When you think of self-care, what’s the first image that comes in your head? For some, it’s a long, luxurious bubble bath on a Saturday night of blissful solitude. For others, it’s a comfortable couch, a warm blanket, and good, thick book on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Self-care can be as simple as waking up on your own time at 11:30am without the blaring of an alarm or as grand and all-encompassing as a much-needed sabbatical after years of trudging it out in the workforce.
All these ideals are all well and good. These ideas of self-care are common for a reason, because they are by and large considered to be universally relaxing experiences.
However, there is still a lot to be said about the littler things. There are a lot of small acts of self-care that we can integrate into our lives, so small, we don’t even realize them to be self-care! Here are some uncommon, underrated self-care habits. Which ones do you do?
1. Cleaning Your Bedroom
What was once a childhood chore is now an act of self-care. We already know that our physical space can have an impact on our psyche, so when your mind is feeling cluttered, try decluttering your space as well.
2. Sleeping Early
Our generation falls prey to the “cult of busy.” We tend to glorify people who slave away for long, sleepless nights on end, as if eye bags are indicators of productivity and self-worth. Do yourself a favor and clock out when it’s time to clock out. Whatever it is can wait, so rest when it’s time to rest. Light a Diamond Candle in Lavender & Chamomile before bed to fill your room with a relaxing scent that’ll practically serenade you so sleep.
Shop Above: Diamond Candle
3. Giving Yourself A Manicure/Pedicure
Believe it or not, a mani-pedi can be your chance to practice some mindfulness. The concentration needed to paint an area as small as your nail will force you to stop and think, to be deliberate and precise. The pre-polish nail care of filing and buffing has a smooth, rhythmic process to it that can be very soothing, and can hopefully give you a chance to connect with and care for your body in a non-judgmental way.
4. Lifting Weights
It’s commonly acknowledged that exercise and physical activity has a direct link to wellbeing, generating endorphins for that much-needed mood boost. Lifting weights in particular, though, can be a form of self-care for you as well. Lifting weights is another gateway to mindfulness. When you lift weights, you need to be fully aware of what you’re doing; you can’t allow your mind to wander off or be cluttered with other thoughts, lest you injure yourself with your distraction. When you focus your efforts like this, you don’t have room to think of anything else. Connect with your body and give your brain a break.
5. Caring For Plants
Houseplants can be a great companion, especially if you’re out on your own. Plants can be a great source of comfort, as any exposure to nature is a literal breath of fresh air. The routine nature of their care can also help you get into a pace that affirms yourself in relation to the world around you. You can have something as simple as a cactus in a small Marble Planter on your desk or some hanging plants in a Hexagon Wall Planter. Either way, this connection to the earth and the attention you give them can serve as a small pocket of peace in your daily life.
Shop Above: Marble Planter
6. Time With Animals
Time with pets is always a good thing, but if you happen to live in a place that doesn’t allow a furry friend, don’t fret. There are always other avenues for you to get some four-legged love. Go visit a friend who has a pet and enjoy the benefit of rekindling a human connection while making a new animal one. Volunteering at your local shelter will also give you an opportunity to make a furry friend or two, and also give you a chance to experience the mental health benefits of volunteering. You can also visit a local park and just watch dogs running around and having fun in the wide, green, open space. All of this is uplifting and really accessible, so just run with it!
Self-care is a truly personal act. What may be relaxing and calming to some may not do the same for another person. Whatever you do, make sure it centers you and brings you to a good place. These activities are just suggestions for your proverbial self-care kit. Add as you go along, experiment, and enjoy yourself!