Cristian Palmer via Unsplash
Have you noticed so much self-care advice revolves around some sort of schedule?
Wake up early, go to bed early, do this thing every night before bed, do this other thing for ten minutes a day, every day, for the rest of your life, then proceed to do it in death because the self-care cycle shouldn’t end just because you’re dead...
To me, this sounds, well, boring.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried routines. You’ve tried sticking with certain things on a daily routine, only to get through one chapter, one lesson, one video of that bougie online self-care course you bought, to realize a lot of the advice is kind of the same. You tried that one chapter, then a squirrel ran past your window with a pizza crust and you spent ten minutes watching that squirrel have the lunch of his lifetime. Then maybe something shiny came along, too.
If this is also how your brain works, sticking with self-care routines can get frustrating. I still have to go to work four days a week, be hygienic and presentable at said job, feed myself, and exercise, so that’s routine enough.
Throwing on another regularly scheduled thing I need to do can make me feel overwhelmingly busy, even if that thing is the ever-more-important self-care.
Instead of throwing some drab self-care advice at you, here are three things you can think about if you hate routines but still need that sweet, sweet self-care.
Take yourself on a self-care date.
Don’t do the same thing every time. When you’re feeling that run down, un-self-loved feeling that comes around when we’ve been neglecting our self-care, take yourself out on a solo self-care date or self-care adventure.
Do something that’s good for your body, mind, and/or soul. Go on something like Groupon and see if there are any deals to places you’ve never heard of...
I once found an “angry yoga” class that way, in which you screamed and swore your way into each pose. This was great to release some pent-up frustration. There’s nothing quite like opening up into a powerful, strong warrior two while exhaling to a spirited, “fuuuuuuck.”
There’s also Meetup!
My local Meetup has a Wim Hof Breathwork group that meets weekly. I have yet to go, but if you’re in the Minneapolis area, check it out and report back. I follow the group because this will likely be a self-care date of mine one day, but in the spirit of mixing up routines to satiate my creative, routine-hating mind, I have a laundry list of things around town I’ll be trying.
Here are a few other ideas for self-care dates, including some freebies:
These are just a few ideas. If you have more, comment below and let me know! (By the way, none of these are affiliate links, just places I genuinely love).
Cherry and the Spoon, on an early morning walk sometime last July, with only the birds and the groundskeeper, as most the city still slept.
Take yourself on a Lush shopping date to jazz up your bath time. Maybe even get a toy ship to nurture your inner child.
This is also not an affiliate post, but I’m here to tell you how much I love, love, love Lush.
I once did a chair massage gig with a woman who used to work for their corporate office, and during a mid-afternoon lull at said event, she went on and on to me about this company. They are dedicated to all-natural eco-friendly products. You can bring used containers back and they reuse them. Everything smells amazing and works amazing and will create a whole new you.
Now I’m addicted.
Lush invented the bath bomb. They also have bubble bombs, cute exfoliators shaped like bees, containerless shampoos and conditioners, and soaps that are all the scents of the rainbow. I can’t walk into this store without dropping $100. (Okay, fine, grocery bill, you can be smaller this week).
Their bath bombs range from $5-$10, and typically you can break off a piece and use it a couple of times. You don’t have to drop a bill each visit as I do.
But I tell you what. The scents and colors this store create in your bathtub add a special pizzaz to bath time. I love baths, but don’t take them as often as I should (even with a giant tub at home). It’s probably a routine hating thing...
BUT, the hot water is relaxing and great for your muscles, and there is something spiritually and energetically purifying about submerging yourself in water. The Ancient Greeks were all about it.
Each time I go to Lush, I come home eager to take my next bath.
You don’t necessarily need Lush, either.
Bath bombs can be found at other stores. Your local co-op probably has some bath salts or suds that titillate your senses, as well. Go get yourself a bath gift and get yourself stoked for your next bath.
You can even get yourself a world's greatest bath boat if you want to nurture your inner child.
Make some art, even if you're not "good" at it.
They say creation and divinity go hand in hand.
Even if you’re not spiritual, the act of being creative has a similar effect on the mind and body as meditation. Any sort of creating, no matter if you’re “good” or not, releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant.
Being creative is said to reduce anxiety, reduce symptoms of depression, increase positive emotions, and even improve the function of our immune systems.
Ever gotten into a flow state? You start a project at 9am, and you become so engulfed in what you’re doing, time melts away from around you and next thing you know, it’s 3pm and you suddenly have to pee really badly.
These flow states come with their own self-caring-loving benefits as well (check out my other article linked above!)
Being good at art isn’t the point.
As a millennial, I feel I grew up thinking that the purpose of all of one’s talents were to monetize them. Love writing? Cool! You can be a journalist because that pays the bills. The end.
I have so many friends my age who fell away from the crafts they loved doing because it wasn’t “practical” to be an artist, painter, sculptor, or whatever. They lost touch with their artistic side and live in fear of gaining it back.
But guess what? The purpose of creation isn’t monetization. It’s love. It’s self-care. It’s connecting with the truest, most alive part of yourself. It’s divine, if you’re into it. It’s self-care for the soul.
Next time you need a little self care, take yourself to your closest craft store, get some watercolors, or heck, even just a pack of markers, and begin doodling. Or go collect rocks and flowers and natural treasures from outside and make a mandala. Or grab that old guitar that’s been collecting dust since the great shutdown of 2020 and start seeing what sounds your fingers along those strings can create. Don’t worry about how good you are, just create because it’s self-care and your soul needs it.
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