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Self-care practices are about more than the occasional sheet mask sesh or allowing yourself to indulge in a calorific treat. It’s about consciously rearranging your life and making the appropriate choices so that you’re better equipped to deal with physical and mental stresses. That includes everything from saying no to an extra cocktail to a night of kitchen dancing. Like all worthwhile pursuits, self-care takes time and effort. For example, an elaborate skin care routine touted to soothe angry red patches can feel like a chore to complete despite the proven benefits. Ditto on taking care of your body through a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as taking on new hobbies to help you mentally unwind such as baking, pottery and candle-making.
If you crave self-care but find it easier to just sit on the couch with a bag of chips, then the guide below is for you. These tips and tricks will help you carve out the space needed to treat yourself right – without causing extra stress!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that simplicity works best when it comes to skin care. Embarking on an elaborate skin care routine doesn’t always deliver results, especially when you can’t stick to all the steps. A better option is to stay committed to a few skin care products that work well for your skin type, like a super-hydrating moisturizer in a texture you’re comfortable with, or a makeup-melting cleansing balm that’s a joy to apply.
Don’t worry about double cleansing when you haven’t worn makeup, or when your skin isn’t particularly oily. The trick is to clean thoroughly, not excessively. As for essences and serums, they’re great for boosting radiance and improving skin tone, but there is also no hard-and-fast rule on making them integral parts of every routine. If you do find space to include them in your pared-back routine, go slow by testing out different products to make sure they provide real and lasting benefit. For a lightweight yet potent option, SIORIS’s mugwort-based toner essence My First Essener works well at prepping, soothing and hydrating skin. Beauty of Joseon’s propolis-rich Glow Serum, on the other hand, offers deep hydration on top of brightening benefits, and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Everyone’s beauty needs are different. Some people may view eye cream as an absolute necessity in their routine, while for others, it’s merely an add-on. There are those who swear by wash-off masks, while sheet mask devotees beg to differ. Trust your instincts when it comes to your skin needs. If you enjoy lots of pampering rituals, go for a full-on routine, and throw in a jade roller to boot. But if you don’t, just remember that skin care, like self-care, comes in many forms, and that less is sometimes more! Word of advice: however minimalistic your beauty routine, always keep a bottle of sunscreen nearby. Remember to apply it every morning and to keep topping up throughout the day.
Caring for yourself begins with constructing a physical space that brings comfort and joy. Very often, this involves clearing away the mess. That initial step can be hard, especially when you’re feeling exhausted or unmotivated. That said, establishing a decluttering routine can potentially lead to reduced stress and better emotional health. For the sake of your mind, it’s probably a good idea to start letting go of some junk.
That doesn’t mean you have to go all spartan though. The important thing is to devise a decluttering routine curated to your needs and aesthetics. If you’re aiming for an austere lifestyle, by all means put everything in recycling bins and storage boxes, and keep only bare necessities and a few strategically placed knick-knacks in your living space. For the rest of us, it’s probably more feasible to embrace an acceptable degree of messiness while letting go of redundant items. On how to declutter effectively, one approach is to be strict but not brutal. For me, that meant hanging onto my childhood toy panda for the foreseeable future while giving away tees I’ll never fit into again.
The next step is the room makeover. Tiny tweaks work just as well as radical overhauls. Ideally, the best additions should bring more order to your daily life while improving your space’s overall aesthetic. This jewelry tray in the shape of a deer’s head, for instance, instantly imbues a room with whimsical vibes, as do these Roman-style busts doubling as brush holders. If you’re looking for pops of color in simple shapes, why not opt for practical additions such as a wooden pen holder, nifty food tray, or wall organizers? To bring further order to your belongings, consider stashing stray Polaroids in this photo album reminiscent of a hardback. As final touches, invest in LAVON’s room fragrance to keep the space smelling heavenly, as well as this whale-shaped night light for positive vibes.
Clearing your head is easier said than done, but now that you’ve sorted out your living space, it’s a good idea to refresh your headspace as well. Start by regularly getting your beauty sleep, as research shows sufficient rest safeguards your everyday health. If you often find yourself struggling to fall asleep, consider adding an eye mask to your bedtime routine. This silky version with glittery eye embroidery not only gets the job done, but looks dreamy to boot.
The next thing is to grab a daily planner. This stationary might not seem like a natural choice for a self-care item, but sorting out your schedule and planning ahead can minimize chaos in your life and do wonders for your mind.
There are always many things you can do to pamper yourself even when you’re feeling lazy and uninspired. If baking a batch of cookies seems like too much effort, simply make an iced drink served in your funkiest glassware. Playing dress-up in the privacy of your room can also beat an hour-long yoga session in terms of stress management, especially if you’re the sedentary type. This slouchy sweater in an abstract pattern, for instance, is a true mood-booster! And if nothing else works, it’s perfectly okay to disappear behind headphones with your favourite tunes. This snazzy-looking pair fitted with light-up cat ears is just the ticket.
For a more intense wellness activity, consider unleashing your creativity through an hour of painting, origami or journaling. Whatever you choose, remember that spending time to meet your own self-care needs goes beyond allowing yourself the occasional luxury. It’s about carving out time to do what you love to do. So turn off notifications on your phone once in a while, and start taking care of yourself in ways that feel authentic to your spirit. Whether that’s a midnight walk in the neighborhood or starting a dream diary, it’s entirely up to you.