We all know self-care can look different for everyone, right? It even looks different from day to day and season to season. Sometimes for me, it looks like a bubble bath and glass of wine, other times it looks like wearing my sweats all day and getting stuff done! As summer winds down and my kids head back to school, I always notice there are some extra emotions that come out-it can be a bittersweet and nostalgic time. For that reason, I try to take really good care of myself when I’m feeling all the things. That can look like a lot of different things:: carving out time to read or listen to something great, connecting with friends, and even adding to my skincare routine or wardrobe. Retail therapy is REAL, right? So here’s my list of somewhat nontraditional favorite self-care recommendations from one mom to another.
Podcast:: Maintenance Phase
I love a great podcast. And when I find a good one, I love to binge it with my headphones in. My kids know when mom’s got her headphones in, I can’t hear a thing. So even if I’m in the room with them, cooking, folding laundry, whatever, I’m basically unavailable, enjoying my own thing. And this podcast is truly binge-worthy. It’s witty, poignant, sharp, and hilarious- the hosts untangle and examine diet culture from every pop culture angle. Do you remember Oprah and the “wagon of fat?” The Biggest Loser? Ehhh yeah, they’re actually terribly problematic. From Keto, The Atkins Craze, and even those cardboard-like Snackwell’s Cookies that we all had in our pantries in the 90s, nothing’s off the table. There are a ton of stats and research as well as personal experiences that expose the insidious nature of diet culture:: it’s not actually about health, it’s about disordered eating and fatphobia. This has not only been an incredibly eye-opening and educational listen for me but also highly entertaining. A little warning though, this one’s NSFW or for those little ears that may be around, so definitely pop in those headphones!
App:: Marco Polo
Marco Polo literally helped keep me sane during 2020 and I’ve continued using it because it’s just so easy and convenient! If you haven’t tried it before, it’s like texting, but you record a little video of yourself talking to your friend. You can create groups or just communicate one on one with someone. It can feel a little awkward at first, but you get used to it and quickly find it’s so much faster than texting and easier to communicate tone and facial expression. Keeping in touch with friends and actually having real and deep conversations is huge for moms no matter what stage of life you’re in. Marco Polo makes it possible.
Fashion:: The Belt Bag
Back in my day, we called it a fanny pack but I hear these days it’s called a belt bag! Whatever you call it, it’s back and I’m here to tell you, even though I swore I would never wear one again I got one, wore it on our family road trip, and LOVED IT.
Mine is kind of small, so not the best when you have tiny babies and need to transport all their snacks and paraphernalia. But for a road trip with older kids, when I was in and out of the car, it safely kept my lip gloss, mask, wallet, and hand sanitizer right where I needed it at all times.
Skin Care: Niacinimide
I recently learned about this ingredient and wish I’d had it sooner as a part of my skincare routine. The particular one I’ve been using is from Target’s fairly new Naturium line and I’ve already gone through two bottles of it. I use it in the morning just after washing my face and before using a moisturizer. Sometimes I mix it with a vitamin C serum. At night I alternate between using this and my retinol. I love how it makes my skin soft and I really have noticed a difference in my skin’s texture and the size of my pores!
Book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Midnight Library is one of those books that I just could not put down- I wanted to completely devour it, but at the same time I wanted to savor every page to try and make it last longer. It’s fiction woven with philosophical tidbits that just spoke right to me. The main character, Nora Seed, has a life full of regret, and she gets the chance, in a sort of “afterlife library” to experience all the lives she *thinks* would have been better. It deals with themes of happiness, mental health, regret, and longing. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but trust me on this one- I really think you’ll enjoy it.
So there’s my list. No bubble baths or eye masks, but I think of it as self-care nonetheless. What would you add to this? How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling all the feels? Have any great podcast or book recommendations? What’s the latest app or Instagram follow you can’t stop telling your friends about? Let me know in the comments, I want to hear about it!
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