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As much as I try to be, I’m not Super Mom. Or Super Woman. As a recovering perfectionist and a recovering overachiever, it’s a challenge for me to let things go. When life gets busy, I always seem to boot myself to the bottom of the priority list. I’ve learned the hard way not to put myself last. Instead, I’m slowly incorporating healthy habits to make self-care a priority.
I’ve gone as far as to make a list of minimum requirements for self-care. I admit it’s still a struggle to take care of myself properly. I’m often sleep deprived and consume too many cups of coffee. I’m constantly working to unplug during the weekends.
In order to maintain my healthy habits, I’ve put together a self-care kit with items I picked up from Walgreens plus complemented with items I have on hand. If you’re not sure where to start, Walgreens has in-store brochures about women’s health and the pharmacist is happy to answer questions about vitamins and supplements. There’s plenty of tips and resources on their website too.
Sleep more and sleep better. Sleep is #1 on my list because it’s where I shortchange myself the most. I usually get around 5 hours each night, but I’d be less grouchy if I could get 8 or 9 hours. Creating a bedtime ritual is key to telling your body it’s time to rest for the night. The perfect tools for a well-rested me are:
- Soak in a warm tub with Ology Pure Castile Liquid Soap in Lavender. Castile soap is great for a long bath because it won’t dry out your skin like other soaps can. It’s also sulfate, paraben, and petrochemical free. Because there’s no sulfates, it won’t create a ton of bubbles, but the lavender scent will definitely help you relax. (For an invigorating soak, try the peppermint version.) My cat Pixie likes to hang out with me while I relax in the tub.
- A good beach read for my soak in the tub is a must-have. I just received a copy of The Naughty Girls’ Book Club by Sophie Hart and it looks like a fun read.
- Aromatherapy really does help me relax. With a spritz of Febreeze Sleep Serenity Bedding Refresher in Moonlit Lavender, my sheets will take me to dreamland, instead of reminding me of the nap my son took in my bed earlier that day.
Stay healthy, inside and out. Self-care isn’t just mental. Our physical health is important too. Here’s what I added to my kit to keep my body healthy:
- With my coffee addiction, I keep my water bottle next to my desk so I have no excuse not to drink more water. (Even if it’s next to my mug of coffee.)
- I’ve never been a milk drinker, unless you count the milk I add to my coffee. To make sure I get enough calcium and Vitamin D, I keep a bottle of Well at Walgreens Calcium 600+D3 at my desk. I can take it with my morning coffee. I choose this one because I’m inside most of the day and definitely don’t get enough sun and vitamin D. It’s never too early to build strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Walgreens had the vitamins buy one get 1 free when I visited so I picked up some multivitamins for hubby too. I even added the calcium supplements to my travel case so I have no excuse not to take them!
- I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my skin and beauty care, but I love how luxurious a face mask feels. I picked up several different packets of Studi0 35 Beauty face masks. At 3 for $4, I bought one of each! The fifteen minutes it took for the mask to do its beauty magic helped me to slow down and enjoy the moment. Or make funny faces at myself in the mirror. I’m pretty blind without my glasses, so I was forced to just be. Definitely a good thing.
In case of emergency, break open the chocolate. No self-care kit is complete without some sort of treat! Make sure you add chocolate, cookies, or whatever your indulgent pleasure is.
I know if I can get more sleep, I’ll have more patience with my kids. Which I will need plenty of once school ends in a few weeks! I’m sure there’s a lot more I could add to my self-care kit, but I’m taking baby steps. My healthy habits will stick better if I make gradual changes.
What would you put in your self-care kit?