Sometimes you just need a day to yourself, you know? No other obligations and no other people to focus on–just you, undistracted, doing whatever it is that makes you feel the most “you.” That’s self-care. Not only is self-care important for your emotional, mental, and physical well-being, but it’s enjoyable to do the things you love.
Everyone has a different idea of what “self-care” is. Is it drinking a green smoothie and doing an hour of yoga every Saturday morning? Sure. It is ordering pizza and binging TV shows for a night-in, instead of going out with friends to a club or to a dinner date? For some people, sure. Self-care is whatever you want it to be, however you think you should take care of yourself.
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy, especially if you’re in school or working long hours. The hardest part is getting started, honestly. Taking time out of your busy schedule to relax and spend time with yourself can be hard.
So, if you’re one of those people who don’t know how to have a self-care day, here are some ideas and tips to help you get started:
Have a spa day.
Life can get busy and you might put off doing things–shaving your legs, cleansing the toxins from your face, washing out the gunk in your hair from dry shampoo or hairspray–and having a day to clean and freshen up is important. Having a mini spa day at home is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s definitely considered one of the popular forms of self-care, too. So what can you do? Let’s get into it.
Take a hot shower or bath.
I personally don’t like to take baths, so you’ll find me taking a steaming hot shower instead. Steam is good because it will open up your pores (which is great for when you’re doing face masks) and the temperature of the water will help relieve sore muscles and knots.
Do a hair mask.
Put some TLC into your hair routine during your spa day and consider doing a hair mask. Before you get started though, figure out your hair type and if you have the budget for a DIY-mask or an already-made product. If you want to create your own, use what you already have–items from your kitchen! Mayo, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and lemon are some of the most popular. Just last week I made a hair mask (one egg and two tablespoons of mayonnaise) and although the smell was nauseating, after I washed it out, my hair was so shiny, smooth, and soft, which is what I was aiming for. 10/10 recommend.
P.S. I’m not a hair expert (in fact, I’m 23 years old and still learning what shampoo and conditioner are best for my hair type), but I do know that you shouldn’t wash your hair with hot water–it will just create more damage. If you can muster up the courage to wash your hair in cold/lukewarm water, do it.
Do a face mask.
No matter what your skin type is–dry, oily, combination, or problematic–there are plenty of face masks out there for you. Do you want your face to be free of acne, acne scars, dark circles, and dry spots? Of course, you do! For problem-free skin, consider doing a face mask. Say it with me, folks: We! Love! Face! Masks!
When you’re in the shower or bath, consider doing a body scrub or an exfoliating peel. I like to use Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, especially during the winter; it’s great for getting rid of dead, dry skin just before I lather myself up in lotion.
Don’t forget to moisturize and oil up! I have dry skin and I like to use Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer, Tarte Cosmetic’s H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer, and Rose Hip Face Oil. If you have oily skin, look into using Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask or Tacha’s Violet C Brightening Serum. For combo skin, some people suggest using witch hazel toner and Clinique’s Moisture Surge Moisturizer.
Whatever you decide to use, just take care of the skin you’re in.
Get your body moving.
Maybe you’re one of those people who can’t sit still, or you would prefer to move your body around one way or another. So hop to it then!
If exercise isn’t your thing–that’s totally okay. Skip this part. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do! But if it is, and if you’re trying to go to the gym once a week, make it happen! Your self-care day is going to the gym. Or maybe just stick to a routine of working out at home. Do some squats here from your couch to the bathroom or sit-ups during commercial breaks. If that’s not your style, consider yoga or pilates–either by taking a class or following along to tutorials on YouTube. No matter if you’re doing high-intensity workouts or just looking to stretch, make it happen. Just move your body.
Spend time outdoors.
If the weather is cooperating wherever you are, take advantage of it. Mother Nature is angry at us and we should enjoy good weather days when we have them! With that being said, spend some time outdoors. Go on a hike. Take your dog on a walk around the block or to the park. Go for a run around your neighborhood. Do some gardening. If it’s raining outside, just go down to the mailbox and back.
Move around your house.
One of the best things you can do for yourself as well as your home is cleaning. Do some laundry, sweep the floors, vacuum the carpets, dust hard-to-reach corners. Some of the rooms in your house might need a little TLC, and cleaning and organizing the space is a great way to move your body and get sh*t done at the same time.
Spend time alone.
If you have a free Saturday or Sunday and don’t want to interact with other humans (understandable), take time doing things you love. No one else should be involved, this is one-on-one time with yourself.
Watch your favorite movie. Light some candles and catch up on some reading. Knit or crochet. Stay off social media for a few hours. Journal. Write some poems. Take a nap. Meditate.
Your life should be lived doing things that make you happy. Life can be hectic and overwhelming, and you need days to recharge. Take care of your body, your mind, and your soul. Self-care means something different for everyone, but nonetheless, it evidently comes down to spoiling yourself just because you’re a human and you deserve to be treated with love and respect. Do what makes you feel good.