7 Self-Care Rituals Keeping This Editor Sane While Social Distancing
Over these past few months, self-care has become a priority for me like never before. I've suddenly found myself craving a daily workout more than ever, completely relying on peaceful "me" time in the shower, and genuinely looking forward to every family video chat. It's during unsettling times like these that we discover what actually matters, what to prioritize, and what we truly need (and don't need) in order to feed our souls.
My focus has been on myself and on my loved ones, and let me tell you, it's felt good to slow down and recenter. Don't get me wrong: being away from my family, coworkers, and friends; missing out on milestone events like my sister's graduation; and seeing my city completely shut down hasn't been easy. But choosing to direct my energy toward things I can control — particularly, my own health and wellness — has been incredibly beneficial.
Ahead, find the self-care practices keeping me grounded during this time. Without much effort on my part, they've made a big difference in my overall perspective and happiness!
Since my beloved gym has been closed for quite some time now, I've been taking advantage of socially distanced outdoor runs (with a mask!) and at-home workout videos. The mantra right now is any movement is better than no movement. That phrase is what gets me off the couch, which is always the hardest part anyway.
From there, I do whatever feels good that day — even if it's just a peaceful walk. Usually, I go on a four-mile run early in the morning or later in the evening followed by some strength sequences. And while I'm used to being competitive with myself, lately, I've been changing the narrative in my head. Now, I tell myself that it's OK if I want to take it easy; it's not about my time, pace, reps, or even mileage — it's about clearing my head and doing something for myself. Relieving that self-imposed pressure helps me let go and get excited to just move.
Between working a full business day, getting my fitness fix, and winding down in the evenings with my significant other, the quietest, most private moment of my day is when I'm in the shower. Using Skintimate's all-new sense-drenching body-care collection (my favorite is the Bloom line), I turn my shower into a relaxing oasis where I can collect my thoughts and focus on how I'm feeling and why. The Bloom collection features daydreamy notes of rose, lotus, and sandalwood, which instantly helps me feel calm and leaves my skin supersoft.
To get the most out of my experience, I listen to one of the three custom mindful shower meditations developed by Skintimate with expert Shauna Shapiro, PhD. Each meditation is based off your mood and the kind of energy you're looking to cultivate. Whether I want to feel relaxed and grounded or more energized, each meditation is designed to be paired with a specific scent to heighten your experience.
Consisting of body wash, shave gel, body butter, and more, the Bloom collection pairs with the "Boost Your Confidence" meditation. I listen to this one for a feel-good burst of self-love and strength. Dr. Shapiro advises filling your bathroom with natural light and fresh air and thinking of the shower as a place of safety and nourishment. Before you get started, try setting an intention for compassion and relaxation. After I've completed the eight-and-a-half minute meditation, I feel an instant sense of peace and empowerment.
At-Home Beauty Treatments
I've never been one to shy away from a little pampering. And now that I have more time on my hands than usual, I've been treating myself to extra TLC. Especially since all of my salons are closed, I've found this practice to be necessary in a lot of ways but also satisfying and fun!
I had never self-tanned before, but now, I find myself doing regular treatments and absolutely loving the results. I'm also investing more time in my skin-care routine by adding things like masks and serums into my regular rotation. To step up my hair game while hiding the fact that I'm long overdue for a cut, I've been giving myself scalp treatments and extranourishing hair masks, both of which have been game changers for the health and appearance of my strands. And finally, I look forward to painting my nails a new color every Friday — a small way I'm able to brighten up my look and feel put-together.
Relaxing in Style
I say this all the time, and it's so true — when you look good, you feel good. To practice what I preach, I make it a point to get dressed every day. Sometimes that just means slipping out of my pajamas and into an equally comfortable pair of joggers and a tee. Other days, I put more effort in and style a coordinating athleisure look. Sometimes I even add pretty gold hoops and a necklace for personality.
Either way, the simple act of getting dressed helps me feel polished, in control, and most importantly, like myself. I've also had fun online shopping for new loungewear pieces that are stylish and comfy. Investing in items you're actually excited to wear is very much worth it — especially now.
When it comes to makeup, I'm usually a go-big-or-go-home type of girl. Every day, I wear foundation, bronzer, blush, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner — the works. During the past three months however, I've eased up considerably, meaning most days, I don't wear any makeup at all (!). But when I do decide to paint my face, I've found that I'm increasingly straying from my usual products and techniques.
I'm more and more eager to try new colors and trends and just play around with what's in my makeup bag. When else will there be a better time to have fun with face glitter or experiment with the boldest lip colors I can find? Plus, now that I'm not wearing makeup as often as I'm used to, when I do put on a full face, it feels that much more special and exciting. In short, it goes a long way to boost my mood and self-confidence.
This time has allowed me to reflect on many things. One of which is how beneficial it is to truly treat yourself — with an actual treat! I've learned to give myself grace when it comes to my diet and that while eating the salad may nourish your body, eating the pizza every now and then will nourish your spirit.
With this philosophy in mind, I've been eating more desserts, having my favorite pizza shipped from my hometown of Chicago to my apartment in New York, and overall giving into my cravings more than usual. Don't get me wrong: I'm still maintaining a healthy diet and eating veggies, lean protein, and grains most of the time, but life is about balance, and sometimes your body needs the sweets, too.
I've lived far away from home for nine years now, and although I've always been close with my family, I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. And when it comes to my extended family, I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes drop the ball when it comes to communicating with them at all. Lately though, I've made an active effort to text, call, and video chat with all of my family members on the regular. As a result, I've never felt more connected with them, and I also feel more fulfilled socially.
My parents, siblings, and I will video chat while we're eating dinner just to catch up. Three times a week, we have calls with my uncles, aunts, and cousins where we play trivia, share old memories, or talk about our days. My friends and I are constantly checking in on each other, texting funny pics or memes, and making sure our sanities are intact. All of this interaction has been beautiful and necessary for mine — and all of our — mental health.