Sometimes it’s difficult to shut our thoughts off, to put that assignment for school or project for work aside, and to do what truly makes us happy. From a very young age, we’ve been programmed to constantly go, go, go and rarely even notice that we are close to reaching burn out, but it’s so important to take some time to ourselves and recharge. How come we don’t have siesta?! It’s so unfair, honestly! Self-care. We hear it a lot, but what does it really mean? Well, I personally feel like it varies cross the board; it is whatever you make it. But, the more standard definition would be something along the lines of figuring out the things that make you happy, and doing them, however many times and whenever you feel you need to find some peace and quiet within a hectic day, or week, or even in one single stressful situation. I promise, you will feel re-energized and so will everyone around you because positive energy is contagious and there’s not enough of it right now.
To me personally, self-care means finding out my passions and pursuing them; it means figuring out the things that make me smile, the things that make me cry; self-care is learning to appreciate my body the way it is; it means living in the moment. Taking a day off from the usual crazy routine to enjoy something simpler, something mindless. This word so full of self-constructed meaning signifies coming to terms with myself, and knowing my limits. It is growing stronger with every experience, good or bad, and trusting my instincts. I could go on and on, but self-care pretty much means learning how to trust and love yourself despite the imperfections because as cliché as it is, the person you’ll spend the longest amount of time with is yourself, so you might as well start learning how to enjoy him or her.
These are some fun little activities I’ve compiled over the past couple of summers that I do sometimes when I’ve had a particularly rough day or just want to relax.
- Make a healthy smoothie that’ll keep you energized for the majority of the day.You’re bound to find something since they’re for practically every occasion! I usually put 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of all-natural raw cacao, 1 banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds, a handful of spinach/kale (my hands are tiny, so you might want to be careful with that), and 1 teaspoon of honey (or Agave as a healthier substitute), and ice, and blend for about a minute (starting on low and gradually increasing to high). Yeah, I get that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as I’ve been told by too many friends, so if you’re not brave enough to try my concoction, you can always try these to-die-for 54 healthy smoothie recipes here
- Watch summery hair and makeup tutorials on youtube I’ve already mastered a fishtail, and now I’m working on a braided bun!
Check out these top 20 beauty gurus of 2016. Also, for my blind friends, Molly Burke has a really descriptive and easy-to-follow Mirrorless Makeup Tutorial and a How to Curl Your Hair without Looking tutorial as well.
3. Take a bath
I find a hot bath, especially post-workout, and with Netflix in the background is the best way to spend at least a couple of hours of my day. I’ve also been experimenting with some new bath stuff in order to come up with any excuse just to sink deeper into the water for as long as I possibly can before I have to get back to my crazy schedule! I just tried a bath bomb from Lush called Dragon’s Egg and the Ocean Salt face scrub, and I absolutely love both! The scrub works especially well with getting all the dead skin off your face!
4. Try preparing a crazy food you’ve never heard of before
Since my summers consist of everything healthy to make up for both semesters of disgusting, but definitely necessary before finals school food, last summer I tried making this Chocolate Avocado Pudding and when I say I hate Avocado, believe me I’m not a fan! Everything about it freaks me out. The texture, the lack of taste… but oddly enough this pudding actually tasted richer and way better than regular chocolate pudding, and I couldn’t even taste the avocado!! So definitely give it a shot, but if you hate it, you didn’t get it from me!
5. Aroma therapy
Ok, so I feel like you either hate this one or love it. I personally can’t get enough of the smell of some of my favorite oils like coconut, peppermint, and lemon, not to mention all of the unique health benefits that come with each one. You can get creative, too. My goal this summer is to try making different yummy-scented lotions and scrubs with them! Here is a list of the most common ones along with their therapeutic properties.
Tea is like my therapist away from my therapist. Stressed? I brew some Yogi stress-relief. Feeling low on energy? The Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy’s got my back. And, last week my mom bought a blooming flower one, which is a little ball of tea that quite literally blossoms into a flower as it steeps in your cup. If that’s not relaxing, I’m not sure what is.
I took a yoga class this past semester, and it definitely went right along with my self-care obsession. Right now I’ve been following this video for a while because she’s pretty descriptive, and does most of the same moves as I learned in class. Although, everyone’s been telling me to try a number of “Yoga with Adrienne” videos, which are more workout-based, and can be found here. I will keep you guys updated once I get someone to walk me through what she’s doing!
8. Read a book (not for school for once!)
Yes, this too, is probably on every other self-care list known to man. But, I may have some suggestions that you’ve never heard of. My all-time favorites are The Edge of Never, by J. A. Redmerski (I’ll link the book review here), and The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons (book review here). None of these contain spoilers, btw. If you don’t like romance, you should probably skip the reviews altogether, but if you do these books are for you! Both of them are also part of series… don’t get too hooked or you’ll be self-caring for too long! 😉 Again, The Edge of Never goes along with my live in the moment mantra, and The Bronze Horseman takes place in Russia. Yup, I apparently like to escape reality by reading about reality…
9. Hair and nails!
If you have a little extra… or a lot of extra money go have a girl’s day with yourself or with your friends! I usually fall under the first one so I don’t usually do both at once, but I know when I do it feels so amazing to have someone play with my hair for a couple of hours, or massage my hands and feet. I leave feeling like a completely different person and everyone always thinks I just got a good sleep… shhh… it’s our dirty little secret! Btw, have you heard of the new dipping powder that’s already colored? You just dip your nail into it and it dries like an acrylic, accept it’s much better for your nails and doesn’t ruin them when you’re ready to take them off!
More to come!!