Self care is buzzing everywhere right now. The rise of the wellness industry has taken a term that has been around for ages, used by hippies and new age folk, and tossed it into mainstream. I am a hippie, new age-y and modern so, I love me some self care. It did take me until I turned 30 to finally start figuring out HOW to care for myself; now, I really think of it as parenting myself. You know when you see a toddler having a melt down? They need a nap! And maybe some juice from their sippy cup or cuddles from Mom. Thankfully, I don't wait until I have a melt down to soothe myself these days, although sometimes those internal melt downs do happen. Now, my self care is a regular practice. It looks like many different things for me depending on my mood, cycle and what I'm needing. It is always making sure I get enough sleep (7 hours minimum but I like a good 8.5). It is often a detox bath, candles and a good book. It's spa night-- face masks and a face massage with my gua sha. It's booking a full body massage or rolling out my muscles with a foam roller. On special occasions, it's full day date with myself!
A couple of Saturday's ago I felt run down, scattered and like I I needed to decompress. I am an introvert through and through and the past two weekends I had been with friends 24-7. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my people but I require A LOT of time alone to recharge. I decided I needed a full day with just me, doing some favorite things I never find time for anymore, to get back to feeling nurtured and full. Enter, my favorite self care tip...a date with me, myself and I.
I used to live in the LES/Chinatown area and would spend hours wandering around. Now, that I live in Brooklyn, I rarely get to that neighborhood. For my day date, I decided a whole day to wander in my old stomping grounds would be the best treat. I wanted to take my time so, I decided to leave my bike at home, not get on the Subway and walked from Greenpoint to LES. One of the biggest treats of living in NYC is walking. I love to walk! My friends are alwasy urging me to get a cab when I walk home at night but, I LOVE TO WALK! I especially love walking across bridges in NYC! It's so nice to meander over the water and watch the big city come into view. After my walk, I headed to the very best gluten free/vegan deli, Orchard Grocer. They have created a vegan "lox" made of marinated carrots that is out of this world. I highly recommend it. Orchard is my favorite street in all of NYC and I love sitting on a curb, letting time pass and people watching. After eating every last bite of my bagel and "lox", I wandered the streets slowly and took in the sights. I spotted the cutest all pink restaurant, a new vintage jewelry spot and picked myself up new rings from Guenevere Rodriguez's pop up on Prince- all of her rings have special meaning. I got a raw amethyst ring that she said was my magic wand. Love that! My fingers properly adorned, I ducked into my favorite independent book store, McNally Jackson, for refreshments and catch up via my favorite magazine. Unsure of what to do next, I let an article in the New Yorker about the new exhibit at The New Museum lead the way. I made my way over and was pleased to find I had the museum mostly to myself! I took my time between the floors, trying to pick my favorite exhibition. Kaari Upson's won because of how weird and visceral it was. It was closing time before I realized and I headed back into the city and then slowly back to Brooklyn.
I highly recommend taking yourself on your own version of a day date. It's hard to find a whole chunk of time dedicated to yourself between work, friends and life. Nothing makes me feel more refreshed though! It allows me to come back to the people in my life with more love and care. If you want to do this for yourself, I have a couple of tips!
1. Pick a destination that your truly love! Or maybe a couple.
2. Give yourself the whole day! Don't make plans or commitments with anyone until after your date. I made plans with a friend that night but, made sure I plenty of time to myself so I didn't rush through any part of the day.
3. Dress up! Wear your favorite outfit and put on make up (if you wear it) just like you would for a date with someone. You deserve to be dressed up for!
4. Turn off your phone! Let yourself get absorbed in whatever you're doing. Snap pics if you need but, switch your phone to "do not disturb" and stay off social media. When you're on a date with someone else and they are constantly checking their phone, it's rude. Same rules apply here.
5. Make it a regular occurrence. Quality time with yourself is one of the best ways to unwind and fall in love with yourself.