Self-care is has been on my mind a lot lately. Not only with everyone going on outside of me (family drama, politics, the general demands of outside forces), but with my endometriosis pain skyrocketing (see post here), I’ve been really narrowing down what self-care looks like for me and what really helps me rest and refuel.
I also think self-care is vitally important for this time of year. Usually after the holidays, we look back and gasp in horror at the calories consumed, the days spent lounging around and the money spent on gifts. During January and February, we tighten our budgets, start eating salads and go to the gym religiously. We jump back into the daily grind and neglect to gently nurture ourselves, preferring to push and pull, despite the natural cycle of winter hibernation and inner work.
So today I’m sharing with you my top 5 self care tips. These tips are my tried and true methods for grounding, centering, letting go of anxiety and resting my mind and body so I can begin again, refreshed and renewed.
- Aromatherapy - This is my favorite way to shift my mood, call up more energy or even help myself relax at night as I get ready for bed. This can be done with candles, incense, perfume or essential oils. Some of my candles, like Grace and True North are designed specifically to conjure up certain feelings, peace and grounding respectively. The same goes with my perfume. Sweet Dreams sits on my nightstand and I apply it every night as part of my bedtime ritual. Did you know that you can also put high quality, essential oil based perfume in diffusers? Speaking of diffusers, this is the one I have and I love it’s color changing lights - they’re so soothing!
- Bath - If I do anything with consistency and devotion, it’s taking a bath. And I don’t mean a bath to bathe. I mean a long, epsom salt filled, candle surrounded, sage burning, deep breathing, practically a meditation bath. When I take a bath, I’m generally doing it for the relaxation that warm water allows me. It also serves as a place of meditation, because a bath is one of the few places I can truly quiet my mind and focus on my breath. Want to make your bath more spa like? Try making your own bath salts!
- Journal - As much as it may seem counter intuitive to my type A, workaholic brain, taking the time each day to journal helps tremendously. Even if it’s just to get the loudest thoughts of your your head and onto paper, journaling gives me the space I need to take a deep breath and relax. It helps loosen the tightly held reins of my anxiety and worries, so I can connect with my feelings and desires on a level not influenced by outside chatter. If I’m really struggling with something, I like to write in my journal as if I’m a advice columnist. Sometimes writing out the advice you’d give to someone else (with your problem) can help you see your next steps more clearly.
- Comfy clothes - This is a new one for me! I’ve learned that when I’m really struggling with a heavy emotion or a lot of anxiety, physical comfort is key. This used to mean a fuzzy, soft blanket, but I’ve added an extra layer to that this past month by investing in a brand new set of super soft and comfy pajamas. These pajamas aren’t just for sleeping and were really picked for their comfort level and the fact that when I see them I can’t help but smile. If I’m having a rough day and decided to put work away a couple of hours early, I’ll make that shift by putting on my new, super comfy pajamas and curling up with a good book and some tea. Which leads me to my last tip!
- Tea - This is a must have in my self-care bag. Tea soothes the body and soul. My two favorite places to purchase tea are Altar & Leaf Apotheca and Harney & Sons. A sampler pack is a great way to start if you’re new to tea and are unsure of which flavors or tea types you prefer. Personally, I’m a fan of hearty black teas that don’t need a lot of added sugar, as well as some herbal staples, such as raspberry leaf, chamomile and even a good rose and lavender combo. Ginger and cinnamon tea are also my go-to teas during the cold winter months, as they help warm the body from the inside.
So what are your self-care tips? Have anything you’d like to share to add? I’d love to hear about it! Just leave a note in the comments.