Self Care Guide
Unsurprisingly... when people talk about self-care, they're usually telling you to focus on you. Eat what you want, watch something mindless... escape the world.
And while I absolutely see the value in that kind of self-care, I also think it will leave a lot to be desired at the end of your day.
Having a spa night might be fun for every once and a while, but I doubt that will lead to an overall decrease in your stress and anxiety or an actual improvement in your life.
In this article, I want to hit three areas I think reflect REAL self-care:
Form Healthy Habits
Care for Others
Have Some Fun
Form Healthy HAbits
If you're like me - you look at this and think - "that's some weird self-help cult, not for me."
But I'm so glad I gave this book a try after all. The habits and tactics it teaches will legit change your day-to-day life. And don't just read the cover and say "It's just telling me to get up early" because it is SO much more than that.
Healthy habits start from the moment you wake up and will effect your entire day.
I know everyone tells you to exercise and you're sick of hearing it. But if you REALLY want to practice self-care, if you REALLY want to give yourself your best shot at lowering stress and anxiety, if you REALLY want to give yourself more energy, more happiness and a better outlook on life.... you'll exercise.
Now, HOW you exercise it totally up to you. Personally, I love to run because I listen to music and zone out. I love boxing and I also occasionally put on a dance workout tutorial and laugh at myself attempting to be coordinated. It's an ab workout more than anything else.
The self-care version of exercise is YOU CHOOSE what you want to do - and make it fun!
$ Various Pricing
One of my biggest self-care moves was to join a boxing gym. The membership was pricey, but after 26 years, I've learned that I will always push myself harder if I'm in a room with other people. I've also learned that nothing holds you accountable like a community of people at a gym who will ask "where have you been?" when you don't show up 😂
So don't be embarrassed if you need to pay for something to get yourself exercising regularly.
With gyms closed right now, membership programs like Class Pass give you live-streamed workouts and also support the fitness professionals who would otherwise be out of work.
Truthfully, I'm awful at journalling. I could never do the whole "write out all your feelings and describe your day" sort of thing. I hated it.
What I wound up doing is adapting a method from the Miracle Morning. It's a short, point-by-point strategy for orienting yourself toward your goals for the day. I'll also jot down my prayer for the day.
No matter how you journal, the benefits of journaling on a daily basis are scientifically supported. It's good for you.
This journal is made in New York with vegan leather and acid-free paper. A portion of all proceeds go to supporting communities in need.
They have three styles of journals: this one, one with lines on both sides, and one with dots.
This journal is handmade Fair Trade and is eco friendly.
"The Own Your Story Journal is hand-crafted in India, using tree-free recycled cotton paper, which is turned into beautiful and soft textured paper. This journal contains a 52 week journal and displays each week on a double page spread." - Altruism Imports site
Again, this doesn't have to be a horrible, slap-on-the-wrist, start-eating-more-salad kind of thing.
The self-care version of eating well is really just taking the time to make yourself something delicious. My version of this is to make myself fresh coffee every morning. Even if I feel rushed.
Maybe your version is to try making a recipe from somewhere else in the world. Order yourself some new crazy spices and prepare a unique dish.
Maybe you're not into cooking... order yourself something fun. Support local restaurants.
The point is, be intentional with your food. Don't just stand in the pantry eating plain tortilla chips like I do.
About $10-$14 per meal
This meal kit service not only caters to many different dietary needs, but they strive to be as eco-conscious as possible. They are extremely intentional with their packaging, they purchase carbon offset credits, they use ingredients that are farmed using sustainable practices.
No matter where you are in your faith journey - maybe you've never been a fan of faith and spirituality - now is a great time to explore and go deeper.
Read the Bible. Get a Bible study. Practice prayer. Have uplifting music playing in your home. Join online church services, small groups and Bible studies. There are lots of options!
Care For Others
Write notes of appreciation. Or thank you notes. Or I miss you notes. I challenge you to write one each morning as part of your routine. Not only does this lift people up, but it orients you to think about others, to be filled with gratitude, and to appreciate the community you do have in your life.
Each Good Paper card is handcrafted and hand-signed by its maker, connecting you to the life your purchase transforms.
"Mr. Ellie Pooh's elephant dung paper greeting cards are made Fair Trade. Inside each card, you will find a blank insert of fine writing poo paper. Why send a store bought card when you can send a 100% recycled, Eco-friendly poo card for the same price? No trees were cut down for these cards." - Ellie Poo site
I LOVE giving gifts. It's a love language of mine. But even if you aren't as naturally inclined to it, this is a great way to bless someone else!
We have a whole guide with ideas for things you can include in a gift guide, check it out by clicking here.
Have Some Fun
If you normally frequent salons, call your stylist and pre-pay for a few sessions. Let them know you'd love to be one of the first to book a new appointment when the quarantine is lifted.
You'll feel put together and prepared + you'll help support your stylist with prepayment.
Vegan collagen and hemp-infused sleeping mask is vegan and cruelty-free.
This Carmel Milk Chocolate is Fair Trade and sounds SO GOOD! You get a whole case of them for $26!!
This vegan collagen and hemp-infused sleeping mask for your hair is vegan and cruelty-free.
Root Pretty makes small-batch makeup and skincare here in the USA. It's vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.
A nourishing mask concentrated with soothing oats, moisturizing coconut milk, calming calendula, plumping hyaluronic acid, and restorative matcha green tea. Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free.
Alaffia's calming sulfate-free lavender bubble bath is made with handcrafted fair trade and certified organic unrefined, "raw" shea butter, soothing African yam and lavender oil. Fair Trade. Community Commerce. Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free.
Rich Fair Trade milk chocolate meets creamy caramel in a crisp-shaped chocolate, with sea salt for an extra kick.
"Fair trade tea from small-scale farmers in Kenya is some of the world's most flavorful. 100% natural ingredients are grown pesticide-free. A cup of Purple Chocolate is a heavenly, 'chocola-tea' experience. Antioxidant-rich cacao and purple tea offer a healthy choice to satisfy your sweet tooth. Purple tea has twice the antioxidants of green tea and half the caffeine." - Serrv
Moisturizing, exfoliating mud is the ultimate treatment to remove excess buildup and rebalance an oily scalp. Sugar, a natural exfoliant, combines with Green Coconut and Activated Charcoal in this deeply hydrating formula to invigorate the scalp, lifting impurities to leave hair healthy and balanced. Made with White Tea, this special formula nourishes the scalp. Handmade, B Corp, Cruelty-Free. Supporting small communities
This body scrub not only smells amazing but is incredibly moisturizing. I'm not very into extra products in my shower, but I'd def rebuy this! Handmade, B Corp, Cruelty-Free. Supporting small communities
No bath tub? No problem! These shower steamers are handmade with therapeutic grade essential oils to give your shower extra oomf. They're packaged in compostable material.
When you need a little extra help under your eyes. These patches are made in the USA, 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Make your own luxurious milk bath for total body nourishment and hydration. Shea Moisture supports small communities, they care for communities in a holistic way. Vegan, cruelty-free
Encourage your friends to take up a great read in their spare time! For only $3.99 on Kindle, you can send your friend a link to download their new read. This is a great way to support small author right now!
"Made with soy wax and phthalate-free fragrance. Made in Chicago by at-risk women who are young moms. They receive job training, guidance and professional skills to secure quality employment and start a path towards success for their families. Your purchase is part of this transformation. Every candle sold provides more opportunities for young moms and their kids." - Fair Trade Winds
"Heat up the Soothing Comfort eye mask and neck wrap in the microwave and enjoy a relaxing respite filled with fragrance and warmth. The Soothing Comfort Set was created by makers working with Mai Handicrafts, which provides income opportunities and strengthens communities in Vietnam." - 10 Thousand Villages
Parachute employs expert craftspeople from around the world to safely make their products without harmful chemicals. This means the products are safer to make for the artisans and safer for your home. They are Oeko Tex certified for sustainable and socially responsible manufacturing.
They partner with the United Nations Nothing But Nets campaign to donate malaria-prevention bed nets to those at risk.