This word – self-care, is such a buzzword lately that it is bordering on cliched. Overused at times. Everyone seems to be throwing it around, glamorizing it, curating the most FOMO inducing pictures around the self-care theme and making it all sound so normal and natural. As I look at magazines, bloggers, celebrities shelling out tips for self-care and sharing how they do it ( rose petal baths, creating moods with tea and candles, curled up on the couch in the softest robe and the most Instagram worthy book, I wonder if it is all for the beautiful picture or is it really, real!
It made me think about my own self-care routine. Or if I even have one? To be honest, I am very low maintenance when it comes to self-care. As a blogger, am I even supposed to say this? Haha. But the truth is – I hate taking baths. I am not a big fan of massages. They make me more anxious – so that negates the purpose that is to bring a sense of relaxation.
As I think about it further, this buzzword, self-care, isn’t just about the glamorous, highly aspirational things. It doesn’t have to. It has a different meaning for everyone. The constant denominator being – self-love.
It could be spending 5 minutes with your morning coffee or going on a run. It could also be as elaborate as getting a nice long massage or a quick manicure if that makes your happy. Also, it shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Taking a weekend vacation to unwind and not doing anything else for months. That doesn’t help. Instead, tiny habits that help you recharge physically and mentally.
Self-care is something that should be a part of your daily life. It is way to honor yourself with the best two things ever : time and attention!
I have to preface one more thing – I feel very guilty about self-care. Like when I have a massive to-do list, taking a long coffee break or sitting down with a book as an example – I can’t bring myself to do those. But then after being overly tired, productivity any ways dips – so I have to remind myself to take those few minutes to step away.
Here is how I show myself some love. I don’t do all these things every day ( obviously! ) – some, yes, they are part of my daily routine. And some – I incorporate as and when I have the time.
Waking up a few minutes early : Getting those extra few minutes in bed in the morning once you are up feel SO good. The worst way to start your day is to realize that you have overslept and jump out of bed and rush into things. So those few extra minutes are for myself.
Think of your morning caffeine as a treat : This might sound really basic but hear me out. I don’t have 10 extra minutes in the morning to sit down with my cuppa, I don’t even have 1 extra minute to tell you the truth. But here’s a tiny way that my morning caffeine is a treat to myself. Adding a little ginger and lemongrass to my Indian spiced tea or getting freshly brewed coffee with foam from my Nespresso – that just makes me really happy and that’s some self-love right there. Everyday. No bells and whistles needed.
Podcasts: There was a time when I complained about my work commute all the time. I detest sitting in traffic. But ever since I started listening to podcasts – I actually look forward to driving. I wont lie- sometimes that is a motivation for me to even go the gym. Taking that negative feeling about the commute out and doing something I enjoy – that’s relaxing ( and educational / recreational depending on what I am reading )
Keep the phone aside : I recently started this practice where I keep my phone away from me ( turned off or in another room ) for an hour in a day. It is so powerful and refreshing and productive – you have to try it yourself. A break from the mindless scrolling – that’s a big act of wellness you are giving yourself.
Reading a few pages from a book : Now this one is probably the most common, tried and tested means of taking a break. But definitely not clichéd. It works. Sometimes I just pick up my favorite book, that I’ve read atleast 5 times – but I’ll go to my favorite part and re-read it. It helps.
Face masks : My love for masks is something that I have gotten from my mom. She loves trying out face masks. Growing up mom and I would put on face masks and sit and chat =)) . I love putting on a mask and doing stuff around the house. It feels so refreshing. And a little pampering session for the skin – that is an added bonus. Sometimes I prepare my own DIY ones mixing natural stuff – it is so much fun.
Order food in : I always think of ordering food in as a celebration of something. It feels really good to have food delivered – so this definitely counts as self-care / a way of showing myself some love.
Taking a gym class : Going to the gym is something I do to stay fit/ healthy, etc. But taking a group class like Zumba or Soul Cycle – that is something else. I do those because I absolutely enjoy taking classes. It is not about losing weight or staying active for me when it comes to classes – I simply take them to let loose, relax, dance, have fun, enjoy the music. What is more self-love than that.
Night time routine : While I don’t really have an elaborate daily skin care routine, there are a few things that I do before going to bed. I will do a separate post sharing my night-time routine – but a few simple things can make such a big difference.
Guilty Pleasure : I am a bit embarrassed to mention this one – but sometimes I will sit down with the Nutella jar and a spoon in front of the TV and put on one of my favorite movies or show and eat right out of the jar. And to think about it – I am not the slightest bit ashamed. =)) That is showing yourself some major love.
Those are some of the things I practice. These are tiny things that can be easily incorporated in your daily life without having to put in a lot of time or money. I’d love to know what are some ways you practice self-care.