When the term “self-care” first surfaced on social media, everyone was like, “This is great!” The acceptance of mental health care and the normalization of practicing self-care seemed like a boon. But now there’s a reason to pause. The term “self-care” has been put through the wringer– both celebrated and exploited (Capitalism… le sigh) in equal proportions. Sure, it would be cool to jet-set off to Positano for a few weeks or splurge on that new ($$$) puff coat all the “It Girls” are buying in the name of Self Care, but honestly that’s just not practical.
Armed with the realization that we’re all collectively throwing money and time away in the endless pursuit of self-care, we decided to take a long hard look at our routines and examine how we can approach self-care from a more realistic perspective.
Unfortunately, the word “practical” does tend to have a negative connotation, but it really doesn’t have to! Practical acts of self-care can be so much more meaningful and attainable, which means that you might be more likely to practice them. (And hey, we’re all for that.) Below are a few practical acts of self-care that you can practice now, that won’t break the bank or wreck your schedule.
Assess Your Needs
Compile a list of your major daily activities and the things that you do in the different areas of your life. These might include work, school, relationships, and family. Next, determine how well those needs are being met–or not. Make a plan to address an aspect of your life that is being neglected.
For instance, if you’re feeling alone in your social life, call some friends and get a girls' night on the books. Feeling uninspired? Take some time to create something with your hands–like making a batch of cupcakes or learning an easy knitting pattern! Caring for all aspects of your life is a great way to practice practical self-care.
Be Mindful About What You’re Buying
It’s oh-so-natural to want to #treatyourself to something new at Zara, especially if you’re feeling low. However, overconsumption–and buying things that you don’t need or won’t use–will only make you feel worse in the long run, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
We don't need stuff to make us feel better! And also, if we treat ourselves with purchases less frequently, it will become more of a treat when we actually do pull the trigger on something fun.
Get Your Body Moving
One of the most elite forms of self-care: movement. Moving your body boosts your mood, prevents anxiety, and keeps you feeling healthy and strong.
There are literally millions of home workouts, 10-minute YouTube vids, and Instagram Lives that you can access for free from the comfort of your living room–which makes exercising from home easy rather than a chore.
Experts claim that about 10-30 minutes of exercise will get your endorphins pumping and the “feel good” hormones flowing. Talk about practical self-care.
Take a Bubble Bath (or a Long Hot Shower)
When you think about practicing self-care, you probably envision a girl floating in a beautiful tub overflowing with bubbles. That’s because taking a soak is one of the easiest, most delicious acts of practical self-care that exists. It’s relatively cheap, and a variety of health benefits accompanies it.
Even if you don’t own a luxurious soaking tub or expensive bath bombs, you can still get the most out of your soak by simply enjoying the warm water. Bonus points for adding a few droppers of CBD to your water. Don’t have a tub? No problem, take a long warm shower instead! You can buy a sprig of organic eucalyptus to hang over the head or light a few candles to set the vibe.
Make Yourself a Fancy Dinner
Sure, you cook yourself food every day, but do you actually take the time to enjoy the process and think about what you are putting into your meal?
Pretend like you’re having a special guest over–maybe a lover, celebrity, or someone you greatly admire–and make the meal for yourself that you’d make for those other people. Or, if you want to get a little more creative in your culinary endeavors, why not try introducing a new food once a week?
If you’re not a fan of cooking, you could pick a recipe that sounds like fun, and have a few friends over to attempt it together. Filling your belly with homemade food, learning a new skill, and hanging out with friends? Sounds like a win in our book.
These days, it feels like everyone is glued to their phone or computer–or both. Intentionally taking a break from scrolling, texting, emailing, and blogging can help us recharge and give our brain the downtime it needs to work at an optimal level. Practice a little practical self-care today and put down your electronics; take a long walk outside, pick up a book, or meditate for 30 minutes. Unplugging is arguably one of the finest acts of self-care in today’s day and age.
Give Yourself a CBD Massage
Sure, getting a massage from a professional feels ✨spectacular✨ but have you ever just given yourself a loving little rubdown? Spending $$$ on a deep tissue massage or going to an in-person studio might not be in the cards right now, but with your own two hands, you can gift yourself the massage you really need. Add in a few drops of soothing CBD and you’ve got yourself the perfect self-care ritual right there.
Practicing Practical Self-Care
Self-care isn't a “one size fits all” kind of thing. Everyone has their own definitions of self-care, ways of treating themselves, and goals that they’re trying to achieve. But if you can approach your routine with more realistic expectations and habits, you’ll find that self-care is more attainable than you might have thought.
What are some of the ways that you practice practical self-care? Head to our IG and share your self-care secrets with us!