After a stressful couple of years in which I didn’t prioritize myself (my health, well-being, etc.), I vowed to make 2018 a year of good self-care (or at least, relaxing a bit more). So far, I’m pretty on track: On the medical front: I’ve started bimonthly acupuncture sessions to treat my alopecia and anxiety; I had a dental cleaning last month; I get a full physical and gyne exam next week; and I see my endocrinologist a few weeks after that. I still need to see the dermatologist, but I’ll get to it. I’m also working toward changing my diet, eliminating/reducing foods that increase inflammation and eating more of those that fight inflammation. I am sleeping better and have more energy during the day.
More fun that all of than though are the small (and big) pleasures I enjoy as a way to practice self-care. A few of my favorites that I’ve embraced this year:
* Ever since we moved into our place just before the winter holidays, I’ve been taking lots of baths. Baths, of course, are not complete without bath products. I love sheet masks, like this one, this body polish, I’ve been into this bar soap lately, and I use this tray to hold everything. (Drew’s gotten into taking baths, too, and for his birthday this week, I got him this to take the experience to the next level).
* Jogs in the park listening to current favorite songs on repeat. This week, I’ve been listening to an old favorite and practicing for a karaoke date coming up with some neighborhood friends.
* I take a CBD gummie, which I recently described to a friend as “Xanax lite.” You don’t need a prescription, it’s totally legal in all fifty states, and it can be mailed directly to your home. (The CBD is the cannabinoid found in marijuana without the THC, which is what makes you stoned. With a product like a CBD gummie, you relax a little without being high.)
The company I like isn’t cheap, but I look for discounts online and I then I ration the gummies sparingly (and double up when I fly, which I hate doing).
* Curling up with a heating pad. Drew tweaked his back a couple months ago and bought a simple heating pad that he used for a few days. Since he got better, I’ve basically stolen the pad and use it myself almost every night before bed. I read this essay a few days ago and it totally resonated with me (like the author, I also have a Bed Buddy that I heat up and wrap around my neck when I’m tense).
* I succumbed to a trend I spotted on Instagram and bought my own jade roller not too long ago. A few nights a week I moisturize my face and roll my face out before bed. Maybe I’m just tricking myself, but I swear my complexion looks more even and vibrant on the mornings after these rolling sessions.
* It’s not very often, but every once in a while, if I have gotten enough work done early in the day when Joanie’s with our nanny, I take a 20-minute snooze when she comes home and goes down for a nap. Balancing working from home part-time with being a stay-at-home mom is a juggling act and in the past I felt guilty about taking any time that I wasn’t directly caring for the kids (like when they were at school, with a nanny, or taking a nap) to care for myself. But then my hair started falling out in clumps and I was diagnosed with alopecia, which is triggered by stress, and my perspective has been slowly changing. In addition to an occasional nap and all these other acts of self-care, I am also practicing saying “no” more often to things I don’t want and don’t have to do.
How are you practicing self-care these days?