One of the main activities that helps me to destress and to remain calm is practicing self-care. Even though self-care has become a popular trend recently, it is very important to have some type of rituals that you can commit to on a regular basis for taking care of yourself. With social media, like Instagram and YouTube, it can be easy to get too wrapped in what self-care “should” look like. Sometimes, they also give off the idea that self-care is supposed to be glamorous and extravagant 24/7. When in reality, self-care can be simple activities, such as taking a shower, going to sleep at a decent time, and turning off your phone. It can also be fun activities like painting your nails, creating art, and hanging out with friends. There is no one size fits all or perfect method of self-care. Your self-care doesn’t have to exactly like everyone’s self-care routine. Self-care can take up as much time as you want it to take. Some people engage in self-care once a week while others do little things throughout the week.
Your self-care can be whatever you want it to be as long as it is healthy for you and feels good. You can keep it simple or go above and beyond, if you have the resources. It should at least include the basic necessities of life, such as sleep, hygiene, food, and water. I usually schedule in different forms of self-care every day. Yes, I write in my planner when I am supposed to engage in which activity to make sure I actually do them and do not forget about them. Below are some (not all) of my methods of self-care:
- Sleep: Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night and sticking to a sleep routine. I do not always have the time for eight hours of sleep. Most people think that everyone needs eight hours of sleep but research shows that it is an estimate number. It is better to have consistent sleep schedule to have your body become used to a routine. Basically, you go to sleep at same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Also, taking a nap when I need one during the day is a good refresher.
- Skin care: I keep it simple, I don’t have 52 steps. It includes cleansing in the morning, using a mild exfoliator at night, and using a hydro-booster and moisturizer twice a day. I recently started trying out hydrating sheet masks once a week since my skin is dehydrated because of the cold weather. All of my products are drugstore. My products are not completely organic but I am researching some organic and affordable options.
- Drinking enough water every day and eating healthy most of the week. Twix: It’s my favorite chocolate and I indulge whenever I want.
- Wash Day: As a black woman with natural hair, washing my hair is a full-day production. I have a lot of hair and it gets dry very easily. Prepping, washing, and styling my hair is a long process that takes up a few hours of my Saturday. My wash day is probably the most complicated thing I do for self-care but I am so used to it that I see it as basic. I go on autopilot while listening to music or a podcast.
- Physical activity: I do cardio, weight training, and body weight exercises 3-4 times a week in the gym or at home. Daydreaming or creating music videos in my head while doing cardio actually makes cardio very enjoyable for me. I also do yoga and meditate on and off, I have trying to become more consistent with them. I engage in psychical activity as much as I can such as taking the stairs and walking.
- Turning off my phone for a couple of hours and having alone time! I have an entire post about this Alone Time
- Writing, of course. I also have a post on this So I’m a Writer
- Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos.
- Cleaning and doing laundry: Yes they are chores but with my favorite music or a podcast playing, it easier to zone out and relax. Something about cleaning my space and having a clean space and clothes helps my mind to feel more clear and relaxed. If my space is too messy or I have too much laundry piling up, I cannot function and my concentration is off.
- Peaceful scenery: I am a visual person, so I need to see and envision things that appeal to me. I love looking at bodies of water, the sky, artwork, and city buildings. From my dorm room, I can see the lake. So every morning while I am on campus I look out the window to look at the sky and lake for a few minutes before I leave to start my day of work and classes. I took a lot of pictures of the view, so when I am not on campus I can still look at it whenever I want to help relax me.
Time to Focus on You:
What is your self-care routine? How often of you practice it? In what ways does your routine help you?