The benefits of self care are widely touted—and for good reason. We do, truly, need to take better care of ourselves. We’re overworked, over-scheduled and under-rested. We should get more massages and we should go on more weeklong beach vacations. But therein lies the self-care conundrum. We don’t have the time or money for many of the things that would really make us feel good—even meeting up with a friend for happy hour or fitting in time for a nice long soak in the bathtub can seem like a feat.
But self care doesn’t have to be one more thing on our to-do list that we never check off. Instead, it can be something we chip away at regularly—in quick, easy, cheap fashion.
Rachel Garlinghouse explains her self-care epiphany on Scary Mummy:
It dawned on me one day that perhaps I just needed to practice self-care in the place most readily available to me—my own home. But how? While running errands—because we’re always out of toothpaste—I found a clear cosmetics container that’s meant to sit on a countertop, making the contents easily accessible.
I felt like a light was shining down from heaven and the Hallelujah chorus might audibly play at any moment, right there in the store. This was my answer. I purchased the cosmetics container, along with a few tubes of needed toothpaste. When I got home, I placed the container on my bathroom counter. Now what?
“Now what” took the form of little things that Garlinghouse personally finds relaxing, many of which she already had but were hiding away in the backs of cabinets, out of both sight and mind. This included things like teeth whitening strips and a foot exfoliator. Then she invested in a few (inexpensive) items: a plush headband to pull her hair out of her face, several packets of coffee-coconut face masks, a dry skin brush.
The trick, Garlinghouse has learned, is to keep all the items in one heavily trafficked spot of the house (in this case, her bathroom) and out in plain site.
I know what you’re thinking: This is all great, Rachel, but do you actually take the time to use your self-care items? The answer is yes, because every time I go into my bathroom, the container is right there serving as a reminder to take a few minutes to do something for me.
You can keep your self care box wherever it makes the most sense for you—on your dresser, your nightstand, your desk or the kitchen counter. What goes into the self care box will be different for everyone, but here are a few more ideas to get you started:
A favourite type of tea or coffee.
Aromatherapy tablets for your shower.
Your favourite fancy lotion.
A few pieces of dark chocolate.
A cooling or therapeutic foot scrub.
A scented to candle to light while you’re getting ready.
Lavender spray for your pillow.
The trick is to choose items that feel like a little treat but also only take a few minutes to use. Every day, pick one (or more!). However, if you do have the time and money for that weekend trip to the winery or an all-day spa package, you should absolutely do that, too.