Self Care and Slowing Down For A Workaholic

A few days ago, I took a shared lyft to meet some friends for a shoot. Usually, I just sit in silence or make small talk with the driver. This time, though, my fellow lyft rider was a prophet. (?!!?!?!!) She had learned that our driver was from Uzbekistan and that his family was still there. She pondered for a bit before saying that God had told her that his family would be joining him in the US.

Then, she turned to me, asked my name, and studied my face a bit before proclaiming that I was a workaholic. She also told me that there’s a guy in my life who’s obsessed with me, but we’ll worry about that another time.

Anyway, back to the workaholic. I have to admit it. She’s right! I’m always doing blog work or working on events for school orgs or shooting content or working my part time job or in classes or doing homework or … You get the point.

 Photo by  Chris Rifon

Photo by Chris Rifon

I’m always busy. It’s go go go for me and until my body breaks down under the stress and gets sick, I tend to forget how much I actually do. I can take a lot, if I’m being honest. I’ve gotten better at time management and organization and at times, it feels like I can take on the world.

But I can’t! And I’ve had to learn that the hard way. I’ve learned through sickness brought on by stress, through breaking down in tears between classes, through skipping class because I was crying from stress, and more.

Now I know. Self care is SO IMPORTANT. Burnout is real and taking time to slow down is absolutely necessary. Doing so helps me recharge so that I can perform my best later.

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I am worthy of my own love and care.

I’ve heard so many people say things like “I just don’t have time to slow down.” or “I’m too busy, I don’t have time for myself.” If you’ve ever thought those things to yourself, I want you to stop right now and write this down: I AM WORTHY OF MY OWN LOVE AND CARE. Make time for yourself as you would your very best friend. Care for yourself as you would for a dear friend.

Care for yourself as you would for a dear friend.

With all that in mind, here are some of my favorite ways to take care of myself as a self-proclaimed workaholic, whether through serious time alone or just little things throughout the day. Note that some of the brands I mentioned I’ve worked with in the past, but they did NOT ask me to write this blog post, nor did they ask me to include them in it. I only included brands that I truly love!

Netflix and food in bed

During the school year, I get so caught up in school work, my blog, clubs, and my part time job that I rarely watch any shows. Growing up, watching TV actually felt like a crime of sorts. Why watch TV when I could be doing my homework, studying, or being otherwise productive? I’ve since kicked myself of that thinking (at least I think I have), but watching TV still feels like a treat. Climbing into bed with my laptop open to a full screen of Jane the Virgin, Scandal, or something else never fails to relax me and help me decompress. It’s so nice to let my brain take a break and enjoy a good show. I’ve never been one for going out, so this is definitely my favorite way to spend a Friday night.           

 Photo by  Chris Rifon

Photo by Chris Rifon

Tea(drops) and a book

I love tea. Coffee tends to give me the jitters and make me anxious, while tea energizes me without overwhelming me. Herbal tea is amazing for nighttime when I’m looking to decompress. Lately, I’ve been loving TeaDrops*. I’m always leaving my tea bags in too long and ending up with bitter tea, but with TeaDrops, I don’t have to worry about that! The tea is ground up so that it dissolves right into my hot water and is ready to drink right away. Plus, it’s a woman owned company! I’ll prep myself a cup of tea and then grab a book and curl up on the couch so I can start reading. Latest reads include Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, White Girls by Hilton Als, The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur, and A Beautiful Composition of Broken by r.h. sin.

I’ve noticed lately that I kind of suck at reading. I have a hard time keeping my attention on the book and not my phone, so I try to keep my phone away from me while I do this. Unplugging is so necessary for me, as someone who’s constantly on my phone and laptop planning content and interacting with other people on Instagram. It’s gonna feel strange, but I’m going to try turning my phone off completely the next time I sit down to read. Or at least putting it in a different room. Removing it allows me to focus better, as even having it in the same room distracts me.

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Podcasts in the car

This summer, I spent my mornings with an hour commute into work. I got into podcasts and would use them as a way to kick off my day on the right foot and put myself in a positive mindset. This definitely isn’t a bubble bath with a glass of wine, but it was a great form of self care on my busy days. Injecting a little positivity into your day definitely never hurt anyone.

I listened to The Influencer Podcast by Julia Solomon and The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher most (any other fans of these?) mornings, delving into the work of being a #GirlBoss online. Each one educated me and encouraged me to start my day off right. As someone who’s super busy, this ability to decompress and get inspired at the start of my day was such important self care. I’ll definitely be doing this during my metro ride into work this semester in DC.

Skincare

Taking care of my skin has always been so calming for me. I love rubbing on face wash and rinsing it off or throwing on a face mask before I settle into bed with a good show. I’m switching over to cruelty-free skincare and make-up, so I’ve been obsessed with Apotheque*, lately. The oxygenated cleanser is absolutely my favorite for morning showers. It makes my face feel minty (is that a thing?!) and wakes me right up so that I’m ready for the day. It’s a super small form of self care but so important.

Sometimes, I’ll take a night to pamper myself to some skincare while coloring or watching Netflix, rather than just enjoying it in the shower. My mom loves bringing back face masks from Taiwan, so I’ve always had a bunch, but I didn’t start using them much until last year. I was getting stressed and needed to relax, and my mother’s face mask gifts proved to be just the thing.

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Napping

I'm a huge proponent of power naps. Of course, getting a good night’s sleep is preferred, but naps are pretty good, too. If I’m feeling totally wiped from class, a quick 30 minute nap always helps me feel a bit better before heading to work. A cup of coffee or a matcha is always helpful, too, but naps are free and don’t run the risk of a caffeine addiction and headaches so I’m definitely partial to them.   

 Photo by  Chris Rifon

Photo by Chris Rifon

Here's my big takeaway from this blog post: self care doesn't have to be a whole trip to the spa. Sometimes it's something small that gives your brain a mental break. Don't forget to truly take time away in bigger ways on occasion, but aim to have at least one small thing you can do for yourself every day, even on your busiest days. 

What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself? Drop me a comment below and let me know!