It goes without saying that self-care is a necessary practice in life. I have personally dedicated Sundays to my self-care routines, deeming them ‘Self-Care Sundays’. This is just because my schedule is super busy during the week, and if I take time for myself, it’ll throw my groove off. I am also fortunate enough to work at an office that is closed on Sundays, so it’s the perfect day for me to take care of my mind, body, and soul before the new week starts.
Self-care is “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health” (Psych Central).
Self-care is the only thing that keeps me sane in between my weeks full of school, work, and blogging. It means something different to each individual, and it can be practiced on a large or small scale. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of self-care is to fulfill yourself, so don’t do anything that you don’t want to do, or feel like you’re forcing yourself to do. There are a couple of small things I do daily throughout the week for my self-care, and I splurge a little more on Sundays.
I’ve been able to develop some daily self-care practices that have made my days run a lot smoother; I do stretches and deep breathing exercises every morning before getting dressed, and I make matcha tea with honey and lemon before I leave the house. I also take a multivitamin, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 each morning. I actually decided to cut out morning coffee and save it for lunchtime, when there’s a decent amount of food in my system. This small change has already made a big impact on how I feel throughout the day! At night, no matter how much sleep I get, I make sure to sleep with an eye mask on. I also place my phone on my nightstand (face down) so I’m not tempted to mindlessly scroll through social media apps when I’m supposed to be sleeping. Quality of sleep is so important.
I’m still struggling to fit daily exercise into my week; I feel a lot better after exercising as it releases endorphins (perfect for reducing stress and anxiety), but it’s really difficult to squeeze time in to exercise on days when I’m not home from 6:30 AM to 9 PM and still need to make time to eat a solid meal three hours before bed. For now, I’ve been able to exercise three times a week, and that’s good enough for me. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb while I’m at the gym and jam out to a workout playlist I made. I actually look forward to the 45 minutes of alone time; I’m not worried about checking my phone every five minutes, and I can actually hear myself think.
Some other daily practices you can do for self-care are taking time to call your mom/dad/favorite human, watering your plants, spending 20 minutes watching one of your favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu, cooking a meal you pinned to one of your Pinterest boards, or listening to your favorite album/artist.
On Sundays, I do a little bit more since I have more time. I love going out to brunch or coffee with friends; it’s especially satisfying when I plan on studying for the rest of the day. The hour or two spent catching up with friends over great food and drinks makes the week less dreadful! If I don’t have brunch plans on Sunday, I make myself a big breakfast at home. I usually grab a banana, yogurt, and dark chocolate bark from my fridge or make some oatmeal and eat it when I get to work or school during the week, so having a real breakfast is such a treat.
Every Sunday night, I give myself an at-home facial before going to bed. I remove all makeup on my face and cleanse with Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser using my Clarisonic Smart Profile Cleansing Device. Then, I apply my favorite scrub (Himalayan Herbal Neem Facial Scrub), wash it off, and use a face mask. I use a different face mask depending on if my skin needs to be hydrated or exfoliated that week; my personal favorites are the Derma-E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and the Kiehls Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask. Once the mask is washed off I use either Glossier’s Solution or Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic with a cotton round, wait for it to dry, and finish my routine with the L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream. Since it’s really pricey, I save it just for my Self Care Sundays. It’s such a great treat!
Every other Sunday I clean my room and bathroom, and although it takes a lot of energy, I feel so much better afterward. There’s nothing like working in a clean space!
Of course, sometimes you just have to treat yo’self. After tough exam blocks, I like treating myself to items I’ve been eyeing for a couple of months, overdue pedicures, etc. I sometimes plan these out in advance so before I start studying for an exam, I’ll say to myself “if I make a ___ on this exam, I’m going to treat myself to a ____.” And so far, so good! I also make it a standard to do something fun with my friends after exams; I would definitely lose my mind if I didn’t.
Go ahead and splurge on yourself from time to time. Take that vacation you’ve been saving up for, reward yourself with some new workout clothes, whatever it is that fulfills you. Just remember that splurging isn’t a self-care requirement; don’t feel guilty about not splurging on things. If splurging is only going to stress you out, don’t do it. Self-care is different for everyone, and that’s completely okay.
And since today is Sunday, it’s time for me to start tidying up my room! What do you all do for self-care? Feel free to share your practices in the comments below!