Friday, May 22, 2020

Self Care Buys in My Cart

With all the craziness going on in the world, self care is even more paramount these days.  If you're like me, you might have gone into this pandemic trying to power through, find ways to be productive, and have been setting goals to try to continue things as close to normal as could be from home.  And there's a lot to be said for getting dressed every day and trying to keep that sense of normalcy.  But it's also ok to let yourself rest a little more to deal with the stress. 

I'm probably not the only one out there that tried to do that and still found some sadness creeping up on me while I fought like heck to be productive and positive.  And I just want to say, that that is ok!  One of my family members posted to social media recently about how greeting people right now with "How are you holding up?" is really the best way to show people that you care and that it's ok to share how they're really feeling, not just what they feel pressured to project and reassure that they're ok when they aren't.  And I totally agree with this.  We all should feel totally comfortable to recognize that we might not be 'ok' right now and take some extra time to give ourselves space to heal and feel like a human.

I have a tendency to not be able to relax.  I am constantly thinking in the back of my head how I could also be being productive while watching a movie, or multitasking while I'm supposed to be relaxing; making lists in my mind while I'm supposed to be sleeping.  And honestly, I think that this 'never off' mentality is what is burning me out. 

So I'm trying to make self care a priority, and take care of my mind and body a little more.  I'm going to try to do some things to make me happier, and I've rounded up a handful of the self-care buys I've got in my cart to share with you guys!


I've always had a sort of rough relationship with my skin and my face, with acne since I was a child, to using cheap drugstore makeup to cover it up, various acne medications and scrubs that were perhaps too harsh on my skin, and just a general misunderstanding about what a good face skincare routine looks like.   Often times I would apply nothing to my face just because I was scared of adding anything.  I'm honestly still pretty lost, but I've always been afraid to invest any money in trying out different products to see what might be effective for me.  So that's part of this little effort of mine is I'm going to at least try to see what might work.  This face cleanser from Lush has a multitude of raving reviews, so I think I'm going to give it a shot!

Okay, let's admit it, this one is just beautiful!  When I started thinking about some ways to practice self care, bath bombs were one of the first things that came to mind.  A nice, soothing bubble bath or dip in a hot tub has always sounded like the best way to relax, especially if you have sore muscles or aches.  And this bath bomb says it's targeted for just that! It's full of sea salts and epsom salts that will soothe sore muscles.  I'm thinking this one will be perfect for the day after a strenuous workout!

The face roller was kind of the thing that got this post all started — I ordered one after having the idea for over a year.  I used to work at a small boutique that had a beauty section, and it's honestly the first time in my life I've actually had my interest piqued by beauty products.  I've always operated on this "I don't want to know what I don't know" system, because I didn't want to spend money on beauty products that might be frivolous.  Honestly though, lately, I'm shedding that layer of thinking there isn't worth to finding joy in some of these things!  A roller like this was one of the things in the shop, and I remember looking at it thinking, "That looks like it would be really relaxing and feel really nice".  Well after a year of thinking about it, I finally bought one, and it DOES feel really nice. 

I've followed The Latest Kate on various social media platforms for quite some time now, and her work always brings some joy to my life.  She released a book in 2018 full of her inspirational animal drawings and meditations, all of which are designed to help with mental health, anxiety and depression.  I just love following her online, and it would be very uplifting to have her book on hand for days when things are a little harder. 

This bath bomb smells like vanilla, lavender and marshmallow, and looks like an explosion of color comparable to a truffula tree forest, so I am stoked to get this one and see how cool it looks!  This one will definitely be a fun treat :)

This leave in conditioner is one I've been using for over a year now, so I'm excited to recommend it.  I have long had tangly, dry hair that was impossible to brush out.  It hurt to brush it, and I was completely lost as to even coming close to a life where washing and brushing my hair wasn't a daily nightmare.  In stepped leave in conditioners.  My colorist recommended this one when I started going to her a few years back, and this spray has made all the difference.  I no longer have tangly hair, and I use this product every day when I get out of the shower.  It adds some much needed moisture to my hair and keeps it soft and shiny but not overly oily through the day.  It also makes it infinitely easier to brush my hair out — comparing today (over a year of daily use) to before I started using it, I now barely have any resistance when brushing out my hair after showering.  I love this Pureology spray!!

We've all heard of stress balls — the little aliens, or fidget spinners that give you something to fiddle with when you're feeling anxious.  Well I found this cute little peach on Etsy and he looks like an adorable version of a stress ball.  Not only would he have the stress ball benefits, but he's super cute so that would relieve stress as well!

One of my friends from high school who went on to become a cosmetologist recently did a live stream on Facebook showing how she curls her hair for everyday.  I was blown away!  I've never really known how to effectively curl my hair, and only recently acquired a properly sized curling iron (I literally had one that was 1/4 inch... and was expecting to get large, full curls out of it...??), but still have been having issues getting it to curl the right way and to last for more than 10 minutes.  Seriously, by the time I was done with the second side, the first had already fallen out!  Not only did I learn a lot about technique from her live stream, but she recommended this texture spray to use while curling (lightbulb moment!!!).   I didn't know you could use sprays before/ while curling to get the curls to hold!  I've always been afraid of being that girl on Youtube that burns her hair off, so I've never tried experimenting or anything, and now I see that there are ways to do it!  I look forward to ordering this so I can see if maybe I can have more billowy curls for photos! 

I've heard a lot of great things about weighted blankets, so I thought I should add one to this list!  I've heard they are really excellent for aches and pains and anxiety because they do a lot to put this calming allover pressure on you and force you to relax.  I would be excited to get one for mid day naps, and also for those nights where it can be difficult to fall asleep because of racing thoughts!  

One form of enjoyment that I get is writing things.  Whether it's a grocery list, writing or drawing  something to turn into a digital graphic, or writing a letter to someone, I always enjoy using brush tip pens to write it.  There's just something about the way the pen glides making the letters that is calming and enjoyable to me.  The Le Pen brand of pens that I've bought at Blick art supplies before have been among my favorites to keep "in stock" around the house.  They're also great for filling in grown up coloring books and mood trackers that I'll mention later in this list!

Along with my acne, my feet are another thing I often feel insecure about.  Years of marching band in high school turned them into a war zone that they've never really recovered from, though it's true I've never really known how to rescue them.  This foot mask seems like a good start, and maybe soft feet is something that is actually a possibility in my life!  Who knew??

Similar to the other treatments I've mentioned above, I'm trying things out to see what will be beneficial for my hair.   While I feel I've come a long way with my haircare routine in the last few years, and my hair definitely feels stronger and a lot softer and hydrated than ever before, I still struggle with the volume of it.  I've always had pretty thin, stringy hair, and I would love for it to have a little more body to it, especially at the roots, where I feel it just kind of hangs off my head and parts awkwardly.  I'm hoping trying out this root revitalizing treatment will add some fullness that I've been wishing was there. 

I just adore this coloring book series by Johanna Basford, as all of them are filled with intricate line drawings of fairytale settings!  I already own Lost Ocean, and it is so beautiful and detailed and lovely, I can hardly choose which page to color in first!  I am going to try to make more effort to pencil in time to relax and color some of the beautiful pages in the one I already own, and then hopefully get this forest one next!

For quite some time I've been bullet journaling and including a mood tracker in my monthly journal.  At one point I noticed that I was having a lot of anxious and frustrated days, and I wasn't doing a very good job of recognizing just how much I was letting my mood consume me.  I started doing the mood tracker so that I would become more aware of how many days were positive ones, and how many were ones where I let small things consume the entire day and make it a "bad one".  Simply being aware of the trends over time prompted me to want to have a good day daily instead of dwelling on and letting negative emotions consume me.  Now, of course every single day can't be perfect, and I'm not even necessarily aiming to force non-genuine "good days", but this helps me recognize things like sadness, be honest with myself about the 'why' of it, but not let it carry onto the next day or be more than it needs to be.   It also helps me recognize some of the things in my life that can cause these emotions — whether its a person or a place or a situation that I don't like being in — and it helps me identify those things and take action to reduce them.

15. + 16.  Sage + Vetiver Candle / Peony + Suede Candle— World Market
These two candles from World Market are some of my favorite scents.  I'm adding them because I think especially now, some times the simple act of lighting a candle can make your space feel refreshed.  Lately just before bed, I've been lighting a candle on my side table for 20 minutes while I read or scroll through social media (also probably a habit I should kick for something less tech-related with the blue light before bed!).  The scent of the candle is calming, and I love having it before falling asleep.  I think often some of these things like candles and pretty soaps don't get used because we're saving them for something, but I'd rather use and enjoy them in the everyday than feel like they are something that should never be used. 

These are just some of the things that I'm looking at or have tried, and they all have to do with appreciating the moment we're in, and taking time to take care of ourselves.  Being the planner that I am, I can't wait to pencil in some "required" self care time into my weekly planning!  😂😂

Until Next Time, 

— The Lovely Red Fox

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