With self-care initiatives on the rise, it's the ideal time to live your best life and practice added care and concern for someone who greatly deserves it: YOU!
There are so many fun and inventive ways to build yourself back up.
Because Mondays are the worst, rejuvenate with a little bathroom spa experience. From a deep-conditioning coconut oil hair treatment to an exfoliating body scrub or new nail polish and pedicure, at-home beauty treatments mean locking the bathroom door and focusing on you only. (Because nobody else wants a front row seat to your acne-reducing charcoal face mask.) Turn down the lights, bring out the candles and love on yourself with some good old tubby time. Popular bath bombs in every color and scent mean a warm soak for aching muscles and a little aromatherapy to boot; most can be purchased for under $10. Experience a swirling, fizzy explosion of soothing oils, natural plant color and essential oils with the Lavender Calendula bath bomb from Cindy's Suds ($5.95).
Today's word is: No. Variations include Nope, No thanks, No way and A big, fat no. Taking care of yourself means knowing your boundaries and knowing when to say no to another commitment, task or obligation. It's freeing to look at your schedule and—instead of opening your life up to more work, less time and more on the to-do list—step back and say enough is enough. Yes is easy. No takes some practice. Know when life is too much.
Throw your new word around and mean it.
I find that doing something that takes time creates calm and peace. Private time for introverts is best. When you slow down time, you reflect and listen to what's going on inside your head and heart. Brew a cup of tea, read a book, take a cat nap or a walk outside. Whatever activity you decide on, make sure it's something calming and reconnects you to who you are. Reclaim some time—day or night—to recharge and do something that only benefits you and takes some time to do.
You do not get points for rushing here.
Reach out to your tribe for your soul's safekeeping. Make plans to grab dinner or a few cocktails, but make the plans and keep them. Research says that individuals who have strong friend groups live longer. If you're too busy for a night out, have a lengthy call with a friend to reconnect with the people who lift you up. I have a standing date with a group of friends every month—and after the night is over, I can't sleep in the best way. I'm still laughing over ridiculous comments and drunk on strong, female energy that keeps me excited and energized for the rest of the week. Lean into your fans. Show up for the good eggs in your life. These people want the best for you and offer free therapy and endless hours of talk about episodes of The Bachelor. Banging on that friend drum and dancing to the beat can be the best medicine.
After restaurant-hopping with friends and lovely smelling bath-bomb pampering, there's still some work to put in.
Self-care also means tackling areas in our life that we'd rather avoid. Review your ever-growing to-do list and check off a few things. Have you been putting off a wellness visit with your doctor? Maybe you've got a home project that's stalled. Bets are good that there's a list of chores that have been subconsciously bothering you. Whittling down the burdens and worries lightens the mental load and allows you to breathe easier. Get a few things off the backburner so you can quit stressing over them. Those little accomplishments can fuel you forward to frying bigger fish.
Fake it 'til you make it. Sometimes, we're simply lacking a confidence boost. Wear something that gives you a little more faith in yourself—be it a pretty spring dress or a comfortable cardigan for the day's work ahead. Take a moment to start a journal where you record the blessings and good things that have happened that day to promote positive thinking. Reach out to friends, family and co-workers to praise them because positivity is contagious. Sign up for something that scares you—a class on public speaking or a volunteering position outside of your comfort zone.
Throw yourself into unknown waters to show yourself you've got the guts to try it. A more self-assured mental edge is there to cultivate and create.
Two words: Retail therapy—also known as the day to treat yourself. It's all about your desires that day and recently, my wants included a cozy hoodie and a fancy gold spatula. (The heart wants what it wants.) A little bit of shopping means we buy something fun (floral pantsuits are trending!) or things we need (bras—which were long overdue) and things that spark joy. Peruse racks and racks of clothing at your favorite store and shelves at max capacity at Home Goods, and enjoy all that time to look and think about life. Gina's Boutique has the quintessential self-care shirt, perfect for that stress-relieving Target run ($37.50).
Written by Missy Black, a footwear fanatic, style child and contributing writer for West Michigan Woman.