First things first: I love my job. But, nothing zaps energy quite like saturated hours of screen-time without a break. So, sometimes my life as a Social Media Manager (with multiple side hustles) sometimes feels like a rabbit hole of applications and cramped fingers from repetitive clicking. On especially long and lively weeks (like this one), I feel beyond ready to hit the reset button when Friday evening rolls around. And despite popular millennial opinion, I don't really feel better after becoming a Netflix couch potato for half a day. Instead, when I’m feeling overworked or frazzled, I try to schedule in a full day of intentional self-care. Okay, maybe I can’t always manage a full-day, but at the very least a half-day can do wonders to re-energize me from my zombie-like state.
I realize self-care looks different for everyone, but I find a big part of self-care to be unplugging from technology. Scrolling Instagram or watching t.v. is more like a relaxing facade and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. Do you feel energized after binging on Netflix? If I’m truly being honest about it - I really don’t. I mostly feel like I wasted a bunch of time and am usually more tired afterward. That’s not to say you can’t have those couch potato times (see: Mind Hunter and Stranger Things 2), but it shouldn’t be used to practice self-care since it’s more like numbing everything out. There are loads more rewarding things that will give you a better feeling afterward, which is the real goal here.
In case you’re looking for a little inspiration to take time for yourself and unplug, here are a few of my favorite things to do:
Indulge a little in extra skin-care
Use a soothing cleansing oil and follow it up with a face mask. Close your eyes or practice a few gentle yoga stretches for 10-15 minutes. Everyone has 10-15 minutes to spare and technically you’re knocking out mind/body care in one swoop. Your skin (and body) will definitely thank you later.
Two of my favorite products in my beauty rotation right now are from Monastery, a brand that emphasizes natural, simple, and gentle ingredients that actually work.
Rose Cleansing Oil: Cleansing oils moisturize and suspend dirt and makeup so they can be easily wiped away, leaving super soft and clean skin. This cleanser contains the essence of over 100 rose petals - a.k.a it smells like heaven! Bonus: after a few weeks of using this every night, my skin texture feels smoother.
XX Glycolic Gel: This stuff helps keep skin in-check with a little exfoliation and none of the drying effects that can happen with harsher products. I’ve been alternating between using my Clarisonic or this twice a week and it really helps keep pimples away and skin smooth.
Journaling, especially with pen-to-paper, is a bit of a lost art these days. Taking a few minutes to jot down your mood, something you’re grateful for, or something you’d like to be more mindful of can be a great tool for improving your mood. At the very least, you're getting some swirling ideas out of your brain for another time.
I’m all for heavy books and working through the classics this year, but leisure reading is just so refreshing. Grab a really good magazine, a silly, frivolous book that’s a quick and easy read or short poetry for a dose of inspiration. Reading someone else’s story can be a great way to get out of your own head. I think I'm especially obsessed with reading paperbacks because one of the few off-screen activity that really wakes up my brain.
Grab Some Healthy Eats: Farmer’s Market
I’ve blogged about weekly farmer’s market ritual before, but it’s worth noting the difference it makes when you shop for your food seasonally. I find it’s a lot easier to get inspired to eat healthily and try a variety of whole foods. Taking time to head to the farmers market is an easy way to keep your fridge stocked with healthy things to grab that will help you feel better in the long run.
My last tip is for those not afraid of needles: acupuncture treatments! If you’ve never tried it before, I recommend looking up a sliding scale community acupuncture spot to get your feet wet with very little cost. I like to think of acupuncture as forced relaxation because you really can’t move much while the needles are in your skin, so you better just surrender and relax. I’ve found it works wonders for headaches (even severe migraines), pain or even allergies.
Self-care is something I really value prioritizing - when I don’t, I feel crappy and am generally less productive. Busy or not, I feel sooo much better when I regularly invest in my mental, emotional and physical health. So pry that phone out of your hands and take some time to care for yourself. Life is pretty cool without an Instagram filter, too.
What do you do to practice self-care?