More to Love: Self-Care Sunday
Your end-of-summer, back-to-school wellness kit.
Farewell shot girl summer, here comes awkward faux-tumn! It’s the late-summer thigh gap between the end of August and mid-September where you’re doing *fall things* but the stubborn swampy weather won’t get onboard. Vacation mindset has officially set sail, getting dressed is weird, school’s starting again, and football season, spooky season and the holidays are on the horizon — the pace is picking back up ‘til we all slow down again in January.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, friend.
I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to you, because when busy seasons arrive, I often put myself last in the interest of getting everyone else taken care of, especially clients. But as we have all heard time again, you’ll show up for everyone else as a better you when you take time to “look after you” first.
That said, I believe “self-care” and “wellness”, as an industry, have run amok. You don’t have to buy a damn thing to take care of your body and mind. Wellness also doesn’t have to be a clunky addition to an already-full day. If you do not yoga and cleanse, if you are not zen, if meditation and journaling feel like homework to you, you are not a self-care failure! The simple act of taking the time to flip through a magazine, making yourself an afternoon tea, walking the dog, drinking water, friggin’ brushing your teeth… that’s all self-care. It’s whatever you do for yourself.
I find cooking meditative, so I do that. Whacking a tennis ball around. Friends. Dog snuggles. Writing this newsletter! That’s wellness for me.
But I do indulge in some extra stuff, too — stuff that simplifies the act of self-care. Because when it’s simple to do, I’ll keep doing it.
Baths: when I can’t sleep, bath. When I’m tense, bath. When my muscles ache from a gnarly workout, bath. I am, in all manner of speaking, a very serious bather. I know this is a divisive topic, as some people see baths as simply marinating in your own ick. To that I say — just rinse off after! I plan to take a deeper dive (heh, pun) into this topic sometime in the winter, but for now, a few high-level bath time musts for me are epsom salt (bought in bulk), a generous soapy glug of bubble bath (lavender), Mustard Bath for seasonal colds (a staple), Ouai Chill Pills for happy skin, and this detox bath soak for hangovers. And a good candle, duh.
Therapy: during quarantine, I had to seek out alternative ways to get both real-time therapy and medication, which is when I found Cerebral (referral link!). Unlike some of the other online therapy services (don’t get me started on my Talkspace experience, woof) you’re assigned a counselor and an actual prescriber. It’s entirely remote, with prescriptions mailed via FedEx.
BTW — if you’re still acclimating to the idea of therapy, I think Instagram is a great place to dip your toe in. Try following Nedra Glover Tawwab and/or The Holistic Psychologist and see what you think.
Wine: a great glass of wine is something I really love at the end of some days, and I’ve gotten into collecting over the years. I wish Wine Simple had existed when I began, it’s such an excellent explainer — written in clear, friendly language and organized for easy reference. If you so much as order wine at a restaurant, you’d benefit from this book.
I’m also excited about the recent launch of female-founded Starbright Wine, which offers both personal consultation and direct wine delivery in Atlanta. You basically get a wine concierge who helps you pick from an expertly-curated selection, and then it’s at your door in a couple of hours. It’s worth noting that the whole thing is really approachable and well done — the website is beautiful and easy-to-navigate, and there’s a healthy selection of stuff under $25.
Goop-y stuff: As always, I feel the need to reiterate that this is stuff I actually own, use frequently, and really like. I’m never going to make a recommendation otherwise, promise.
We’ve already discussed the tiny modern miracle that is the Theragun for muscle pain. But another remedy I love is infrared heat.
I’m a member of an infrared sauna studio here in Atlanta, but my sauna blanket was a Godsend during quarantine. You’re basically a human burrito for 40 minutes or so while heat penetrates your muscles and gives you a great sweat. For the Cadillac of blankets, HigherDose is it. But there are also less expensive more utilitarian options on Amazon.
I also heavily rely on a bedside Google Nest Hub — as an alarm clock sure, but also as a white noise machine at night, for guided sleeping meditations (Harry Styles can read me a bedtime story anytime, thx), and for playing chill music. Yes, I too have a humidifier and put the trendy collagen in my coffee, but you totally don’t need that stuff.
What works for you?