Feeling run down, uninspired, or under-appreciated? Maybe you need some alone time for pampering to get yourself feeling fresh again. With love in the air as we near Valentine's Day, show the most important person in your life — you — some TLC with these 10 easy and affordable self-care ideas:
1. Have a candlelit bath.
Add in some essential oils, Epsom salts or bubble bath and put on some gentle music like this New Age Spa Day playlist by Google Play. Dive into a book as you feel your troubles melt away into the hot water.
2. Have a spa day on a budget.
Don't want to spend the money on an actual spa? No problem — you likely have all the tools you need right at home! Exfoliate, face mask + mani/pedi = at home spa heaven. Block out an entire afternoon or evening and indulge. You deserve it.
3. Spend some time in the kitchen.
Have a few recipes you've been wanting to try? Enough's enough! Now's the time. Schedule in a couple hours with yourself and cook or bake to your heart's desire. The process is therapeutic and calming, and the end result is pretty rewarding too.
4. Go for a walk... and leave your device at home.
Even in the chilly winter months, a walk on a still snowy evening if bundled up well can be really relaxing. Leave your phone at home to prevent yourself from mindlessly reaching for it and pulling yourself away from the beauty of the present moment.
5. Get cozy on the couch with your favourite movie or TV show.
Nothing beats a cozy night in when it's cold outside. It's cheap, easy and you have all the power of deciding what to watch and what to snack on while you watch it.
6. Bust out your adult colouring book.
No shame here! Colouring within the lines and zoning out is totally therapeutic and reminiscent of childhood, when we had little responsibility and stress. Get cozy, play some tunes and colour to the beat.
7. Go to a local yoga class or do yoga at home.
I don't know about you, but yoga is one of the few activities in which I achieve total flow state (being completely immersed and zoned in to the activity at hand). Stretching your body and focusing on nothing but the intensity of the poses will clear your mind and keep you flexible and toned.
8. Start journaling.
Don't know where to start with journaling? There are tons of journals on the market that contain prompts for you to fill in, such as The Five-Minute Journal, which only requires 5 minutes at the start and end of your day and rewards you with greater feelings of gratitude and mental clarity. Or if you'd prefer to improvise, buy a blank journal and take some time each day to write what's on your mind.
9. Take a local art class.
If you like drawing, painting, crafting or some other creative outlet, search for affordable local classes and commit to one. Or if you'd prefer, get the tools and have your own art session at home. If you're looking for inspiration there's endless DIY ideas and tutorials on Pinterest.
10. Get Hygge-y with it.
Hygge is all the rage right now in the wellness space. "Hygge" is a Danish word used to describe or acknowledge a moment as "cozy, charming or special." It isn't a physical thing to have, but rather a "conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to recognize and enjoy the present."(1) What is defined as a Hygge moment can be different for everyone and may be the simple routines that are already present in your life that make you feel warm inside and appreciate the present moment, like sipping warm tea and reading a book while bundled up in a blanket. My suggestion would be to try to incorporate the Hygge mentality into every day by moving at a slower pace, being present, appreciating the little things and filling your surroundings with people and objects that light you up.
Do you have any self-care routines that aren't listed here? Please share them in the comments below!
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