Ever since I was old enough to wear make up, I became obsessed with Sephora and would love to run in there to try all the fun lip colors and play with the wide variety of eye shadow palettes. Throughout the years, I've caught myself leaning away from solely the make-up but wandering into the skincare aisle. And now, I'm just as (if not more) into skincare products and masks than I am all the fun make-up. Is this a sign I'm getting old? Probably. But also because I've also become REALLY into taking care of myself these past two years. Not only physically but mentally as well.
I never really realized how important it is to properly care for yourself until I was twenty-three. Most my life before that I kinda just ate what I wanted, didn't really make working out a priority, would fall asleep in my make-up (ugh, it makes me cringe to think about now!), and probably drank a little too much as I graduated from a huge party school. On the flip side of that, I would sleep very little and stay up almost 24 hours sometimes cramming for an exam, running on nothing but iced coffee. All of this took a huge mental and physical toll on me and I was just like ok, I cannot live like I'm in college for the rest of my twenties. That's just not going to make me look and feel my best.
Now, I have my skincare routine down to a science, I'm religious about going to the gym, I've taught myself to cook so I can make healthy(er) meals, and I make sure to give myself time off work if I feel burnt out or too stressed.
I've put together my top 5 self care tips that I feel like have drastically improved my mental and physical well being. Scroll down to read these!
1. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. I get it, we're all busy. We all have jobs, commitments, and responsibilities that are mandatory. In our downtime away from all those things, we just want to chill and do nothing (aka plop down on the couch and turn on the TV). But, I always think to myself that I should be able to find one measly hour out of my day that I can get a sweat in. So I make myself a workout schedule! I have a 9-5 job so I'll usually work out straight after work. And on those days that I have plans after work, I will schedule going to bed early so I can wake up early and hit the gym before I have to go into the office. At the beginning of every week, I write down all my plans, errands, and meetings I have going on that week and fit in time slots to exercise in between. If you have your week organized, finding time to workout is MUCH easier and I find myself wanting to go more!
2. Don't buy junk food when you go grocery shopping. I've found that when I go grocery shopping, I tend to only buy fresh, whole foods that I can use as ingredients in cooking. I try to stick away from too much processed food and look up recipes before I get to the store so I have a list of what to buy. Having healthy ingredients and some recipes on hand definitely deters me from snacking or eating something that won't nourish my body. I always think to myself when I buy food "what nutritional value or benefit am I getting from this?" if I can't answer my own question, then I won't buy it. I've also found it so easy to swap empty calories from things like pasta and white rice to things with nutritional value like riced cauliflower (Trader Joe's has this ready to go), and zucchini noodles aka zoodles (Whole Foods has this ready to cook as well!)
3. Drink water. Just do it. Staying hydrated is not only good for your insides, but great for your skin as well. I like hot water with lemon and a bit of honey first thing when I wake up (this prevents bloating too). Also if you've been out drinking, drink a couple of glasses of water before bed. Hangover avoided!
4. Know when to give yourself a break. Just like physical activity, healthy eating, and staying hydrated are vital to taking care of your body; rest is vital to taking care of the mind. I'm sometimes guilty of not following my own advice and over-working myself, getting too little sleep and just feeling way too stressed and anxious as a result. If you feel like you need a break, you probably do. Take a day off work and have a "me" day. I personally like to go get my nails done, take a break from checking my phone, and just turn my mind off. It's so important to know when to slow down so we don't burn ourselves out.
5. Get some vitamin D. I think going outside is so beneficial to mental self care. Maybe it's just being out in the sun? I've found if I go for a little walk, eat lunch outside or just sit by the pool with a good book my mood is instantly improved. I think fresh air and just change of scenery from the places you usually are (i.e., inside your home, inside your office, etc.) can help clear your mind and re-energize you as well.
These are all things I incorporate in my everyday life that have improved the quality of my life. I'm obviously guilty of having In n' Out, skipping a workout here and there, and letting my PTO stack up to the point where I can't remember the last time I took a day off. BUT, everything in moderation. I like sticking to these tips for the most part because I feel way better when I do. And who doesn't want to feel good?
Let me know if you guys have any self care tips I need to try!