Self care is not the same as self indulgence although we see these two used interchangeably over and over again. While a good glass of wine, a night of binge watching, or a new pair of shoes could certainly qualify as a form of self care, that’s not really what it’s about. Self care should fill you up not diminish or drain you in any way, and it might take work but the pay off is a healthier you. I’ve been practicing true self care the past few months and today I’m looking at what self care is for me at 36!
Skin care routine
This one is new for me, but a few weeks ago I did my research (via the internet and also my skincare guru sister in-law) and stocked up when Sephora had their big sale. When I figure out the products I really love I’ll be happy to share, but deciding to spend the money and the time on my skin makes me feel good every morning. The ritual feels good as does knowing I’m taking care of myself! I don’t wear a ton of make up so having healthy skin gives me confidence and just makes me feel better when I have to get out and face the world.
I’ve always been active and have usually taken some kind of exercise class through the years. This past summer I joined my husband’s gym membership and we got serious about making work outs a part of our daily routine. I mix up cardio with interval training (right now I’m using the Sweat app and I love it!) and I’m starting to feel the results. I feel stronger and my endurance is up! The fact that all my pre baby clothes are fitting is a fun bonus, but truly working out for my mental and physical health has been a game changer.
The past few months I’ve taken Elise’s advice and used the three goal rule. Every month I set three goals for myself and then use the following weeks’ and days’ plans to help me get there. I have a lot to say about this, but breaking down the big picture into smaller bites has really changed what I can get done and I’ve seen the benefits of taking things slow and steady.
NY Times Sunday Subscription
Listen, the New York Times is far from perfect and I had canceled it awhile ago, but when they recently ran a three month special I decided to try it again. Getting the full paper on Sunday is lovely, ahhh the arts section is worth the price alone, but I’ve found myself using the digital version every day along with their food app and recipes. I don’t always love what I read but I’ve found that my anxiety about the world is less when I do a deep dive than it is just scrolling Twitter for headlines.
I use my library and will never stop that, but lately I’ve been buying the books I’m looking forward to reading. I look for authors that I love and support them by preordering their books. Then if I know I’ll never read that book again, I give it away! The library is amazing and you should use it all you can, but I like the anticipation of the new book being delivered or finding a gem in my local bookstore every now and then.
I started therapy because of something horrible that happened but I wish I started so much earlier. I go once a week and it has changed my life. I leave feeling empowered and like I have the tools to make real, lasting change in my life. I know finding a therapist can be daunting and the price can be steep, but it’s so worth it.
Listen, I have no qualms about climbing in bed at 9pm at this point in my life. I used to be such a night owl but now I need that sleep! I try to have good bed time practices so I get quality rest and I know this is such a boring thing, but man it is important.
Buying the good stuff, just less of it
I think one of the secrets to happiness is having less stuff but making sure the stuff you have is the good stuff- whatever that means to you! After our big clear out this summer and before our big move, we’ve been looking at everything we own and deciding if it’s worth keeping, if it’s time to replace, or if it’s something we even need to own anymore. I don’t think you need a move to start thinking this way, it just pushes you to get it done!