouth, and it makes me think twice before I skip my meditation or back out of trying something new because it scares me. This also allows others to help you come up with creative ways to meet your goals and it might help set you up with my next tip, an accountabilibuddy.
  4. Accountabilibuddy, not only is it fun to say, but it is also ideal to have one. An accountabilibuddy is someone who knows what you are trying to accomplish, wants you to succeed and will motivate you to continue your journey to your goals (bonus points if they are also trying to reach the same goals). As social creatures it can be important to have someone who knows how hard you have been working when the new goal setting motivation is gone and the new routine hasn’t settled in yet.
  5. Just fucking show up and expect nothing else from yourself. As a recovering perfectionist I have a hard time showing up for something, especially if it is something physical like a workout or class, if I don’t feel like I can perform at 100%. To compromise with this ridiculous trait of mine I have decided that I will no longer hold myself to a high standard when I do not feel up to something as long as I just show up for myself. I know that it is so hard to motivate yourself when you don’t feel up to it but unless your body is telling you no (ie: you are sick or in pain) it’s always better to just try. So what if you fail, at least you tried. A majority of the time that I do this I leave the lesson, session, yoga class or whatever it may be feeling better than I did walking in.

I hope this helps get you started or solidify your plans to reach your goals. 2019 is already off to a weird start, thanks government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cave in to the awful energy. Let me know if you have any goals this year and what your plan is to reach them. I cannot wait to watch us all grow together this year.

The Plight of Perfection

Step one of dropping my judgymcjudgerson nature is coming to terms with the dangers of perfection. Perfection is a monster. The distant idea that perfection could be attainable if I did everything correctly has prevented me from starting creative projects. I wouldn’t dream of voicing my opinion in a meeting unless I know the idea is the best one in the room. Perfection has even prevented me from posting an instagram photo if I don’t have the perfect caption. Perfection has given me an excuse to be less productive. No one has the energy to give 110% to everything; why do anything if I’m not going to have the energy to do it right? The concept of perfection is toxic.  

Starting this blog was my first step in combating my perfectionist nature. I knew that by trying to write one blog post a week last year not all of them would be up to my standards, but I was still determined to create something once a week. My at home yoga practice is another place I have let perfection go. There is no perfect in yoga; the only right way to do something is yoga is to practice in a safe way. I’m now making a conscious effort to take this mentality off the page/mat. I’m going to allow myself to not only not be perfect but to occasionally be wrong.

Not Perfect
Accepting my imperfections has made me angsty.

I’m hoping by granting myself the permission to be wrong I will be able to look at others with the same compassion I am trying to give myself. I am not perfect and neither is anyone else. I don’t always know the backstory of why people are acting the way they do and I cannot expect anyone, including myself, to be perfect. By not allowing the concept of perfection or doing things right onto others hopefully I will cut back on being so judgy.

Perfect

My mantras for this mission are “everyone is doing the best they can with what they have right now” and “progress not perfection”. I’m hoping that by keeping these mantras in mind I can give others the space to be human and keep in mind that I don’t need to be so hard on myself (or anyone else).

So hello to you my imperfect reader! Let me know if you have any advice (outside of listening to Simple Plan’s “Perfect” on repeat) on letting go of perfection.

Finishing at My Own Pace

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated everyone on my goal of cultivating love and creativity this year. 2017 definitely threw some wrenches in my plan but I managed to meet so many of my goals this year.

I did not adhere to my monthly goals perfectly through 2017 but I learned what worked and what didn’t for me. I was able to sit back and watch how I react to a crazy workload, how I act when I am stressed to the gills and how I react to being underwhelmed.

I’ve learned that a once a week posting schedule may sound simple but it is still a lot of writing. With all that happened this year I had to learn to go easier on myself. I let myself fail, take a couple weeks or even a month off and the best part is that I was okay. Not conquering everything the way I intended to did not kill me (crazy, right?)

1197079A lot of growing feels like failing. It is learning what works for you and what does not.

My mantra for this year has been “just because it does not work for you does not make it wrong”. By removing the emotion from what works for me and what doesn’t I was able to look at things in a more loving way.

I realized that the most important part of cultivating love was having it to give.

I’m spending the last month of 2017 healing from a surgery and getting ready for a big change. I figured out that my current position was no longer serving me and it is time for a change of scenery. Letting go of what does not serve me and moving on to something better is the biggest act of self-love. Because of this B and I are relocating to the bay!

With all of this change rapidly approaching my only goal for December is to continue getting comfortable with my self-love and the channel my creativity into something fun, decorating my new living space. After the rapid changes of 2017 I’m ready to slow down.

See you in 2018 with my new goals.