The truth is it’s difficult to take care of yourself every single day of the week. There’s work, events, family, responsibilities, house chores, appointments, and everything else that’s just simply life. Often times, self-care takes a backseat to all of this.
There are many nights when even washing my face before bed seems impossible. And that’s the most basic self-care out there. Aside from brushing your teeth, which if you forget to do that, well, let’s not even go there.
But, did you know that self-care routines can drastically improve your health?
Not only is it critical to staying in tune with yourself and your needs, but can also boost your mental and physical health.
According to Psychology Today, prioritizing your own needs decreases your chances of burnout, over-stimulation, depression, and anxiety.
That’s why we should all take some time for ourselves on Self-Care Sunday.
How, you ask?
- Have your spouse spend alone time with the kids, walking the dog, or cleaning up after dinner.
- Talk to relatives to see if they are free to come over and hang out with your kids.
- Instead of filling nap time with household chores or work, give yourself some time.
Do whatever you can to steal away a few moments for yourself.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to give yourself a little love.
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Many of us can’t leave our houses. We might have to take advantage of that sacred nap time. Or maybe we don’t have time for ourselves until the kids go to bed.
There are plenty of things you can do while staying at home.
Take a Bath
Taking a bath is one of the best and most convenient self-care activity.
Unless you have kids like mine.
Yesterday, I drew a bath for myself. My husband was home and downstairs with the girls.
Or so I thought.
As the bath was filling up, I heard little footsteps come into my bathroom. It was Lily. And in her hands, she was carrying her bubble bath. She was ready to jump in, even though she just had a bath the night before.
It quickly changed from my bath to hers. What can I say? I’m a sucker.
Taking a bath is one of the easiest ways to relax and unwind (and I guess my little Lily agrees).
Grab your favorite bath products, dim the lights, light a candle, and even grab a glass of wine.
I love the Honest bubble bath I buy for my kiddos. Sneaking a little for myself is okay if I buy it, right? That calming lavender smell is just too hard to resist.
There are many health benefits of taking a hot bath, such as:
- Relieve muscle tension
- Breathe easier
- Relieve cold and flu symptoms
- Improve heart health and blood circulation
- Moisturize your skin
Bath bombs, bath salts, and bubble bath products can also enhance your experience and give you an extra scent booster. This will have you smelling good through Tuesday!
Read a Book
It’s no secret that I’m a book nerd. I have a library full of books I’ve read, books I lend out to friends and family, and, the saddest part of all, books that get neglected. These books sit there waiting for me to have a free, quiet afternoon.
Anytime both girls fall asleep early and I don’t have work to do, I like to grab a good book.
Reading helps me escape from reality.
A thrilling book you should consider is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This page-turner will keep you engaged. Plus, Hulu turned it in a series, starring Reese Witherspoon and my girl, Kerry Washington, coming mid-March. My sister and I can’t wait to binge! You can get the book here for $10 to prepare yourself!
Reading also has many proven health benefits, like enhancing memory, improving vocabulary, stimulating your mind, and improving focus.
Apply a Face Mask
This is one of the easiest things to implement into your self-care routine.
Give your skin a little love by applying a face mask while you take a bath or read a book. This will work wonders for your skin while you are also taking time to relax in other ways. It’s a win-win.
Face masks are great for targeting specific skin issues, such as dryness, acne, skin discoloration, inflammation, oiliness, and much more.
I’ll put myself out there by admitting that my skin isn’t the greatest. I’ve always had skin issues, like acne-prone or oily skin. Now, I have the driest skin ever. My psoriasis causes frequent flare ups and irritations, so taking care of my skin has become a number one priority.
Right now, I’m loving the charcoal trend, and I recently picked up a charcoal detox mask that has my skin feeling brand new! Contact me if you want to hear more.
Face masks are great at targeting skin issues and leaving skin feeling smooth and vibrant in just about 10-15 minutes.
Okay, so this one might not be the most fun to do, however, I still consider it to be self-care. Preparing for the week ahead by planning nutritious meals can help avoid high-calorie and over-processed take-out or fast food when hunger strikes.
We all fall victim to these habits. Life just gets in the way.
But I find that carving out a little time on the weekends to consider healthy meals for the week (and then actually getting out to the grocery store!) helps me stay accountable during the week.
Did you know you can save money, lose more weight, and save time by meal prepping? For a great resource on the benefits and strategies of meal prepping, check out this article by Harvard’s School of Public Health. It’s full of great information on how to (and why you should!) implement meal prepping into your life.
When we meal prep, we use these awesome Pyrex containers to store food. They are glass containers that are both microwave and dishwasher-safe. We’ve used ours for over 7 years now!
Preparing meal ideas can be easy. Skim through your cookbooks, talk to your family, and get new ideas online to make things that please everyone (or at least try to).
Related Post: 10 House Chores I Try to Do Every Day
Some people can’t (or don’t want to) pay for a gym membership, and that’s totally fine.
I’m one of those people. I have a treadmill at home just so I don’t have to leave when I want to exercise.
Exercise videos are a great solution for those looking to stay fit and take care of their body without having to leave their home.
Can’t arrange a sitter? Don’t have a car today? Bad weather keeping you stuck inside?
There are plenty of FREE workout videos on YouTube so you can still engage in a self-care exercise regimen.
Take some time to look around and find channels that work for you. You’ll find yoga, HIIT, cardio, Pilates, and much more.
Have Some Quiet Time
Finding a quiet place may be difficult in everyday life, but it is possible. Choose a room in your house that isn’t frequently used, or keep the kids and noises out of your bedroom for a little while. Add things that make you happy, like a good-smelling candle, your favorite music, or a fluffy throw blanket.
This throw from Macy’s is so soft, and it’s on SALE today for over 55% off! Click the image to check it out.
Try to remove all stimulation, like your TV and phone. These distractions will only stimulate you, giving you the feeling that something out there is more important than your quiet time. It’s okay to escape for a little while without worrying about what’s going on around you. That’s the point.
If you are a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t like to get out too much, you check out these survival tips on my friend, Rachel’s, awesome blog, Hold These Moments. Check out her article The Introverted Stay-at-Home Mom.
Take a Nap
Sometimes a little snooze can do us all some good. Draw the blinds, put on some soothing ocean sounds, and drift asleep. It doesn’t even matter that it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Everything will be okay.
Sleep is critical in maintaining focus, coordination, cognitive thinking, and mental stability. It boosts your immunity and also reduces stress and improves memory.
You can read about more positive effects of sleep here.
Sometimes, we all just need to get out of the house to have some time away from all the responsibilities. It takes removing distractions, such as work, dirty dishes, kids’ movies on repeat, laundry, and clutter, to fully clear your mind.
If you’re one of the lucky ones that can get out of your house to have some quality “me-time,” here are a few ideas for you:
Spa services, like manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials, are great ways to implement self-care into your life and treat yourself to a relaxing and well-deserved afternoon.
My nails are sadly almost never painted. They always get chipped or smudged before they can even dry. Someone always needs something before I can actually finish.
For those who love a freshly-manicured look, book an appointment at your favorite nail salon. This is a great way to get out the house and boost your appearance and self-esteem.
Pedicures are great too. I love that they come with a little foot rub with that warm water and lotion. It’s the best. I try to get seasonal pedicures with my sister to help my feet breathe after a long winter covered in socks.
And I don’t have to say this one twice. Massages are the ultimate pampering experience. They relieve stress, improve circulation, and reduce aches and pains. Anyone looking to truly escape should consider getting a massage to cure all that ails you. You can book a massage near you on this handy website.
If you have a little extra time and money, book yourself some pampering or spa services. Or if you were free at the last minute, check the salon to see if they take walk-ins. Chances are, they will!
Let someone else take care of you for a change.
Go to the Gym
If you can afford a gym membership, I’d highly recommend implementing this into your routine. Scheduling days when you can go to the gym to squeeze in a workout will help you stay accountable. Also, this way, you won’t plan other events during those times or create excuses of why you can’t go.
Make sure you stay accountable for your own self-care routine!
Often times, gyms will offer fitness classes, personal training sessions, smoothie bars, and other services that encourage your healthy habits.
Many gyms also offer child care services, which makes it even easier for you to have time to yourself while working out. This way, you don’t need to arrange a babysitter or check your spouse’s schedule before hitting the gym. Also, your kids will be able to socialize and interact with other kids, play with different toys, and enjoy the experience for themselves.
It’s great for everyone.
Just make sure you grab your hand sanitizer when you go to prevent illnesses that are easy to pick up at a fitness center. Here’s a pack of 6 so you have one for everywhere you go!
Go for a Walk
Fresh air is rejuvenating. Just getting outside has many positive benefits for your health. It helps to alleviate stress and boosts your energy.
Did you know that going outside also enhances your creativity?
Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do with my family.
We feel much more refreshed after we take a drive towards the mountains and get lost on some trails. After we pack our backpack full of some necessities, we love to enjoy the great outdoors. Being in the woods and under the trees, feeling the fresh air on our skin, truly rejuvenates us.
We feel much more grounded as we head back to the responsibilities of life. It’s our favorite form of self-care. We just do it together.
Get your Girls Together for Brunch
There’s nothing a mimosa and good girl talk can’t cure. Getting out for some quality time with your girls can get you through any busy work week.
Meeting for brunch is an easy way to get out of your house without missing the difficult times of the day with your children, like bathtime and bedtime.
It’s also an easy thing to plan on a Sunday morning, as many people are available.
If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even go to cool workout class with the girls before indulging in those pancakes!
A little retail therapy may be just what you need.
It’s what a lot of people need, considering over 62% of shoppers admit that they have bought purchases to cheer themselves up at some point or another.
If you’re in need of a few new pieces for your wardrobe, take some time to head to the mall ALONE. Peruse through the racks of clothes and stroll leisurely through the department store. It doesn’t matter, because you won’t be running to change a diaper or avoid a tantrum.
Imagine shopping for a new outfit without your kids pulling at your clothes or running through the dressing room. Ah, what a beautiful picture.
If you choose to go shopping, be sure that you are taking care of yourself at the same time.
Just make sure you set a budget for yourself when you head out to the stores.
According to a 2017 article in the NY Post, Americans spend roughly $1,652 per year on retail therapy.
Now that’s a lot of self-care.
Whenever you go shopping, make sure you are choosing you first. Don’t go out to buy household essentials or things for your kids. Go to your favorite stores. Get a coffee from your favorite café. Eat somewhere you chose.
This is YOUR time.
Women wear many hats.
This can make it difficult to set aside time for ourselves.
This may have us struggling to maintain our identities and sacrificing our health and appearance.
My girls are often dressed in the cutest outfits, hair brushed with bows, and cute little boots to match.
And then there’s me. I usually have my hair in a messy bun, while wearing leggings and baggy sweaters.
In fact, I just put my jeans on the other day and realized I have some work to do before I can comfortably fit into them again! And that feeling is DEFEATING.
It reminds me I haven’t been carving out enough time for myself lately.
Taking care of ourselves allows us to look and feel as we should. And we deserve that. After all, we have to take care of everyone else, so the least we can do is throw ourselves into the mix.
Proper and regular self-care is EMPOWERING.
It is how we can stay in tune with ourselves and stay grounded.
It is how we prevent burnout and be the best versions of ourselves while wearing all those heavy hats we need to wear.
Do yourself a favor and get a little time for you this Sunday (or Monday).
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