We’re living in some kind of a post-pandemic haze these days. With vaccinations going up in most parts of the world, our calendars are suddenly getting filled up with more in-person social interactions, travel plans, and frankly, just more of everything. That’s not to say that Zoom meetings are going to be a thing of the past anytime soon, but we’re all slowly adjusting to more people-ing than we’ve done in the last 18-odd months.
While it’s nice and all to be able to get out of the house without constantly having to worry about dire COVID consequences, if you’re even a little bit of an introvert like me, all this new-fledged socializing can feel like a bit too much. And well, truth be told, peopled-out or not, self care is never not important.
Some Offbeat and Unusual Self Care Ideas I Practice
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While self care can look like different things on different days, sometimes a face mask or an indulgent bath/shower just does not cut it. Jenny’s recent post inspired me to think about some of the unusual self care ideas that are already a part of my personal self care kit.
- Re-reading my favourite books: The thrill of a new book is great and all, but there is a certain kind of comfort in reading books and passages that are already familiar. I don’t usually reread the entire novel, but have some specific pages that I keep coming back to. Since I am going through a massive romance novel phase, naturally, they feature heavily on my recent re-read list. Namely – the Marshals series, Wild at Heart, Without You, Heated Rivalry, The Friend Zone, and Wait for It.
- Changing my bed sheets: Ah! There’s something so refreshing about clean sheets. I guess it’s linked to the simple act of stripping away the old/dirty bits and replacing them with clean, fresh things – which is as good as a metaphor for a mood reset.
- Washing my feet: It’s a really small, silly thing, but sometimes washing my feet is all the mental reset that I need. I am not even talking about an elaborate pedicure here – just a quick wash under running water. I don’t remember how I started associating washing my feet with a mental reset, but it’s been just an oddly comforting thing for me.
- Taking a nap irrespective of the time: My personal life has been rather heavy for the last few months. Lots of changes that I am dealing with. Almost every day, I reach a point of unbearable overwhelm – from my feelings, the never-ending list of to-dos, and just the constant churning of thoughts in my head. Some days, I get there as early as 11am! Taking a short nap – no matter how time inappropriate it might seem – has been one of those things which has truly helped me keep sane during this period.
- Making lists: I am an unapologetic listaholic. To-do lists, bucket lists, lists of treats I want to buy… anything goes. Just the simple act of putting these down helps to clear the clutter in my mind and instantly brings me more peace.
READ MORE: SELF CARE IDEAS FOR BUSY DAYS
More Unusual Self Care Ideas
If you’re looking for some fresh self care ideas which do not necessarily break the bank, I’ve put together this short list for you. Take what you need to recharge your self care routine.
Indulge in Some Nostalgia
Watch that TV show or movie from your childhood, reread your favorite childhood books or comics, browse through old photographs. Needless to say, focus on the bits of your childhood of which you have happy memories.
Try out a board or card game that you’ve never played before. This works even better when you’re with a group of poeple.
Learn a New Skill or Hobby
Bonus points if you make it creative, or if it’s something to occupy your hands, like a DIY project around the house.
Rearrange Some Furniture
This is one of my favorite and totally free way to freshen things up around the house. And I am no Feng Shui expert, but I think doing so also changes up the flow of energy.
Take a Break from Social Media
It’s not that I think social media is all bad, but sometimes it can be exhausting. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by what seems like the never-ending stream of information on your feed, it always helps to take some time off away from social media to regroup.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else
Sometimes self care can also look like taking care of those less fortunate than you. Unless you’re running yourself ragged in doing so, doing something nice for others – even if it is as basic as a heartfelt compliment – also triggers a lot of feel-good emotions, which is never a bad thing in my book.
Make a Vision Board
If you’re looking for some redirection in your life, spending some time to make a vision board could totally count as self care. I’ve actually been maintaining a vision board notebook for the last couple of months. Every couple of weeks, I add 2-3 ‘vision pages’ to it – basically images and words to refresh my vision. I find it incredibly soothing and grounding to put together a collage that articulates my vision for my life.
Book Yourself Into a Nearby Hotel for a Night or Two
You don’t always need a long-ass vacation to refresh yourself (though, of course, nothing like it if you’re able to swing it!). A couple of nights away from your home – even in your friendly neighborhood chain hotel – might be just the change of scenery that you need. It allows you to a momentary break from your daily routine, and sometimes that’s all you really need.
I am not a poetry person myself, but somehow, over the last couple of years, new-age ‘insta-poetry’ (championed by Rupi Kaur, Dhiman, Atticus, Billy Chapata, and others of their ilk) has started to feel like a certain form of self-care to me. The uplifting messages, the sharing of universal human emotions – it all feels like a soothing balm for the soul.
Dress Up or Try Out a New Makeup Look
Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve all amassed a huge lot of ‘day pajamas’ and ‘night pajamas’. And while I am here for that loungy life, it’s also really nice to dress up in something nice, even if it’s just to hang around the house. In a similar vein, trying out a new makeup look can also help to inject a dose of freshness into your daily routine.
Chill Out to Some White Noise
Take a moment or two to just relax to some soothing white noise. Bird song. Rainfall. A steady gurgling of a nearby stream. The exhilarating rush of a waterfall. The best thing would be to find all this in nature IRL. The next best thing would be to find a YouTube video or two that plays these kinds of sounds.
So well, self care does not always have to look like hour-long baths or indulging in face masks! The next time you have an off mental health day, or you simply need a break, I hope you can try out a thing or two from this list of unusual self care ideas to take care of yourself.
Let me know in the comments below what are your quirky self care practices!
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