Everything is #selfcare these days: food, workouts, baths, crystals, drinking wine, not drinking wine, waking up early, sleeping in. As long as it feeds your soul, it can certainly qualify as self-care. But sometimes a simple workout or bowl of the latest superfoods isn’t quite enough.
There are actions that fix problems (i.e. I’m tired, I need rest!), and there are moves that set us up for future success. Let’s focus on some bold moves that will have a big impact. Think of these like little gifts to your future self.
LEVEL UP YOUR COMMUTE
For a lot of us, the commute can be the absolute worst part of the day: rushing in the mornings and wishing we were home already at night, dealing with angry strangers (in traffic or on the train, depending on where you live), the constant assault of too much stimuli, and the physical discomfort. And, if you’re like me, the hanger.
To level up your commute, consider:
Scent – If you commute in a car, get yourself a plug-in essential oil diffuser and some organic essential oils. If you use public transit, get a rollerball of organic scents instead. There are no wrong choices about which scents to pick; just go with what smells amazing to you! You can even choose an energizing blend for mornings, and a more mellow, relaxed one for the ride home. Scent is super-powerful, and too often we’re at the mercy of those around us.
Comfort – A secret of NYC fashionistas is that the vast majority of them have comfy flats in their bags for their commutes. It’s not glam, but it is necessary. Don’t hobble yourself for the sake of fashion; stay safe and comfy! I almost always have a cashmere scarf in my bag; they are lightweight and keep me warm during both the winter months and the AC-blasting ones, too. I also carry crystals, because I’m like that; I like black tourmaline and rose quartz. If you drive a car, consider a super luxe seat cover or a fancy steering wheel cover. Put your cozy slippers in your car. Pack snacks and water in your bag. Whatever makes you feel good at home, bring it into your commute.
Method – Investigate ways to change your method of getting around. Can you commute in a way that lets you get some fresh air? Can you bike, or take a boat, or stop halfway through your drive to sit on a park bench? Try to find a way to incorporate some mama nature into your days; it’s a wonderful way to reduce anxiety and increase your well-being. You don’t have to change everything, maybe just find a little way to get out just once during the upcoming week.
Sounds – Download podcasts or playlists (see below) for the week, so that you are always prepared for whatever mood strikes your fancy. (I’m currently bingeing on the hilarious That’s So Retrograde podcast; give that one a try.) If you travel by public transit, invest in some high-quality headphones that won’t leak sound, so you can turn it up to eleven if you feel like it. Creating your own sound-and-scent bubble can go a loooong way towards making your commute more bearable.
CREATE A HIGHER VIBES PLAYLIST
Music can transport us, blast our hearts open, and put us into a completely new state of mind. Think about what you want your week to be like (see below) and spend some time creating a playlist for that life.
I have separate playlists for different aspects of my life (upbeat for going for runs, chilled out for walking through the city, fresh cuts for cooking dinner and hanging out) — but the one I come back to, over and over again, is my “Higher Vibes” playlist. It’s an ever-changing list of songs that just simply make me feel good when I listen to them. I’m all about raising my frequency, and I find that music is a beautiful way to make a quick energetic upgrade.
I make frequent changes to this playlist when I am over a song or hear something new that makes my little heart happy. It can take a little time to curate your own playlist, but it will be so worth it as you come back to it throughout the week. (I’d love to see your playlists, too! Shout them out to me on Twitter and Insta.)
SET YOUR INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
One of the best ways to stay connected to yourself as the week gets crazier is to set specific intentions and to check back in with them often. The point of this is not to beat ourselves up when we don’t meet our intentions, but it is to create guidance while we are connected to our higher self. After a yoga class/meditation session/long bath are all great times to do this. When things get crazy (and you know they will) you can revisit your week’s intention and know that by doing that you are reconnected to your more grounded, open self. It’s like a little signpost to your future self.
Do this in any way that feels good to you: journaling, vision boarding, leaving notes to yourself throughout the house. When I want to keep it really simple, I write an uber-short weekly intention and keep it in the notes on my phone. I check in with it every morning before I get out of bed, and again throughout the day.
One of my favorite little intentions, which I revisit often, is this:
“Today I choose grace and love.”
It’s simple, I can remember it even when I’m not looking at it, and it reminds me that I am can choose, over and over again, how to respond. I screw it up all the time (fear and anger are tempting minxes) but I do my best not to wallow in guilt; I just chose to connect with my intention the next time.
If simple works for you, cool. If you prefer something more in-depth, that’s rad, too.
In all self-care, the most important thing is to do what feels good to you. Trends are fun to follow if they make your heart happy, but old standbys can be just as effective.
Whatever your style of self-care, remember: you are worth it.
If this topic is of interest to you, you might be interested in my upcoming book. Sign up to be alerted when it’s released, and you’ll get an extra special bonus from me. Take good care.
Bonus maximum #selfcare moves: try a new healing modality (breathwork, reiki, craniosacral therapy, etc); do a social media makeover (unfollow everyone that doesn’t make you feel great); do a mini-digital detox to remind your brain that you can survive without your phone; or do a weekend meditation retreat.
Feature image via Vanessa Grand