Read This if You Feel Burnt Out
Throwing it back to early January when I vowed to "prioritize happiness", 2018 has so far become a journey towards truly living that mantra. I started seeking out activities, places, and people who I feel create a positive impact on my life, and doing so has evoked a change in me that I am more than excited about. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that there is already enough negativity in this world, so in hopes of being the opposing force, I'm sharing with you some of the things I do to clear my head of such negativity. #Selfcarematters, am I right?
1. SKIN CARE
I'm not sure what it is about taking care of my skin, but since it has dramatically cleared up, I have found a lot of happiness within my skin care routine. You don't have to adopt the Korean 10 step method in order to show your skin some love. It just feels good to cleanse away the dirt and grime that has built up on my face after a long day. Something that I like to do a few days out of the week (if you're an addict like me) is to throw a sheet mask into the mix to go that extra mile. Most nights you're tired after working or being in class all day, and you just want to go to bed. There have surely been some nights where I didn't even want to wipe my face down with a makeup wipe, let alone cleanse, apply serum, and moisturize. But by adding in a sheet mask, the process that often seems like a chore, becomes more of a treat. Adrian always laughs at me when I've got one of these on, and my friends occasionally receive alien looking Snapchats, but I know that the mask is just blocking out all the haters. My favourite masks right now are The Solution masks from The Face Shop. I've shared them with you on my Instagram story before, but these guys are awesome because they target your unique skin care issues, and provide you with hydration and relief.
2. READ LIKE A #GIRLBOSS
Coincidentally, the book I have been reading holds this title, but there is more to this than reading about Boss Babe Sophia Amoruso. Reading books has not only given me perspective, opened my mind, and taught me about life, but it has also helped me wind down before bed and put my ever running mind to rest. Think about it. How much time do you spend watching Netflix? Let's say 2-3 hours a day (generously, because its more like 5 or 6..), which is about 2 or 3 episodes of your fave show, right? It's also 21 hours a week. Or 84 hours each month. Now, what if you spent even one of those 2 or 3 hours reading instead. Sure you could finish an entire season of Breaking Bad (me.. oops), but you also could've read an entire book, if not 2. It's a common fact that the blue light from our electronic devices makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep, so instead of binge-watching late into the deep dark hours of the night, find a book that you love and read yourself to beauty sleep.
3. AROMA THERAPY
Scents have the power to completely transform your mood. On days where I feel down or burnt out, I burn my favourite candle and instantly feel better. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to scents, but I believe that there is a scent for everyone. That pick-me-up smell could be something warm and vanilla-ey like it is for me, or it could be something fresh and citrusy like it is for Adrian. Do some research, head out to a store like Bath and Body Works or Saje, and find the one that brings you joy. Maybe you try Lavender because it helps you sleep. Or Sandalwood because it reminds you of a campfire. The smell of fresh cut grass or pine could alleviate your stress, and pumpkin pie or cinnamon could help bring the heat into the bedroom. Personalized scents help to create a warm, relaxing, safe space in the comfort of our own homes. After all, that's what self care is all about right?
Taking care of yourself isn't only about adding things to your life that make you happy. It's also about subtracting the things that cause you stress and anxiety. There is so much power in taking a step back and literally removing yourself from the negativity, which is why one of my new favourite ways to practice self care is by detoxing. This includes detoxing from social media where I am constantly comparing myself to other people, detoxing from junky foods that make my body feel sick, and detoxing from bad habits that have changed who I am and how I live my life. It's almost impossible for me to turn off my brain, that is something I have struggled with for a long time. So, when I start to feel overwhelmed, I like to step out of the stressful situation temporarily, and give myself time to recuperate. It helps to remind myself of everything that makes me special, or that one or two days of eating junk food won't completely uproot my progress, or that the choices and mistakes that I've made in the past don't define who I will be in the future. Do things that make you happy, but also discontinue anything that hinders your confidence in yourself.
In the end, self care is about doing what is right for you. If you love going to the gym, you do you. If you love writing poems, you do you. If you're at your best when you're sitting on the couch with a bottle of wine and Netflix, then by all means, watch a bunch of episodes of Grace and Franky for me. And don't forget - "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?", can Mama Ru get an amen up in here?
What do you do to show yourself some love? Share with me in the comments below.