By Tasha James
Anxiety. We’re all experiencing a new level of it this year. Trying to cope with this extra anxiety has thrown off our routines and upended our lives completely. Being indoors nearly all day for months has made most of us feel unmotivated and lethargic. I’ve had plenty of days, and weeks, where I’ve really struggled to meet even my most basic needs. In order to break myself out of this cycle, I’ve had to develop better wellness habits, and more specifically, incorporate them into my routine in a creative and rewarding way. Making each day feel fresh and special—even when all I’ve wanted to do was binge tv—has really been the key to turning things around. If you’ve been feeling similarly, here are some tools to get you through your fog.
Set the Mood
There are parts of my day that should be boring, but with a few tweaks, an otherwise simple or mundane task is elevated to an experience. Like turning a nighttime shower into a mini-spa: turn off the lights, light some candles, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the shower floor. The scented steam fills the air, and you’re instantly relaxed.
Instead of drinking water out of the same reusable water bottle, once a day, switch to mineral water. Pour it into a wine glass and throw in slices of citrus or fresh herbs. Light that expensive candle you’ve been saving, spray that fragrance you only use for fancy events, wear the jewelry you said was for special occasions, make a charcuterie board for one—do you see where I’m going with this?
Every day, we have to decide to take a few moments to treat ourselves, often with what we already have. Taking a few extra moments to set up nice experiences for yourself throughout the day is the ultimate act of self-love. And as you shake off the mundane, practice building boundaries. As more of us are working from home, and as our homes begin to feel more like offices where we happen to sleep, we need to be doing everything we can to carve out time and space for uncompromised luxuriating and enjoyment.
Reap the rewards
Sometimes there’s no better motivator than the feeling you get after accomplishing something. Remember that feeling of having a long, stressful day at the office—but the thought of ordering your favorite drink at the bar with friends later that night kept you going? Having something to look forward to—or that future you will enjoy—is key.
There are honestly not many ways to make doing a sink full of dishes fun (except maybe a curated playlist or a good podcast), but seeing your kitchen sparkle is one hell of a drug. Looking forward to how your bed feels once you’ve changed the sheets or sitting down to enjoy a home-cooked meal at the table you’ve cleared of junk mail and your make-shift work station—you just truly can’t beat that.
Make it replenishing
Remember, we’re the only ones responsible for taking care of ourselves. As much as it feels annoying to have to break away from our jobs to eat lunch, have a glass of water, or tidy up, these things are all necessary parts of keeping ourselves happy, healthy, and thriving. You can’t be of service to your partners, children, coworkers, or anyone else who depends on you if you aren’t taking the time to care for yourself.
The truth is, in order to change your life, you have to change your habits. It’s not about performative actions once in a while, it’s about implementing systems. It’s not enough to throw on a sheet mask and call it self-care—it’s so much more than that. Self-care is all the ways that you show up for yourself, even when you don’t want to. Collectively, what we’re all going through is unique, so we have to find ways to reward and encourage ourselves to keep going—to get it all done.
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