Updated: Apr 1, 2021
An untidy house, packed lunches, school appointments, and special occasions filling your calendar. Sound familiar? Or perhaps it’s work deadlines, squeezing in the gym before dinner, and yet another person asking for a quick meeting over coffee (that won’t turn out to be so quick).
You do this every day, every week, month in and month out, without asking for anything in return. But let us ask you this: When was the last time you put your needs before your professional and domestic responsibilities?
Today we’re talking about self-care—not the trendy term titled for taking more bubble baths and taking vitamins. As anyone who’s experienced burning the candle at both ends can understand, self-care means taking action to preserve or improve your mental and physical health.
So with a new decade around the corner, here are our best ideas for well-rounded self-care to include in your new year resolutions.
#1 Self Care for a Stronger Mind
Learn to say no: Why are we so afraid to turn down a request or an invite? Is it the feeling that we should be doing more? Is it fear of what people may think? The guilt of not helping everyone who asks? Business leaders like Warren Buffet agree, focusing on yourself is key for sanity and success. Buffet says: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” This year, it’s time to fill your to-do list with things that promote your personal and professional growth.
Do “deep work” in the morning: Even if you don’t classify yourself as a morning person, the mind is laser-focused in the AM, making it the ideal moment to tackle your biggest tasks. Make this new decade the year you let go of distractions and learn a new skill, finish those books collecting dust on the shelf, and do deep work (the act of working hard on something difficult while in a distraction-free environment). We recommend Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life and Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World for inspiration and more on this concept.
#2 Self-Care for a Healthy Body
Do more yoga: Maintaining a mind/body connection is important in order to care for yourself as a whole. Yoga is notorious for being a special place where people unwind and promote strong muscle tone and spinal health. Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in fitness trends but this year, focus on doing something that’s both healthy for your body and mind—whether that’s yoga, Pilates, or just taking a nightly walk around the neighborhood.
Do a nightly face massage ritual: You are your most radiant self when you have radiant skin. It is the biggest organ in your body, in fact, and a huge indicator of health. So take time to create a nightly ritual that’s 100% yours, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. We recommend 2 minutes to double cleanse, and 2-3 minutes to massage your skin, particularly where your face sees the most tension. Here’s how:
“Make a peace sign, bending your index and middle fingers,” says our Facialist Emilie Celine, “placing your chin between your knuckles and apply pressure. Now glide up your jawline to your ears and repeat that 7 times,” she adds.
“Now place the heels of your hands between your nose and the apples of your cheeks and glide alongside your cheekbones toward your ears, always in an upward motion,” concludes Emilie Celine. For an effortless experience and deeper results, visit Maison Ito for a facial from a professional and simply maintain results with the at-home face massage above.
#3 Self-Care for a Happy Home
Reduce screen time after 6 pm: When the sun starts to set, it’s time to think about dimming those electronics too. Avoiding social media and cutting screen time in the evenings brings families and couples an opportunity to connect with each other in a more authentic way. If you have kids, it’s a chance to teach the little ones about healthy screen time. Plus, the reduction of blue light emitted from the screens gives your mind and those tired eyes time to relax, leading to less puffiness and dark circles the following morning.
Add aromatherapy: An essential oil mister spritzing the uplifting scent of sweet orange can boost the entire family’s mood without ever lifting a finger. For you, adding a drop of eucalyptus or lavender to your bath water or sweet almond oil to your body while your skin is still damp can be a quick pick-me-up whenever you need it.
Make Head-to-Toe Wellness a New-Year Goal
They say you can’t help others without helping yourself first. Finding at least 20 to 30 minutes a day to unwind and practice self-care helps fill up your own glass so you can serve more positivity and energy to your friends and family.
“Taking a daily moment to do something that makes you feel good –a cycling class, dinnertime with the family, or simply enjoying a chapter of a good book– not only boosts your mood levels,” says Emilie Celine, “but the de-stressing leads to major improvements in your skin.” So start recharging those batteries without feeling guilty and let your complexion and spirits get brighter in time!
BY KALEENA STROUD & EMILIE CELINE