“Self-Care Sunday” has finally gotten the recognition it deserves in the past year with more women devoting time to take care of themselves. Sunday is a popular day to reflect, reset, and recharge for the week ahead. As someone with an abnormal schedule (I work weekends, and my off days are always different), I struggle to fit self-care in on Sundays or any day of the week. Instead, here are six little things you can do each day or spread out throughout the week to make self-care an everyday affair.
1. Take mini-breaks throughout your workday
When I’m in the zone of working on a project or going from one Zoom meeting to another, I get stuck sitting in the same spot for hours. I get so focused that I don’t even think about taking a break. Not only is it super unhealthy to be sitting in the same spot for hours, but it’s mentally draining and exhausting. It can be hard to take a few minutes for yourself, especially when your to-do list seems never-ending, so I recommend adding breaks into your calendar. Try to take a five-minute break every two hours and schedule them in if you have to. Spend the time making yourself a cup of tea, walking around your house, or closing your eyes and deep breathing for five minutes. The time to myself helped me relax and refocus when I went back to work.
2. Hang eucalyptus from your showerhead
I saw this idea on Instagram a couple of months ago and freaked out at how genius it was. I love the smell of eucalyptus, and I feel like I’m immediately transported to a spa whenever I smell it. Make sure it’s fresh eucalyptus, which you can find at your local floral shop or flower section of your grocery store (Trader Joe’s always has eucalyptus!). Tie a few strands together with a rubber band or hair tie and hang it around the top of your showerhead (not in the path of the water). The steam from the shower releases the essential oils and smells amazing! Added bonus: it can help with nasal congestion, and it lasts about three weeks!
3. Start your day with an app that promotes positivity
If you’re like me, my phone is the first thing I look at when I wake up. I used to open my phone and immediately check social media, work emails, or read the news. All three of these options are a pretty depressing way to start your day. There’s hardly anything positive in the news, reading work emails puts me in work mode from the time I open my eyes, and don’t get me started on social media scrolling. What’s the fix? A meditation, religious texts, or manifestation app that positively starts your day. Here are some of my favorites: the Shine App, a daily self-care app that helps you meditate, reflect, and calm stress with daily meditations and articles. I also love the Bible app; it has a daily story with a bible verse, devotional, and prayer. Calm is another meditation app that is amazing if you’re just getting into meditation and don’t know where to start. They also have great soundscapes and sleep stories to help with falling asleep at night.
4. Write down good memories at the end of the day
Starting and ending your days with intention is a form of self-care because you’re setting up what type of day you’re about to have and at night you’re storing the memory of how that day went. A couple of years ago, I started a “good memories jar” where I wrote down anything good that happened to me. It could be something small from, “My hair looked really good today” or bigger like, “I got the job.” This created a habit of focusing on the good things in my life; no matter how big or small, they all made me smile. Whether it’s a journal or the notes app on your phone, each night, write down one positive thing that happened or that you’re grateful for from the day. This will help you recognize the things going well in your life instead of focusing on the negative.
5. Listen to a happy playlist
Music is magic in the way it can transport you to a specific place, memory, or mood when you hear a song. I love playlists and have different playlists for different occasions, moods, and vibes. I have a playlist of songs that instantly put me in a good mood when I hear them. These songs don’t flow together either—think Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield and September by Earth, Wind & Fire—but they all make me happy. Some, it’s because that’s the vibe of the song; some, it’s because they remind me of someone in my life or a specific memory. These days with Apple Music and Spotify, there are endless playlists out there, so you can find a “happy” playlist if you don’t create one of your own.
6. Get better sleep
Sleep is so important, and one of the biggest things that was missing from my self-care routine. My problem wasn’t always going to bed but actually going to sleep. I was guilty of getting in bed and watching one more episode of the show I was binge-watching (it always ended up being more than one) or opening up TikTok and scrolling for hours. Somehow, 3 a.m. always snuck up on me, and my plans of going to bed early were pushed to the next night. To fix this problem, I decided to give myself a bedtime and a bedtime routine. I set an alarm for 10:30 p.m. and that meant it was time to get ready for bed, shower, do my nighttime skincare routine, PJs, etc. Once I got into bed, I did not touch my phone or the remote. Laying in bed, I reflect on my day and write down my good memories, which has allowed me to calm my thoughts and get sleepy. Constantly scrolling or watching TV never gave my brain a chance to get tired. For me, getting a good night’s sleep started with falling asleep with a schedule over a couple of weeks, and it worked wonders for my regular sleeping habits.