Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Thoughts on Self Care

One of my favorite things to do when walking around the city or riding the subway is to listen to podcasts.  I have a few tried and true favorites, like Monocycle and the Tim Ferriss Show.  However, I was recently introduced to The Simple Sophisticate podcast by Shannon Ables and I feel that it has already improved my life in subtle, small ways.  One topic Shannon often discusses on her podcast is the idea of self care.  How do we care for ourselves as a woman in the modern world?  Most self care articles and opinions shared today focus on women who are moms- and for good reason.  Everyone knows being a mom (and a dad!) is emotionally and physically taxing.  Combine that with many who also have full-time careers, and it's easy to understand why mothers need to be reminded of the importance of caring for themselves first.   But one topic that isn't often discussed is self care as a single woman.  The Simple Sophisticate shares her opinion that being single can actually be quite luxurious, and I couldn't agree more. The past 2 years I have been single, and it's given me a lot of time and space to grow as a person.  I've gotten to go to the beat of my own drum- move across the country, develop a routine that worked well for me, explore my newfound interests, and become incredibly resourceful on my own.  In the end, I think these things will only allow me to be a better partner for someone down the line.

So how does self care look for me?   Here are 5 things I've done to nurture my sense of well-being:

1.) Developing a routine

I'm spontaneous by nature and love a good adventure, so it's hard for me to turn down a social invitation.  But after living in New York for about a year, I realized I was consistently run down and not at my best because I was overbooked!  I reasoned at the time that I had to get out there and get to know people since I was new to the city and only had a few acquaintances to call friends. It served it's purpose, I met a lot of great people- but at my own expense.  Now I go out about 1-2 times a week for an event or to see a friend, and the rest of the week nights I make it a priority to spend alone.  I'll take a SoulCycle or Pure Barre class and then come home to eat dinner, unwind, work on a blog post, read, catch up on a Netflix show, and get in bed.   Getting enough sleep is imperative for me and I've found I'm an all-around better person when I've stuck to my routine.

2.)  Less social media 

Ever since I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and turned off push notifications on Instagram, I feel like a different person.   Every time a notification would pop up on my phone, I'd involuntarily turn my focus to my phone and swipe to look at it.  This would typically lead me down a rabbit hole of scrolling through the app and looking at everyone's photos and updates.   There's nothing inherently bad with spending time on social media, but it was beginning to affect me negatively.  Not only was I wasting so much time, I began to feel like my own life was paling in comparison to others' lives.  I know I'm not alone in this feeling.  My life is so full of wonderful people and experiences,  yet I began obsessing over the things I perceived my life was missing and that everyone else seemed to have.  Not healthy!  If you struggle at all with this sort of thing, I highly recommend detoxing a bit.  It doesn't mean you have to delete your profiles, but it does mean you can take control of when and how long you spend online.  I've heard great things about the app Moment, which tracks the time you spend on your phone and reminds you when to put it down- and I plan to try it out this week.

3.) Budgeting

Embarrassingly, I hadn't budgeted my money until about a year ago.  To me, budget was a dirty word:  it represented all the wonderful things I couldn't buy, couldn't eat, and couldn't experience.  I didn't want to have to adhere to a strict Excel spreadsheet telling me how much fun I was allowed to have per paycheck.  However, I have a good friend that is excellent at budgeting and was always telling me how much freedom tracking her spending actually gave her.  Even though we made around the same amount of money, I watched in awe as she took a trip to Italy, saved a percentage of each paycheck for retirement, and build up a hefty savings account.  Meanwhile, I was scratching my head wondering where all my money went.  Turns out, it was on $5 coffees each morning and taxi fares when I hadn't planned ahead and was running late.  I now keep a budget and it's given me such a sense of control over my future and a peace of mind. The bottom line is this- if you log each expenditure you make- money in vs money out-  it's impossible not to change your spending habits.  I've developed a few tricks on how to save money living in NYC (aka one of the most expensive cities in the world) and I'm planning to share them in a future blog post.

4.) Being more gentle with myself 

I've come to realize at the end of the day, I'm human and it's okay to struggle a bit.  Even though I'm pretty strict with my daily routine, my budget, and how I spend my free time- I also am less critical of myself when I fail to meet my own expectations.  What I've discovered is that being more gentle with myself has allowed me to be more gentle with others. We're all human, we're all trying to get through this thing called life... and occasionally we're going to let ourselves (and each other) down.  The important thing is asking for forgiveness and promising we'll strive to do better tomorrow.

5.) Nurturing Quality Relationships 

A  comprehensive Harvard research study spanning 75 years has concluded the one thing everyone needs for happier, healthier lives:  Close, intimate relationships.  Harvard researcher Robert Waldinger, who recently gave a Ted Talk on the subject, explained:  “People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely,” Waldinger said in his TedTalk. “And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old.”  He makes the point that the commercial ideals of what creates a good life- wealth, fame, and career success- won't bring health or happiness.  It's the work we put in to maintaining trust-worthy, intimate connections that will.  This doesn't only equate to romantic relationships- it also applies to close, tried and true friendships.   Over the past few years, I've shifted away from attempting to enlarge my circle of acquaintances and friends and instead focus on the few that really matter.  My gang of girls is small, but they honestly all inspire me with their intelligence, wit, humor, and courage.... and I'm a better person for having them.

Lastly, here are a few self care products I just adore:

My Favorite Self Care Products:

1.) Saphyr Linen Sheets-  I just got turned on to linen sheets by my friend Gab and I'm wondering what took me so long.  I bought a sky blue set from Saphyr Linen and they are so soft to the touch and feel cool against your skin.   I also love the inherent wrinkles in the linen that feel laid back and relaxed- like I don't have to iron my sheets every time I change them!

2.) Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado- $48
My favorite soothing eye cream with avocado oil and shea butter.

3.) Secret Garden Coloring Book- $15.95
Remember how much fun coloring used to be as a kid?  I bought this adult coloring book a few months ago and have a lot of fun coloring in the different designs with a glass of wine in hand.  It's so relaxing.

4.) My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Mask - $12.99/10
I've sworn by these ultra moisturizing sheet masks for years.  I'll put one on for 20 minutes when my skin is feeling extra dry or puffy, and it feels like I've had a facial.

5.) Aveda Stress Relief Lotion- $31
Aveda's Stress Relief Lotion includes certified organic lavender and clary sage that is proven to reduce levels of stress.  

6.) Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rose Water- $7
I use this spray endlessly- when I'm feeling stressed, when I come home from a workout, when I want to feel a bit refreshed after touching up my makeup.  It gives you a bit of a dewy look, and the consistency is thicker than water so it doesn't run down your face or remove any of your makeup.

What are your self care tips?



  1. Self care is not a small topic and it not only include the care through beauty products, it also include the space in which we lives, how the space is decorated, what is the home environment, if our outer environment is good then we can also feel it in our inner body to soul. So along with making body healthy and beautiful also our self care include to make our home space environment beautiful with the worlds most comfortable furniture chairthrone specially the chairs in the home and office space.


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