Everyone’s relationship to self-care is different. Obviously for me it’s generally a mix of beauty and skincare activities. I love the immediacy of being able to watch the overwrought creature in the mirror transform into a more powerful version of herself. While showering and putting on a bra might have hit a new low on the priority list for me in the beginning of quarantine, I find myself coming back to the little pleasures of getting ready. Sure, slapping on eye cream or doing your nails has never seemed so frivolous, yet it isn’t as superficial as it first may seem. There is something calming about going through the motions of small rituals. The soothing repetition of a brush smoothing tangles, the gentle pressure of massaging moisturizer into a tired face, the first hit to my olfactory system after I spray my favorite fragrance. Beyond being tiny morsels of luxury I’m stealing for myself, those rituals still my mind and make dealing with a chaotic world a more bearable endeavor for me. These are my moments of mindfulness.
Beyond vanity, knowing what to expect can bring you a sense of peace. The CDC and mental health professionals seem to agree with me on this: “It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.” and “Regular self-care can increase our sense of well-being and prevent burnout among caretakers. Self-care is a crucial part of wellness, especially for people who take care of others in their home and/or work-life.” This is something we’ve been raised to feel guilt over, especially as women, but you can’t be the best you for yourself, or anyone else, if you ignore your needs and interests.
I always encourage the basics, but if you’re just starting out: cleanse, tone, moisturize. It’s the equivalent of a daily walk. Are you going to be in the best shape of your life, no, but you’ll start to see some real changes, and you’ll feel (and look) better in the process. Sometimes, though, if you need to feel a little more indulgent… grab a mask, a candle, and a bath. If you’re looking for a good place to start, here are some products that have been on heavy rotation in my routine lately:
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
This brightening cleanser has a light texture, an amazing scent, and a slight bubble. Not too foamy, so it won’t strip your skin’s natural moisture balance, but definitely washes away makeup and daily build up. It’s gentle enough to leave on as a refining mask, too!
Lovett Sundries Cooling Mist
Refreshing and cooling; it’s all in the name. The blend of bergamot and witch hazel offer an amazing aroma therapy experience, while toning skin, fighting breakouts, and setting makeup.
Lovett Sundries Rosewater Cream
I love this moisturizer! It’s great for all skin types and absorbs almost instantly. Rosewater and avocado oil hydrate and nourish. Lactobacillus keeps your skin healthy with a daily dose of probiotic.
Urb Apothecary Cacao Mousse Mask
If you’re looking for a multitasker, look no further! Spot treatment, cleanser, and mask that treats just about every condition under the sun. Whether you have acne, inflammation, hyper pigmentation, or your skin just needs a vitamin booster shot, this mask has something for you. Even though it smells like chocolate pot de creme, you probably shouldn’t eat it (but, you’ll really want to).
Voluspa Laguna Candle
Voluspa is probably my favorite candle company ever. I’ve used the coconut wax base as a body moisturizer in a pinch. Their entire catalogue of fragrances is amazing, but Laguna is one I return to again and again. With a name like “Laguna,” it’s obviously beachy, but not overwhelming. It just smells like “outside” to me. When you’re stuck in doors, it’s a comforting olfactory substitute for spring.
My self-care won’t be yours, and my happy place could be a source of great tedium to someone else. For some, it might be a walk outside and meditation. For others, it may be baking or curling up with a pile of books, or Netflix and naps (another personal favorite). However the practice of self-care manifests itself for you, please indulge yourself, and do it without guilt. Drowning in the emotional mire of fear and uncertainty doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced by rigorous self-metamorphosis. Be kind to yourself. Recharge your soul. You deserve peace. Take these moments of still and quiet while you can. There will be plenty of hard work to do when we reemerge into our very changed world.