“Self-care is doing what you need for yourself to enhance energy, restore health and reduce stress.”
I love learning how other people care for their mental health and wellbeing, so I thought I’d share my self-care routine.
Mine is a blend of things of which I am still tweaking and refining. It’s an exciting and fulfilling journey to discover the best ways to self-soothe and energise myself!
As an “ambivert” (having both extroverted and introverted qualities) I need to balance both of these sides equally. Each of them has their specific and unique needs. I’m still learning about what works best for me and I love discovering different things to incorporate in my routine.
I’ve noticed that when I treat my extroverted side with the right mix of ingredients, the introverted side benefits for many days, even months. It’s sort of like a symbiotic relationship.
I have a tendency to go more for treating my introversion because for me it is much easier to manage. I like being by myself most of the time anyway. The extroverted side requires more energy, reliance, risk and of course the unpredictability of other people. But some extroverted things can be worth the reward because when it’s done right it leads to the “holy grail self-care”!
My extroverted side loves what most extroverts love:
- Making new friends
- Live music and easy-going concerts*
- Singing: those moments when everyone you’re with knows the lyrics to a song and everyone sings in unity — that is just a slice of heaven!
- Laughing and being playful
- Exercising: Zumba, yoga, hiking, walking
- Dinner parties
- Soaking up some good company
*not Coachella-type concerts, where Instagrammers are hitting you in the face with their phones and going to the bathroom involves lines that wind around the size of a football field and you end up losing your friends for 5 hours and start debating going home = opposite of self-care
My introverted side also loves people, but in smaller numbers and in a more intimate way. It also loves:
- Reading memoirs/biographies
These types of books to me are a godsend. They are like the ultimate antidote to loneliness. No matter where I am, or what I’m going through, reading another persons life story feels like a simulated conversation that is raw and personal and fulfilling in every way. It allows me to escape into their world and vicariously live their life. It’s just an absolute gift. I’m currently reading “Educated” by Tara Westover right now and loving it!
- Deep and meaningful discussions
Talking to people who want to discuss everything from what is the point of life to what is their favorite type of cheese are my kind of people. I just love conversations that are open and free and honest in every way.
The ability to unleash my thoughts and getting them out in the open feels like the ultimate relief.
- Going to bed early and getting lots of sleep
I love going to bed at 8pm and just laying there with zero responsibilities other than to fall unconscious.
- Being in nature
Nature is so soothing. The ultimate for me is being in the crisp Vancouver mountains.
- Going for long walks listening to podcasts
Long walks and intellectually stimulating podcasts feel like brain candy. I could walk a million miles doing this, it feels amazing.
- Taking baths
This is the best part of winter and the saddest part of summer. I’ve recently started putting a few drops of lavender oil and Epsom salts in my baths too which makes it even more nourishing for my body and mind.
- Reading inspiring quotes
I just love a good quote! A single quote can literally lift my spirits for months. If you’re also a quotes person I have a bunch of quotes of inspiration here.
- Learning something new about psychology and therapy
I feel like learning new things about psychology and how to help others. It feeds my soul and brings me closer to my sister.
I struggle so hard to meditate. I really find it unbelievably difficult to not get pulled by the force of my own mind. But I know it’s important so I am trying to do this every morning.
- Cuddling animals
This is one of the best stress relievers ever!
- Painting and listening to music
Getting my thoughts into painting is a relaxing and playful way to release my emotions.
The holy grail of my self-care:
Going to a party or event where I am immersed in conversations that satisfy my emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual self. Most social gatherings hit the surface for me, they give me my fix of social interaction but there always comes a point where being at home in bed is more appealing (no offense).
But then there are those unicorn type parties, or events, where I connect deeply with someone or a group of people, and we can talk about everything and anything, and there’s good music playing and maybe even a few snacks scattered about — that to me is the holy grail. These sorts of things are rare unicorn moments but treasured and thought about for months.