Ugh. That self-care word again.
You’ve probably seen “self-care” buzzin around the internet along with pictures of bath bombs, spa robes, and candles. (While I love all of these) These things alone only begin to scratch the surface of self-care.
Self-care is a way of maintaining self. So, staying grounded in a world full of tragic headlines. Staying focused while trying to deal with everything life is throwing at you. Getting to know yourself. Understanding what brings you joy. Living in one moment, and not worrying about the next one. Learning how to simply be.
Basically, self-care is more than an Instagram hashtag. It’s a mental health maintenance tool. It’s not just bath bombs (because who cares) or massages (because who can afford that every time we feel drained), it’s a very unique, simple process that’s unique to everyone. My self-care routine may look nothing like yours, because we may decompress in different ways. Different things may bring us joy.
Anyways. Let’s dive in. Here’s my take on how to develop your self-care routine.
**Also, I am not a professional, I’m just out here trying to give good advice, ok?**
Spend Time with Yourself
Alright sis (and bros. Sis is gender non-conforming here on WKS). The first thing you need to do is spend some time alone. And no, I don’t mean the kind where you’re laying in bed scrolling IG or binging Netflix. I mean, spend some time alone, without distractions. Why? You’ll (kinda be forced to) get to know yourself. This is important so that you can start to understand what brings you joy and makes you full verses what drains you. You become self aware.
A few ways to spend time with yourself:
Journal. Get it out. Write it down.
Take yourself to lunch or dinner. Sit at the bar. It’ll help you get used to being alone.
Get creative. This looks different for everyone. Maybe you enjoy drawing, painting, writing, sewing, or whatevah.
Take a walk or hike. Fresh air is truly good for the soul. Get out into nature and spend some time listening to the sounds.
Take a solo trip. A little extreme, but helpful.
Create a Safe Space
Growing up, my mom would always have candles lit in our home. I never understood the hype until I got older and was gifted a candle. I realized that coming home after a long day and simply lighting a candle, watching it burn, and enjoying the aromatherapy brought me peace of mind. Candles become the centerpiece of my safe space in my room.
You don’t have to love candles. You just need to understand what small things bring you peace of mind in your home.
Here are a few ways to create your safe space:
Clean your room. This is an underrated way of creating peace of mind. When your space is decluttered, it reduces the anxiety of having to clean it.
Consider the vibe of your room. Some people enjoy welcoming visuals and calming aesthetics. Consider how you can incorporate calming colors or fabrics into the deco in your room.
Try aromatherapy. Honestly, I highly recommend everything from candles, to essential oils and diffusers, to incense to create a good vibe in your room.
Turn up the music. Music has been a source of peace for me for as long as I can remember. I have music on while I'm cleaning, working on passion projects, commuting, decompressing from a long day, doing my nightly routine, etc. My favorite thing is streaming music videos on YouTube on my smart TV while I'm doing my things. I love the stories music videos tell.
Try New (And Old) Things
Finally, the only way to understand what brings you joy is to try things. When I was younger, I would spend hours after school curled up on the floor with a book in my hand. If I wasn’t reading, I was writing in a diary. I stopped doing those things as an adult. Ya know. Life happens. I was inspired to start reading and writing again last year, and now I’m hooked. They both bring me so much peace.
Travel has also become something that feeds my soul. Experiencing and learning new places and cultures keeps me grounded. It’s become a way that I self-care.
Here are a few things you can try:
Pick up a book. Peep the book of the month on the vibes page if you want to read what I’m reading.
Take a fitness class. Yoga is my personal favorite, but maybe you want to try boxing or dance.
Take any class, actually. Cooking, painting, drawing, photography. There’s so much to try.
Self-care and self love are a journey, not a destination. Your routine will continue to evolve as you evolve. The important thing is to just start. Get to know who you are. Be your biggest advocate. Live your best life. Live a full life.