PSA: A laundry list of self care products won’t fix your mood. That requires a little more soul searching.
Mood - Self Care Products
You’ve seen it on every platform. Every brand seems to be selling that golden ticket of self-care that will lead you to the chocolate factory of ultimate happiness. But only once you unlock the secret to perfect skin, perfect hair or the perfect smile. The truth is: no face cream or hair spa or army of self care products is going to fix the problems in your life; regardless of how many lemons they’ve stuffed in it.
So What Is Self Care?
The main thing to remember is that it is not a trend, though it’s definitely become a buzzword in recent times. Self care is something that helps you evolve and grow into the version of yourself you’re striving to be. It’s acknowledging that life and the world can be crazy, and seizing the opportunity to carve time out for your own needs.
Getting to know yourself and your emotional or physical needs take centre stage when it comes to self care. Depending on your mood and constraints, (managing your expenses, meditating, keeping your space clean) your self care routine can range from basic to extravagant. The bottom line is that your routine should make you feel good.
In order to build a solid routine you first need a strong goal. Mapping out what you’re working towards helps you build and subsequently stick to a routine. Whatever your goal may be (Mastering a new skill, getting fit, or achieving something at work), make sure you write or visualise it in some form to remind you of it.
If you’re a visual person, make a moodboard of images or just simply write it on a post-it, and stick it somewhere you can easily see like your mirror. This will help keep you consistent on the days you’re just not in the mood. Your mind is powerful, and harnessing that power to inspire change will keep the momentum going.
Self-care practices > self-care products
Now that you’ve got a clear goal in mind, what kind of practices do you need to inculcate into your life that will help realise what’s on that post-it? Before the days of WebMD and formal medicine, illnesses and discontentment were addressed by bringing the body, mind and spirit in harmony. As humans, we respond well to change when we nourish these aspects of ourselves.
Some self-care practices corresponding to each of these elements include:
- Detach from technology for a couple hours of the day. Set specific “switch on” and “switch off” times, ideally at least 30 mins before sleeping and after waking up.
- Try a new hobby! Whether it’s online or offline, try something you’ve never done before and don’t worry about the outcome.
- Mediation can be a real mood-lifter. Start small, with guided meditation apps like headspace, which take just 10 mins a day.
- Read 10 pages a day on a topic that builds on your goals. Keep the book on your bedside and make it a wind down practice.
- Find friends that are stimulating! They say the company you keep shapes who you are.
- Wake up an hour earlier
- Learn or practice breath work
- Get moving: Could be exercise, dancing or just get busy between the sheets
- Take more warm baths or if you’re feeling fancy, an oil massage
- Go walking in nature
- Laugh more
- Do random act of kindness or just make someone smile
- Journal about your goals and dreams
Choose a couple things from each category or something more specific related to your goal. Always start with some baby steps that are easy to follow. The second you try to do too much at one go, your mood will take a hit and it’ll be hard to stick to it. Don’t hesitate to tweak your routine so long as you are still aware of your goals.