3 Simple Ways to Indulge in Self-Care
Cassandra A. Orakpo
Sometimes the clutter in our lives and minds overflow; whether it is from work or school, or maybe just from being in our phones 24/7. Every now and then, we should intentionally set some time aside to detach. It is best for our mental health, productivity, and just life in general. There are so many ways to practice self-care, but basically it comes down to you. What makes you feel most relaxed and at peace? What makes you feel most grounded and one with yourself? It could be painting, yoga, or even sleeping. Just remember: no people (pets are allowed) and no phones! I've included my mini list, which can easily help you get started if you're not used to practicing self-care.
1) Leisure Reading
Reading is something we often say we don’t have enough time for (I’m definitely guilty of this). Reading is so transformative, and not only can it make you a better and more imaginative person, but it can catapult you into a separate world, where you think of other characters, ways to better yourself, or even get new information. My personal favorite genre is fiction, and has been since I was a kid. Reading and writing stories have always been a source of expression and joy for me, and I always feel better and more alive after doing both. I wouldn’t doubt that it would do the same for you. The best part is, there’s something for everyone! No matter what genre or type of things you’re into, there are books that will cater specifically to that.
2) Pamper Day
No, this does not mean you have to shell out all your coins…unless, of course, you want to. You can definitely prepare a nice spa/pamper day all by your lonesome. A great start would be turning your cell phone all the way off. Then you can take a nice, warm bath accompanied by some bath bombs from Lush Cosmetics. A foot soak will also be nice, especially if you’re someone who’s always on your feet. Take time to pay special attention to your skin by exfoliating, using the right temperature of water, and moisturizing thoroughly. Next, grab your favorite robe, then file and paint your nails. I always find that having my nails done puts me in a happier mood. For the finale, you should (still in your robe) grab a snack, cozy up in bed with you warmest blanket and/or favorite teddy, and queue up the Netflix. Voila!
I am a firm believer in retail therapy – specifically when it is done in doses. If you’re already a shopaholic, like I used to be, then it’s not as effective. Self-care shopping is best done after weeks/months of not doing much shopping at all. Also, keep in mind that the idea is to keep stress and anxiety levels as low as possible. So, you want to go during a time where there isn’t much mall or store traffic, such as a weekday morning or evening. Doing this will limit the human interaction you have to be faced with, and you won’t have to deal with lines. Sometimes, when I want a really isolated shopping experience, I take it a step further and listen to music or a podcast through my earphones. This will often alert even the store associates that this is “me” time, and I don’t want to be bothered.
Don’t wait until you’re at your breaking point to take care of yourself. Assess regularly and determine when you need time to pull away and regroup. You can’t be much help to anyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Love and light.
To see more from Cassandra, follow her on Instagram, @cassorakpo.