Creating a home sanctuary to return to after a hectic day in the office has only recently become popular. While things might’ve been different a few years ago, nowadays, most people have been on the hunt to figure out how to create a safe space for them to find peace, to feel relaxed, and to focus on numero uno after doing things for others all day long
The thing is, sometimes, creating this space and focusing on yourself can feel impossible to do. Most of the time there are dishes that need to be cleaned, children that need to be fed, or more work to be accomplished—the day is never done. As much as we all would love to spend hours on end doing absolutely nothing, unfortunately, it’s just not realistic. That’s why it’s so important to implement little self-care practices into your daily home routine to make sure that you’re taking breaks and putting yourself first. The good news is, a lot of these self-care practices don’t take up a lot of time or energy, and sometimes, all you need is a few minutes out of your day to give yourself a little l-o-v-e. Don’t know how to get on this bandwagon? Luckily, we’ve done all the work for you.
We’ve connected with our friends from CB2 and two lovely clinical psychologists to help us illustrate all the ways you can implement self-care practices into your home and the items you should buy to create these little moments of happiness actually happen. From the morning you wake up to the time you hit the hay, scroll below to see what self-care practices you should add to your daily routine to make your days just a little bit better.
Use an Alarm Clock Instead of Your Phone
We’re all guilty of it: we hear the alarm, snooze it once or twice, and instantly go on our favorite social media app and scroll…and scroll, and scroll. Before you know it, your “morning routine” has you losing track of time and rushing out the door to get to work.
As much as we all would love to do a digital detox, it sometimes feel nearly impossible to break this toxic morning habit. According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Carla Marie Manly, electric devices can make you stressed. “When a cell phone is near the bed, it can be tempting to check emails and text messages either late at night or first thing in the morning. As well, a good night of sleep can be disturbed by incoming texts or calls. An ordinary alarm clock can be helpful in reducing technology overuse.” With technology always at our disposal, we feel the need to be constantly connected and see what others are doing—even before we begin our day. Our recommendation? Buy yourself a cute AF alarm clock, like this Charlie Gold Alarm Clock, and throw your phone into another room to never see it again (well, until you get out of bed).
Waking up without your phone by your side will allow you to start the day with a better frame of mind. Plus, automatically seeing what everyone else is doing the minute you open your eyes can prevent you from figuring out what you want to do with your day and instantly has you comparing yourself to everyone and their mom. You don’t need those kinds of negative thoughts in your life. Using an old-school alarm clock is a sure-fire way to get your shit together. Think about it: You can actually make breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee, and *gasp* leave your apartment without soaking wet hair. This is what being an adult is folks, you’re welcome.
Charlie Gold Alarm ClockNeed This Now| $29.95
Drink Lemon Water Right When You Wake Up
One of the best ways to begin your day is by simply drinking a large glass of water the minute you wake up. After eight long hours of getting your snooze on, your body is most likely craving a little H2O. Not only is water refreshing and is known to quench your thirst, but it will also give your organs a nice little hug.
Drinking water on an empty stomach has been known to help your body get rid of toxins and alleviate heartburn and indigestion — but adding lemons to the mix can help balance your body’s PH levels and boost your immune system at the same time. As Dr. Carla states, “Not only does fresh lemon water contain much-needed vitamin C, but it also helps the body detox every morning. A glass of lemon water also hydrates the body, thus giving the entire system—from the brain to skin—a refreshing morning ‘wake-up call.'”
To make sure you’re keeping up with this healthy habit, it might be a good idea to have a water decanter on top of your nightstand for easy access. The Cora Bedside Carafe (how appropriate) comes with a glass that you can conveniently place right on top of the glass cylinder and separate when your mouth gets parched. **bonus points: you can also use this for wine, but that’s for another post.
Cora CarafeNeed This Now| $14.95
Make Yourself a Mean, Healthy Meal
Nothing will fuel your brain more than having a healthy meal three times a day. If you want your self-care game to be strong, you can’t neglect to fuel your body because “you don’t have time,” or “coffee has cut your appetite.” Okay, Susan, we get it, you’re superwoman, but, ultimately, you’re steering straight for burnout-ville when you don’t put your health first—and that’s not going to help anyone.
“It’s easy to forget our greatest asset is our body: it is ‘home.'” begins Dr. Carla. “While we tend to give a great deal of attention [to] our actual homes, cars, physical appears, clothing, and other material items, we too often forget to give GREAT care to the body’s real needs.” While we know it’s nearly impossible to do this practice three times a day, especially if you’re running around town all day, it might be best to begin this self-care tip by cooking at least one meal a day in the comfort of your home. “Home-cooked meals tend to be healthier and more digestible than food eaten on the run. Of course, healthful eating is beneficial for both the body and mind. Unhealthy food tends to make the body and mind feel sluggish, whereas fresh, healthy food—veggies, fruits, protein, and whole grains—help the body function at an optimal level. As a bonus, cooking healthy meals at home also offers time to unwind and connect during the meal prep, eating, and clean-up!”
However, we should keep in mind that not everyone has the same relationship with food and if your journey is a little different, here’s another way to approach this self-care practice, according to Dr. Michele M. Paiva, licensed psychotherapist and psychodermatologist: “I know that in working with so many clients who are experiencing disordered eating, that being in touch with food and embracing the nourishment it provides can feel emotional. I [understand] it. Some of you want to disappear, some of you want to layer and protect, some of you want to control, some are just confused, while some are doing just fine. If you are in the latter group, I am very happy. [For] the rest of you: Love yourself. You deserve nourishment. You deserve to be loved, to be cared for, to limit but not starve. To be in abundance without stuffing emotions.”
Either way, what you decide to put in your body can affect your mind, gut, and emotions. To help inspire you to cook more often (or even for the first time), we suggest having pretty cookware to look at in your kitchen. Start with this Grade A Gold Egg Holder. Whether you decide to place it in your fridge or use it for a party, you really can’t go wrong with an all-gold, stainless steel holder that will make your kitchen fancy no matter what you choose to do with it.
Grade A Gold Egg HolderNeed This Now| $24.95
Create a Happiness Jar
Some days, we deal with too much shit. Whether it has to do with work, family or you simply just feel a little low, your mind can become clouded with every little hiccup that enters into your life. But instead of allowing those thoughts to take up room in your mind, there’s a small self-care practice you can do that can uplift and bring a little positivity into your day: setting positive affirmations.
A happiness jar, for instance, can help you do this every day. Before you begin, create a small area by the front door, where you can easily access a jar (like this Large Marble Canister) so you can take a few moments to write a positive affirmation before you head out for the day. The things you want to write can be simple: “You’re powerful and smart” to “Take a break, you deserve it!” Whatever you think you need to hear, write it down on a small piece of paper and put it in the jar and hold on to that thought all-day long.
But what exactly is the deal with positive affirmations anyways? Do they even work? Well, according to Dr.Carla, they do. “Positive affirmations are an essential part of good self-care. A happiness jar—particularly one that is clear and allows you to see that it’s filled with positivity—can be very affirming. As a huge fan of gratitude in general, I find that gratitude notes and uplifting sticky notes are great reminders of living with a grateful, positive spirit.” Allow yourself this moment to tell yourself something wonderful, without having to wait for anyone else to do this for you — you deserve to be your own hero every now and then, and this is the perfect way to begin.
Large Marble CannisterNeed This Now| $19.95
Make Time for Meditation
When people say “self-care” they usually think of three things: a badass skin-care routine, yoga, or meditation. While we could have picked any of things for a self-care practice, we felt meditation fit the mold the best.
Meditation, for most, can feel like a tedious chore. For 15-20 minutes, you sit in a stable position and hope to God that your stress and thoughts just melt away. While that might not be the case for everyone, experts say that we should stick with this practice because they’re actually a lot of benefits to just being with yourself in a mindful state. “Daily meditations are critical for centering. By dedicating time to meditate—whether for 5, 10, or 30 minutes, the body, mind, and spirit thrive when given the opportunity for stillness. Life is extremely busy and demanding; meditative time allows for much-needed relaxation, calm, and quiet,” claims Dr. Carla.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but with a little time and a cozy corner, you can begin your journey of mindfulness. All you need are a few things to create the perfect space to get your mind right, like this 2-Piece Sedona Pillow Set. “I have a meditation corner in every single room … For example, in the room, I am writing now, my therapy office. I have a round table and on it is a small silver vase, a ceramic elephant and a Buddha tea light candle holder … Why do I do this and why do I encourage you to get at least one space? Because it’s a commitment. It helps your brain to grow to know that when you see that space, be it an entire room or a shelf, that you are immediately brought to the thought of peacefulness and self-reflection,” says Dr. Paiva. “In our world, it is easy to forget ourselves. We think we don’t, but right now, think about it. When [was] the last time you really dedicated time to look at something simple and meaningful, that connects you to your self-awareness? If it was today, awesome. If not, grab a shelf or space, and make a meditation center. You will never regret it. Think of it… when is the last time you ever heard anyone complain about having a meditation space?” Okay, well, we guess the doc has a point.
2-Piece Sedona Pillow SetNeed This Now| $279
Unplug in the Tub and Read a Book
Winding down for the night is vital to make sure you get a healthy amount of Zzz’s and help you disconnect from the busy world. While technology has allowed us to be connected with people we love 24/7, we tend to forget that it’s actually okay to spend time with yourself, alone, with your thoughts. If you’re one of the lucky few who has a bathtub in their apartment, use this area to create space for the much-needed downtime you’re probably craving. “We are so ingrained [with] ‘being online’ that the idea of unplugging is a new idea. We are, by essence, made to be free. Being connected and tortured by the idea that we ‘must’ be online [all the time], means we are not free,” states Dr. Paiva.
The best way to unplug is to create an oasis in your bathroom. Purchase a few plants, candles, and a Live Edge Wood Bath Caddy from CB2, so you can read a book, eat a few pieces of chocolate, and enjoy doing a facemask without having to get out of the tub. Doing this self-care practice at least a few nights out of the week, will help recenter you and promote healthy sleeping habits as by the time you get out, you’ll feel relaxed and calm right before you head to bed. “By winding down slowly—turning lights low, unplugging from technology, and following a bedtime routine for flossing, brushing, etc., it’s much easier to fall asleep naturally. Restorative sleep can be promoted by soothing nighttime habits such as an evening meditation, reading an inviting book, taking a warm bath or shower, and drinking a warm cup of herbal tea,” says Dr. Carla.
Live Edge Wood Bath CaddyNeed This Now| $69.95
Cleanse Your Space
While we’ve already touched on this subject before, we’re going to say this again: incorporating a cleansing ritual into your self-care routine is vital to keeping your mind and space feelin’ fresh and stress-free. This practice has been used for centuries to help clear negative energy and to start anew. Smudging, as the pros like to call it, is the process of burning dry plants to cleanse a space or object, and is known to have plenty of benefits that can amplify your way of living to a whole other level.
In recent studies, it has been said that sage has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and smudging it can help to improve your mood, release stress, even boost your energy levels. Dr. Carla adds that “cleansing practices such as saging are time-honored sacred techniques for physically and spiritually clearing a space. Emotional benefits can arise from such cleansing practices, for they often create a sense of renewal and purity. Too, a cleansed space often offers the energy of a ‘fresh start’ and new possibilities.” While all these benefits haven’t quite been backed by science just yet, it’s a great self-care ritual to do to potentially uplift your spirit and mind when you feel you need a little pick-me-up. Plus, this practice is not expensive at all to do. The one from CB2 only costs $10, so you really have no excuse.
Juniper Ridge SageNeed This Now| $10.95
Get Some Zzz’s and Write it Out
Your self-care practices do not only need to involve a seven-step skin-care routine or an extreme workout sesh. Sometimes your body craves some Zzzz’s and a fresh perspective on life. So to get to that moment of zen, you may want to switch up your sheet game to be a little more — dare we say — organic.
Sheets like, Organic White Percale will make you fall into a deep sleep, especially when you know that you’re not laying on top of pesticides, chemicals, or preservatives. Using all-natural sheets, as we like to call them, will not only make you feel cozy AF, but can be great for your psyche, as well. According to Dr. Carla, “Organic sheets can feel great on physical and psychological levels. Some people find that sleep is more restful when they know that their skin (the body’s largest organ) is sleeping next to organic fabrics—fabrics free of pesticides and other toxic residues. Of course, better sleep translates into overall physical and psychological wellness.”
However, now that you have organic sheets, you’ll probably feel more inclined to stay in bed during the weekends and enjoy some much-needed “me time.” Before you get out of bed and after you drink your lemon water, it might be a good idea to begin your day by writing down a few thoughts in your journal. Journaling is another easy-to-do practice that doesn’t depend on anyone else’s schedule besides your own. You can create a gratitude journal, bullet journal, or morning pages for a mental morning release. We suggest keeping it by your nightstand, so you can grab it whenever you feel like you need to dump some words onto a page.
At the end of the day, you should try to implement these self-care practices into your daily routine. They can uplift your day and provide a sense of calm when you feel like your world has turned upside down. Either way, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do these every day. As long as you’re putting yourself first every now and then, you’re succeeding.
This post was sponsored by CB2. However, we believe in providing authentic opinions and thoughts about all products or services.
Photography: Victoria Morris
Creative Direction: Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton
Production Assistant: Susie Benitez and Victoria Morris