I’ve really been into self care recently. I know that sounds like such a millennial buzzword, but hear me out. Self care is the concept of looking after yourself and putting yourself first, whatever that act may be. It’s knowing that you only have one mind and body, and appreciating it and doing what you can to keep it in its best shape. Apparently the concept has been on the rise since the election of Donald Trump, with liberals using self care as a form of escapism from the daily disaster that is life: I could probably be lumped into this category. Here is my routine for looking after myself and what makes me happiest.
I have noticed that, as a generation, we place much more importance on appearance than may be entirely necessary. However, as we are so image conscious, I feel that taking care of how you look is an important part of how you feel. If you don’t feel good on the outside, you probably won’t feel great on the inside either. I think that the physical section can be broken down into three categories: skin, hair, and body.
Since the summer, I have gotten super obsessed with trying out new skincare products and fine-tuning a routine that is right for my complexion. It has taken a lot of trial and error but I think I have finally found what works for me. I use a combination of different products, depending on the specific needs at the time (spot treating any blemishes, for example), but it tends to be the same all the time. I was initially going to do the Korean 10 step process but I found that to be a little bit overwhelming so I’ve opted for a smaller amount of steps instead. The one product that I have found to totally transform my skin is the Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment from Keeva Organics. It is a cream that you massage into your skin to help reduce blemishes. I have found it has changed the texture of my skin greatly and made it much smoother to touch.
I have been highlighting my hair pretty frequently this year since I decided to go a lot blonder. This can be very damaging to your hair unless you take proper care of it. I’ve started to incorporate an oil into my haircare routine. I favor argan oil which I purchase from The Ordinary for under $10. I also do a keratin conditioning treatment every two weeks and use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle almost every time I wash my hair.
Since the summer, I began going to the gym at least twice a week (but preferably more). I love doing strength training, especially on my legs and I have seen progress. I can now leg press almost my entire body weight. I haven’t noticed many changes in how I look physically but I have noticed that I feel better and more energized than I previously did.
I also changed my diet. I started taking vitamins. I don’t eat cookies anymore. So many little changes have led to bigger changes than I can even imagine overall. I’m definitely a lot healthier than I used to be.
In terms of mental health, I’d say I’m in a very good place. I’m very positive nowadays and I don’t struggle with anxiety anymore. I do think that it is important to take some time out to spend by yourself, doing whatever you want to do. For me, I enjoy watching random videos on YouTube like vlogs by Romee Strijd or makeup tutorials. Fun, mindless entertainment that allows you to be alone and totally switch off is so necessary.
I also think that journalling is a great practice. I have a five-year diary that I make a notation in every night before I go to bed. I think writing down what you are thinking is a good way to express your feelings without directly talking about them. Sometimes you don’t care enough to have a discussion with somebody or having a discussion would make something into an issue that isn’t necessary. Most of the time my diary is filled with random pieces of information about my day, but sometimes I put more depth into it.
Finally, I think creating a sense of distance from the digital existence of yourself and the physical existence is a good thing to practice. Don’t share too much online, don’t place too much value on meaningless online interactions, and don’t take everything that you see online as reality. Often what is presented is a highly altered version of the truth and realizing that is the first step to becoming happier overall.