From the moment I snooze the a.m. alarm to 4 p.m., coffee is my main "self-care" practice; unfortunately if I drink coffee after 4, I won't be sleeping that night.
However, the day doesn't end at 4 p.m., though we may wish work stopped at 4 p.m., so I'm here to share what I do during the other waking hours of my life for self-care.
Especially as many of us are stuck chilling at home or working from home these days, I know for many people isolation is extra stressful.
As an introvert at heart, and living with an even more introverted boyfriend, I'm here to tell you this moment of social distancing is a great opportunity to start new routines, kick bad habits and start identifying what self-care means to you.
So while this list is what I practice for self care, it's also a list of things I'm trying to mold into good habits, rather than one-off "when I have time" activities. (...)
1. I improve my skincare and general hygiene
While I'm pretty hygienic and take good care of my skin, I wish I could do more masks, paint my nails more often and use all the fancy hair care products I own on a regular basis. Here are some of my favorites: Thayer's Lavender Witch Hazel | B&BW Sleep Lavender Vanilla Lotion
2. I read... books!
So not always books, sometimes (digital) trade magazines (coffee, of course), but I've got bookmarks in about 3 or 4 coffee books I've been reading since the dawn of time. Eventually I'll have a book review for Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergast, because I already love it and I'm about halfway through.
Another great recommendation though, for self-care in general: Smarter Living, adapted/compiled from the NY Times newsletter.
3. I stretch
Whenever I'm feeling tense, and not in a setting where it would be extremely awkward, I stretch. Mainly at home, (because anywhere else it would basically be planking) I lay down on my back and let gravity do the work while all my bones and muscles settle.
4. I use the diffuser, living room or bedroom
Yes, I have two diffusers, because I found a pretty one on Amazon and I realized I shouldn't confine relaxation to the bedroom! Highly recommend all the oils at Rx Los Angeles. ("Everything" is sensory nirvana!)
5. I write or play music
I know not everyone is musical, but when the mood strikes I pick up my guitar or even write a song. If I'm not writing music, I'm journaling or writing this blog! For me, writing is the quintessential form of creative expression. As original and uncensored as you can be - freedom to its core.
6. I look for new coffee shops
I know right now that might mean only experiencing via to-go, but you can still explore on Yelp and make a list of the need-to-go-to places once the world starts spinning again. Then boom, you've got a hefty list of coffee shops that will need your support, then more than ever! So go sip and support!
I hope this helped you get some ideas brewing on your own self-care rituals during this turbulent time. Coffee is an instant shot of dopamine for me: relaxing, just as a massage or glass of wine. But it signifies more than just a drink, in times like these. It is a constant! In a time of change and disruption, coffee is always there for me. So I hope coffee, or your dopamine boost of choice, can be that for you, too.
Cheers, and stay healthy!☕
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