It’s the month of looove, you guys! Hopefully you’re feelin’ the v-day vibes but also what a good month to start making self love a priority.
In this society that glorifies being busy all the time (I’m sooo guilty of this) I think there’s a huge problem of people over-exerting themselves, pushing themselves to the limit, going going going without taking stock and assessing if they’re doing enough to keep themselves healthy and happy. In a sense, we’re all pouring ourselves out without taking enough opportunities to refill our own cups!
So here are some ways I’ve been practicing self care and filling my cup back up. Some are trendy af (#wellness lol), but the reasons behind them really aren’t. Maybe it will inspire you to make your own lil’ self care routine!?
1. Using Vitamins/Supplements
At the beginning of the new year, I finally acted on a promise I had been making myself for a while now: I started taking vitamins. Specifically, I wanted some help managing my stress and energy levels. Stabilizing these feels like my life’s greatest challenge, and I know they drastically affect my overall wellbeing. I started using the company Care/of, and after taking a simple quiz about my lifestyle + needs, was recommended rhodiola and ashwagandha. I also started taking melatonin supplements at night, so I can get to sleep sooner and sleep more soundly.
Some of you might think putting this on the list is a stretch. It’s hardly a luxurious or even groundbreaking self care task. But having better sleep and more regulated stress is the foundation of my self care regimen, and this is such an easy way to achieve that. Plus, when I drink my morning warm lemon water and take my vitamins I get the same feeling as I do when I have a matching bra & underwear set on. Ladies, I know you know what I’m talkin’ about. It’s like my inner monologue suddenly turns to “I am a goddess among mortals and I have my whole life blissfully together and I am officially a true grown up.” That’s a thought worthy of chasing!
If you’re thinking of giving this one a try, I couldn’t recommend Care/of more. It’s so convenient and I really trust the vitamins I’m ingesting. Plus, taking the quiz is fun!
2. Reading (w/ Blue Light Filtering Glasses!)
I like myself a lot more when I spend my time reading, instead of just vegging out in front of a television. Not only does it make me feel more confident to be well read, but getting wrapped up in a new, interesting story and actually using my imagination (something grown ups don’t get to do enough!) is a nice release from the everyday mundane. Furthermore, I’m a big fan of the self-improvement genre and I enjoy reading books on professional development, how to be happier, how to be a better partner, etc. So when I read more, I’m often actively improving myself and learning new methods on seeking happiness & balance.
Most of the time I read before bed, which is a lot healthier than watching TV or scrolling through Instagram (my two worst nighttime habits). Since I mostly read on my iPad’s kindle app, I also invested in some blue light filtering glasses to protect my vision and to help prevent my mind from being constantly stimulated into “awake” mode. I’ve linked mine here!
3. Practicing Yoga
This is definitely one of the trendier tasks on my list, but there’s a reason it’s so popular! Yoga is amazing. Countless studies exist that describe all the benefits of yoga. I love that I get a great, full body toning workout in while I work to quiet my mind. I feel so confident and zen walking out of a good hot yoga class. I’ve been taking yoga on/off for years, but it was only after I went from taking weekly classes in L.A to moving to Raleigh and not taking any for a while that I realized how valuable it was for my mental and physical health.
4. Drinking More Tea
I love coffee. I will never not love coffee. But, I also realize that coffee miiight be contributing to my anxiety. While I’m not willing to give up the stuff for good, I am willing to supplement with tea more often than I have been, for a more gentle caffeine boost. Plus, I like that different teas have health benefits that coffee doesn’t always have. I’m loving matcha, earl grey, or lemon tea in the morning and chamomile at night. I just shared the recipe for this hibiscus latte a few days ago, and it’s definitely not something you want to miss!
In Ayervedic medicine, it’s said that walking is a tri-doshic exercise. This means that no matter what, it’s an exercise that can balance your body, mind, and soul without much detrimental physical strain. I find I’m so much happier when I get at least 30 minutes of fresh air and vitamin D in. It’s an opportunity to slow down, clear my head, move my body, and enjoy my surroundings. Lately I’ve loved walking to my weekly microbiology lab. I especially like to pair this activity with the next item on my list…
6. Listening to Podcasts
For me, listening to podcasts has similar benefits to reading books except there’s more flexibility (you can multi-task!) and less commitment (hour long podcasts vs. chapter books). I listen to a pretty wide variety of podcasts: ones that tell stories, ones that provide the news in a more digestible way, ones that give business advice, ones that are truly ridiculous and only provide comic relief. My favorite by far, though, is Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert. It’s like being a fly on the wall in a therapy session between two incredibly interesting & funny people. Dax is so evolved, introspective, honest, and prompts such informative discussions. I’ve learned so much about the variety of perspective & the human experience, and I’ve learned even more about myself along the way. Plus, I laugh the entirety of every episode. Can you even ask for anything else?
7. Taking Myself Out For an “Unplugged” Date
This one is the hardest for me because it gets me completely outside of my comfort zone. Lately, I’ve been making more of an effort to take myself out to coffee, lunch, or dinner at one of the many spots around Raleigh that I’ve had on my “must do” list since moving here. Here’s the kicker, though: Instead of spending the whole time on my phone or finding some other type of distraction (for fear of looking aimless and strange to others) I completely unplug. I sit with my thoughts, people watch, sometimes chat with strangers (only if they seem interested), and write down thoughts/ideas/plans. It’s really challenging, but usually I come out of it having met someone new, having dumped all the thoughts swirling around my head, and having had a great meal at a fun new spot.
And that’s it for me! It’s fun to talk about this kind of stuff here. How are you filling your own cup? Leave a comment!