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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!

Harry Potter Inspired Self Care (Part 2)

Like I shared last week, I just finished re-reading the entire Harry Potter series as an act of self care. My mood has been messy and my brain has been a bit chaotic so I’ve been using my favorite series as inspiration for my self-care activities. By Harry Potter self care I do not mean taking Gryffindor themed bubble baths, creating shrines to Cedric Diggory or donning the sorting hat to advise us. Instead I want to instill in my self-care the values and tips shared throughout the books. 

But now that I think about it the sorting hat can be a fun metaphor for meditation!

So without further ado here are the rest of my Harry Potter self-care tips. Use them well and use them wisely.

Pensive (journal) 

“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it” -Albus Dumbledore

This quote applies to others and ourselves. The way we use our words and talk to ourselves can help or heal us. I highly recommend the self-care practice of keeping a journal and re-writing any negative or harmful thoughts into something positive. 

The pensive is a perfect analogy for a journal. It is a basin that the wizards are able to use to pull thoughts out of their heads and watch them from a third party view. It’s all about perspective. When we put our thoughts on paper we begin to see them outside of ourselves similar to the effect of a pensive. 

Harry Potter & Puzzle Solving in the Bath

I’m a big bath person. I love bubbles, salts, candles, the whole works and it appears Cedric Diggory is as well. During the Tri-Wizard tournament Cedric gives Harry a hint on how to solve his egg puzzle – and it’s all about the bath.

By sitting in the tub, relaxing, being interrupted by Moaning Myrtle and then going underwater Harry figures out his clue. I personally adopt this practice (minus Moaning Myrtle) anytime I need to mull something over. The bath is a perfect spot to sit and think. 

Great Leaders are Handed Power

“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well”

Have you ever been put in charge of a group or project and immediately wondered why you? Leadership isn’t just CEO’s, high ranking officials and voluntary leaders – it’s also found in the people who did not ask for power or leadership but nevertheless are asked to take it on. 

The best bosses and leaders I’ve met are people who are not necessarily power hungry but who actually want to simply help others and somehow ended up in leadership. Leadership is not about status – it’s about influence. 

These are the last of my Harry Potter Self-Care pull yourself out of a rut tips! Take what you like, leave what you don’t and maybe mull them over in a bath. Have any additional tips? Leave them in the comments! 

*I am not a therapist or licensed medical professional. This does not replace the advice of a certified medical professional. Always work with a legitimate professional when it comes to your health.

Harry Potter Inspired Self Care (Part 1)

I’ve just binge read the Harry Potter series for the millionth time as an act of self care. These last couple (ten) weeks have had me visiting every emotion. I’m up, I’m down, I’m excited, I’m claustrophobic. My brain has been messy.

When things get chaotic in my brain I rely on EASY TO REMEMBER and instant gratification tricks to help me get back in the zone. Revisiting an old literary friend is one of my coping mechanisms – it’s chicken soup for my nerdy soul.

Video for all my auditory learners!

Every time I revisit my favorite wizarding school I pick up a new nugget of wisdom and this time I got hit over the head with a bludger of ideas of Harry Potter self-care. By Harry Potter self-care, I do not mean taking Gryffindor themed bubble baths, creating shrines to Cedric Diggory or donning the sorting hat to advise us. Instead I want to instill in my self-care the values and tips shared throughout the books. 

So without further ado here are my Harry Potter self-care tips. Use them well and use them wisely. 

Harry Potter and the Healing power of Chocolate

“Well, he should have some chocolate at the very least.” – Madam Pomfrey 

Professor Lupin provides us with my favorite antidote – Chocolate. Chocolate heals. Chocolate milk, chocolate bars, chocolate bunnies – you name it I think it’s healing. If you’re not a chocolate person use this as a reason to give yourself a luxurious treat – and that doesn’t have to be food! A bubble bath, a movie night in, a glass of good wine – whatever fills you with a little warmth inside to help keep you happy. 

Pocket Patronus

“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them.” – Lupin

Self-doubt, negative self talk, gossip and fear are just muggle dementors. How do you get rid of a dementor? A patronus. For those of us that haven’t made it to NEWT level Defence Against the Dark Arts, to cast a patronus you have to think of the happiest thought you can summon. As a muggle I like to use this to practice coming up with pocket happy memories or thoughts. 

To do this I think of my happiest memory or a location I’ve been happy in or a person I love. I’ve actually written these down and I will revisit them or try to think about them anytime a negative Nancy comes my way. Expecto Patronum negative thoughts. 

Boggarts

Make fear riddikulus and confuse fear by not facing it alone. A boggart, for those of us who may not remember, is a creature that takes the shape of the biggest fear of whoever is standing in front of it. For each person the boggart would take a different shape. In the books/movies, Harry’s boggart turns into a dementor because his biggest fear is fear itself (very FDR of him). Laughter is the only way to get rid of a boggart so to fight one the attacker must imagine their biggest fear becoming something funny while stating the incantation “Riddikulus”. Boggarts also struggle to come to their form if they are facing more than one person so when fear comes along turn it into something funny and if you can – bring a buddy. 

One of my personal boggarts is the fear of failure so to combat it I imagine the most ridiculous set of experiences leading to my failure in whatever I am working on – it sounds a little counterintuitive but it always makes me laugh. 

These are just a few of my Harry Potter self-care tips. I’ve got a few more up my sleeve. Please leave a comment and let me know if you want to hear more of them! Keep safe and sane! 

*I am not a therapist or licensed medical professional. This does not replace the advice of a certified medical professional. Always work with a legitimate professional when it comes to your health.