Self Care; What does it mean and how do I do it?
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
To me, self care means more than just what my body needs to survive. It's more than basic food to stop feeling hungry and quick showers to keep clean. It means slowing down, breathing, taking a moment to enjoy what's happening around me and if I am not enjoying my surroundings, changing them until I do. Sometimes this means cleaning because clutter makes me feel anxious. Sometimes this means scrubbing every inch of my body, trimming my nails, putting on make up and doing my hair, for no one else but myself. Especially now that I am teleworking and rarely leave the house, there's no need to try to impress anyone else and honestly, I don't care about that anymore anyway. I am actively working on loving myself. So, here is how I use bathing as a way to love me.
While some might think that taking a shower is not really self care, I beg to differ. As a single parent with two more full time jobs, most times, I barely have enough time or energy for a quick shower and to brush my teeth. But when I get a chance to really pamper myself, I go through this routine to prepare for a full body experience.
On the side of the tub, I gather some kind of drink (tea with lemon and mint or maybe just water with orange or lemon slices), maybe an alcoholic drink (wine, mead, etc), a facial scrub, a mask, a salt/sugar scrub, a shower steamer, pumice stone, shave soap and brush and razor, shampoo and conditioner bars, whatever goat milk soap I want that day, a bath bomb, my meal if I haven't eaten yet, and my chosen entertainment (book or tablet).
I start with some music. Music influences my mood very heavily so if I need to relax, I can listen to my relaxation playlist or if I need to wake up and get pumped for the day, I listen to my Powerful playlist. I turn on a warm shower and pop a Peppermint Eucalyptus shower steamer onto the built in soap shelf. The peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils are great for invigorating and relaxing me. While in the shower, I like to take extra time to massage my head as I work in my shampoo bar, enjoying the fragrance and how the bubbles feel under my fingertips. Then I rinse slowly, and just savor the moment as my skin absorbs the warmth and my hair rinses clean of the oils from the last few days. I only wash my hair every 3-4 days depending on how sweaty I have gotten. Once rinsed, I take my conditioner bar and stroke it through my hair, paying extra attention to the ends and then may run a conditioner comb through my hair, if needed.. While the conditioner is working it's magic, I wash and scrub my face with a linen or cotton wash cloth and then my body with a natural louffa (not the plastic ones) and my chosen goat milk soap.
Next, I scrub my body with the salt scrub focusing on my feet first, then legs, arms, knees, hips, and elbows. Once my hands and feet are nice and wrinkly, I scrub my feet and hands with a pumice stone for maximum smoothness. I then rinse off the tub to make sure there aren't any lingering oils before my bath.
Once I've washed, scrubbed, and rinsed myself and the tub, I run a hot bath and drop in the bath bomb, enjoying the reaction with the water as it roils and bubbles. I bundle my hair and carefully apply my activated charcoal facial mask to draw out impurities and help with my blackheads. While the mask dries, I get in the tub to soak for a while, enjoying whatever book or show or movie I might be watching at that time. Eventually, I'll lather up my badger hair shave brush with my shave soap and, using a razor, take care of whatever areas need attention. At some point, before the mask dries completely, I will rinse it off with a linen wash cloth, then continue soaking
I generally soak until the water is almost cold, enjoying my entertainment, food if I have any, and rotating between drinks. Once I get out of the tub and mostly dry off, I moisturize my face (while it's still wet to help my skin absorb extra moisture) with my facial serum and rub myself down with my body butter. Then I apply my solid lotion to my feet and hands, put on sock, and read a book or articles on my phone until I am ready to go to sleep.
In all honesty, most of the products I have on my site were developed exactly for this reason, for extra pampering and care. If you want a fully customized hygiene routine, let me know and I would be happy to work with you to put one together.
So. How do you relax and de-stress?