#SelfCare Bucket List

Breathe

I’m gonna say it: You don’t have to spend a million to feel like a million.

If you read women’s magazines, your head is most likely full of expensive spa– or worse, cosmetic– treatments which the writers claim will turn you into a stauesque glamazon with no pimples who has something akin to inner peace. Right?

The issue is that reading those magazines is one of the things that’s stressing you out! What you really need is to shut all that down, BREATHE, and get in touch with how YOU (not advirtisers) really feel.

Lucky for all of us, I consider what is now patronisingly called “self-care” a journey not a destination, and I’m bursting at the seams with great ideas that I’d love to share! Here’s what I have found to be true in the realm of peace and quiet.

 

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Learn the Essentials about Oils

It took me a long time to come around to essential oils and aromatherapy. When I first heard about the concept that different scents could affect your mood in different ways, it made sense, but I didn’t really feel like pursuing it. But after years of learning about holistic and alternative medicine, one of my yoga teachers taught a class on healing with essential oils and it drew me in. She told me things like that I wouldn’t need Claritin every day if I could get a whiff of peppermint oil instead, and I liked that!

I have only a couple of scents at home and I don’t use them very often, but these are the ways I think they are nice:

  • Put 1-3 drops on the shower floor before stepping in. The vapor in your shower will be lightly scented and it is so refreshing and relaxing.
  • Likewise, you can put a couple of drops in your bathwater. The different oils each have their own healing benefits, so talk to the representative who sells them to you to find out which are good for your needs.
  • Even if you’re just getting one or two essential oils, buy a bottle of fractionated coconut oil with them. It is the perfect carrier oil and it can both dilute the essential oils and make them spreadable so you can massage them into different body parts.

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“Pump the Jams”

There’s nothing like music to calm me down. It is warming, it is purifying, and it is deeply relaxing. If you can afford it, I say a Spotify subscription is a must-have. It costs about $10/month, $5 if you are a student or if you piggyback onto someone else’s account (which you definitely should!) The playlists that Spotify themselves make are fabulous and endless. Then, you also have access to all the playlists other users have made. Plus, if you feel like messing around on your computer some rainy afternoon, you can think up all your favorite songs and make your own playlist– trust me, it will be appreciated :).

 

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What Do you Mean You Haven’t Tried Yoga Yet?!

It’s 2018, and if you still haven’t jumped on the yoga bandwagon, I beg you, please get on board. I promise, it isn’t just some trend. Yoga can do more than soothe, it can heal. Really. It goes something like this: You stop by a couple classes thinking, “Yeah, I could use a good stretch.” Before you know it you can’t function without your “stretching’ routine. Next thing, you’re breathing in rhythm with your movements, aligning your joints, adjusting your muscles… and for some people (not me!), even balancing on your head.

You don’t have to be an acrobat to do yoga. Try a restorative or gentle class for starters. The meditative calmness of the yoga mat eventually even led me to learn regular meditation on my own! You never know where it will take you, but I promise it will be a good place.

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And For God’s Sake, Put Away the Bullet Journal!

If you’re reading this it means you’re online, and if you’re online you definitely know about this obsessive trend called bullet journaling whereby women record their every protruding nose hair. ENOUGH! Journaling was meant to be freestyle, relaxing, creative. Not an art teacher with a classroom full of type-A students’ worst nightmare!

Of course, on this site I have a few templates of my own. So yes, I know it can be fun (and tempting) to play around with. But all I mean to advocate are a few pages. Pick two things to track per month, ok? Finding some other use for your creative energy will seriously be much more rewarding, and you will reap the what you sow! So help your neighbor! Volunteer to tutor underprivileged kids! Go join a mural painting project downtown, if you have art skills! People need you, your journal… just doesn’t.

 

 

And Last But Not Least…

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OK. What I’m about to tell you is not medical advice. I repeat: I am not a medical professional in any way. This may be really bad for you, but this always makes me feel great, so I am going to tell you about it. Just don’t come back and sue me if you try it and don’t like it.

Stay up all night doing something you love, then get the best sleep of your life the next.

The first night is super fun. I love nighttime. So calm, so peaceful, silent, nobody rushing around, everyone cozy under their covers… It makes me feel great to be up late at night. Sometimes I stay up so late doing… anything… that before I know it, it’s almost morning and I decide I might as well just stay awake.

Something about the daytime and the sunlight inevitably keep me up all through the next day– maybe a little foggy, but it’s no big deal. (Note: Try this on a weekend when you don’t have to work.) By the next nightfall, you will be so tired you won’t even know your head hit the pillow. And you will sleep. Boy, will you sleep. The longest, deepest, most comfortable sleep EVER. And the next morning, you will feel like a bear on the first day of spring!

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I know this is controversial advice. I am only telling you about my habits. I sometimes have trouble sleeping and this is how I reset my body clock. You should always do what’s right for you.

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