Let's face it, no one can run from it, we all are in this pandemic and are stuck in the house for the most part. Now I know there are some fabulous, super-people who have tons of self care quotes posted on their vision board and have implemented all their self cae ideas. These are hardcore selfies that know the value that they possess, and they also know that self care is for everyone.
Then you have the other end of the spectrum and find people that have not (plucked) tweezed their brows or removed any body hair that they would have normally. Those are the new beauty making, unibrow flaunting, woman-stache wearing people that braid the hair on their legs. They may do other things for self-care, but just not beauty-related.
Somewhere in the middle lies someone who believes in self-care, know the value of it, but may not have time to do it regularly. Those are the people that can remind others to take care of themselves, but they have not taken out the time to do it. They look for self care gifts, or self care inspiration so that they can be motivated to take the time out for themselves. Each person can choose for themselves what self care means to them.
Self care can go by the wayside when you are stuck at home. The days and weeks roll by and sometimes you can tell the difference between, Sunday and Friday, or if February, March, or April even happened last year. I feel like I have been in quarantine for 5 years and I am still trying to find the time to pluck my eyebrows.
What I have learned is that this pandemic has given us a chance to slow down and spend more time at home. It is up to us to make it worthwhile and meaningful. Here are 10 Self Care Ideas for continuing your self care routine during a pandemic.
TIP 1: Respect Yourself. Respect yourself enough to...just do it. Just do the self care regularly (daily, weekly, or monthly). The first step in success is how you feel about yourself. If you care enough about someone else to sacrifice and care for their needs, then you need to respect yourself, take a break, and take care of your self. Food for thought: An empty gas tanker can't fill up others, until it replenishes itself. Fill up your self tank with care.
2. TIP 2: Enjoy the Little Things. Every little bit of self care counts as a deposit and investment in your emotional bank account. Your health is wealth, and your happiness is priceless. Don't feel like you have to spend a whole day on a self-care routine. (Unless, you are a woman with two daughters and the three of you have natural hair) You will have to designate a WHOLE DAY or WEEKEND to your wash day. Girl, high five, I feel you. I am there. OTHER than wash days for naturalistas like me and the girls, take time to do small things for your self care that will enhance your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. Do not over analyze things or try to plan the perfect self care routine. Find something small that you can accomplish and make yourself feel good.
3. TIP 3: Choose A Day for Self Care. We are all busy, extremely busy. As a matter of fact, I feel like I am busier now than I was before the pandemic. Of course, that could be because the family is home and the kids like to bring all their toys, snacks, juices, crayons, markers, blankets, pillows, combs, dolls, trucks, coloring books...you get the gist...right to the floor that was newly picked up. Cleaning is no longer considered therapeutic to me. I like to clean, but I also would like people to just stop making a mess. But I digress. Either do a portion of your self care daily, or pick a day of the week where you can spend a little more time on your self care. Once you plan it, stick to it. When it becomes a habit, you will notice positive changes in your overall well-being. I am not a licensed therapist or psychologist, but I am speaking from experience. My mood improves when I am wholly taking care of myself. Others around me also benefit from me taking care of myself. Find your time and make it a top priority. Sis, if you must eat food and drink water, you also must do something to nourish your soul.
4. TIP 4: Make Your Self Care Choice Fabulous. Whatever you decide to do for your self care...MAKE.IT.FABULOUS. I am clapping after each word as I tell you this. MAKE (CLAP) IT (CLAP) FABULOUS (CLAP). Sis, listen, we don't have time to waste, so if we have gotten to the point of choosing the day that works for us, make that self-care so fabulous, that you will block your calendar to make sure that you make the next appointment for self care. Let me give you an example. A bath is a routine that some ladies use for their self care. Bonus: Baths are good for women according to my chiropractor and OBGYN. Your bath does not have to be ordinary. You can add herbs and natural oils (be careful with oils in the tub) to make your bath soothing and relaxing. The herbs will give you a dose of aroma therapy. To take it to the next level, turn off the lights and add candles around your bathroom. (Be careful with candles and don't leave them unattended.) The ambiance will make you feel like you are in a spa getaway, party of one. Pamper me time! During your relaxing bath soak, you can also add some soothing music, or turn on nature sounds. (Bonus tip: #YouTube has multiple videos for nature sounds. Try the #YoutTUBE video: Epic thunderstorm during your next bath time routine. You will not be disappointed. You will also not want to come up out of that bathroom. At least I don't, let me have my peace and tranquility for at least 30 minutes. You can also find many #selfcaregifts by searching the internet. I found a local artisan, who does not have her products online yet, but she makes the most fabulous #handmadesoaps and #lipbalms. Her soap is made with organic shea butter and other butters and essential oils. I bought the lavender soap and the suds factor was fabulous. If you are interested in trying out her soaps at a discounted price prior to her launching, fill out our contact form, and we will get in touch. She is a woman of color, a mom, a fulltime working woman, and has a knack for #essentialoil mixology. I will give up my current soap to switch to her soaps. My shower lather game was on point and the soap washes of very clean. It doesn't leave a sticky, filmy residue.
5. TIP 5: Establish Boundaries with Family During Your Self Care Time. This one is highly important, and further speaks to TIP 1: Respect Yourself. Let you family know that you also need to recharge yourself so that they can get the best version of you. They will likely be encouraging you and tell you to take the time to care for yourself. Implementation of the plan, may leave much to be desired. For example, as a mom, my kids want to know where I am at all times. Needless to say, that even when I am in the bathroom, the kids will open the door to ask me a question. Now I am accessible at other times during the day, but for some reason, when that door closes to a room that they know I am in, they have to open it to still ask a question. I started locking the door so that they stop coming to the door when I am using the bathroom. They need to learn boundaries. For some reason they don't do the same thing to Daddy. Hmmmm.
Anyway, establish boundaries with the family and let them know when you will not be available. If you have to lock the door (make sure the kiddos are sleep or safe to be on their own, or your spouse has agreed to watch them during your personal rejuvenation period). I had an experience where I had put the kiddos down to bed, my husband was resting, and the house was quiet, so I went to do my all out bath with wonderful herbs (that reminded me of Autumn scents), my candles, music (the Epic Thunderstorm), and lights out. It was heavenly.
I was in the tub relaxing, then the door opened...WHAT IN THE UNIVERSE???? It was my daughter. Looking around at my luxury, her eyes beamed and she said, "Wow mommy, this is wonderful. Can I do a bath like this?" Now at that moment I thought, "Get in the bed little girl, and stop interrupting my time (MY ONLY TIME)." Then I thought about how important it is for me as a mom to teach my daughter to do self-care. So, I told her that she could do this sometime, but that right now, Mommy needed her time so she can be refreshed in the morning. She understood. I got back to my luxurious bath, then the door opened again...I thought: "Um, am I on a reality TV show or something, what is going on again?" This time it was the hubs who needed the bathroom to get ready. Uggh! The lights came on and my spa bath was ruined. I only got 10 minutes of quiet soaking relaxation. So, LONG story short, lock the door and get agreement from your peeps to leave you alone during your time.
6. TIP 6: Don't limit yourself to the typical self care routines like baths, pedicures and manicures. Self care routines feed your soul. Try a self care routine that allows you to #thinkoutsidethebox . For something that feeds your spirituality, try reading a portion of the Bible. The Psalms are like soothing essential oils for the heart. They can refresh you and heal you from within. For something that feeds your mental health, try practicing gratitude. There are studies that have been done showing the benefits of being grateful . In 90 days, you could list out 90 things that you are grateful for. If you stop and think about it, even if you are experiencing rough times, thinking of 90 things that you are grateful for can transition your mind from problems to contentment.
Journaling also helps your emotional well-being. It allows you to be free with your thoughts and keep them in a notebook or #bulletjournal . Your feelings are personal, so no one should read them, If they do, their feelings may get hurt. #sorrynotsorry Journaling helps to release emotions that are pent up so that you can clear your head. I have always enjoyed journaling ad writing things out. Sometimes I can't get to the bottom of something until I have written in my journal. It is like opening our brain and innermost thoughts and pouring them onto the page. It can help you reveal and process emotions that you may not even be able to explain or understand until you see them on paper. Try the guided journal we created strictly for gratitude.
7. TIP 7: Make your Self Care a Priority. Period, you are important, needed, special, and worth it. Enough said, make your self care routine a priority always.
8. Go the Extra Mile, Splurge on products that are good for you. Maybe you want to purchase that thick and ultra creamy moisture sealing African Shea butter to moisturize your luscious hair locs, or to rejuvenate aging or sagging skin. Maybe you want to get that beautifully created journal that sends positive vibes to your soul when you look at the cover. Maybe it is buying that hot nail polish to finish off the celebrity style looking pedicure you just did to yourself. Whatever you decide to do, it is ok to splurge once in a while when it is something that you are using in your self-care routine.
9. Be Consistent. Consistency is key in everything we do. It helps us to accomplish our goals repeatedly. Make a goal, smash it, repeat. When you commit to your self-care and are consistent, you will notice positive changes in your self-image and self-esteem. At least I do.
10. Try These Top 10 Self Care Ideas.
Go to bed early, no screens 2 hours before and turn out the lights.
Take an herbal bath, light candles (carefully) ad play soothing music.
Wake up early, shower, look out the window and think about what you are grateful for in nature.
Pick one day each month for a personal mani-pedi.
Schedule a massage.
Drink Herbal Tea to relax and de-stress.
Listen to your favorite music.
Put on nice clothes and make up. (Listen, dress yourself, like you are going somewhere. You are worth it!)
Get outside to get some sunshine or daylight every day. Every. Single. Day.
Do a digital detox.
I dress up for meetings even if they are on video. When I dress up and put on makeup, I feel like I am going somewhere. It makes me feel special and reminds me that I am not here to only take care of others, but that I also can do little things for myself and it is NOT considered selfish.
Wherever you are in your wellness journey, make sure that you include a self care routine for your own well-being.