When we say self-care you probably picture a face mask and a fluffy robe, right? Perhaps a comically large glass of wine? Well, you’re not wrong – those are all definitely examples of ways to put yourself in the positive feels after a dud day or when you’re on the ‘treat yourself’ train– they’re just not the only options.
There are heaps of things you can do to take your self-care game up a few notches. Anything that involves taking a minute (or multiple hours; we happen to think you deserve it) out for yourself classifies as self-care. It can be something completely relaxing, something totally productive or something that is a magical mix of both.
But because racking your brain to come up with self-care strategies isn’t exactly going to help you unwind, we’ve gone and done the work for you – your only task is to put these reliably rejuvenating hacks into action. You’ll be feeling your best (inside and out) again in no time!
#1: Getting your endorphins flowing
We know working out doesn’t always sound like the most ‘self-care-esque’ of activities, but face it; everyone feels about a trillion times better after getting their body moving. It doesn’t need to be anything wild, either! Try committing to a half hour of whatever works for you. If you love the gym, great – but anything from a stroll outside with your favourite podcast/playlist pumping to an old-fashioned living room dance party will be sure to get your endorphins flowing. Hello, happy hormones!
#2: Watching a comfort show
Escapism can be a great way to quieten your mind, and nothing offers escapism quite like switching on your favourite comfort show. Think characters that feel like loved ones, settings that offer solace, and stories that are blissfully stress-free. Our personal recommendations? Cosy small-town dramedies that are comfort food in television form; think Gilmore Girls, Hart of Dixie, and One Tree Hill.
#3: Taking *that* shower
Any beauty buff knows that there are showers and then are *those* showers. What’s the difference, you ask?! The time and care taken, of course. In a nutshell, the top-to-toe shower is practically the captain of the self-care strategy club. It’s all about emerging from the water a far more nourished, confident, and sweet-smelling human than the one you went in as and reaping the benefits for days to come.
You’ll want to stock your shower shelf wisely to maximise the effects – the Dove Triple Moisture Body Wash ($15 at Woolworths) is a richly-lathering essential for ensuring skin is left as silky, soft and smooth as it is hydrated. And considering the caring formula loads up skin’s hydration stocks while also helping to maintain the natural moisture barrier, it’s very hard to beat in the hydration stakes. We’re talking 24 hour nourishment, people!
Speaking of nourishment, don’t you dare think about stepping out of said shower without doing a little (literal) damage control for your hair. Hair health can actually have a major effect on mental health; ‘unhappy with your hair’ is a type of unhappy and we won’t stand for it! Combat both issues by washing with the Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo ($17 at Woolworths) and Intensive Repair Conditioner ($17 at Woolworths), a cleansing and conditioning combo that has the power to prevent 98% of daily hair damage, getting your mane glossier than ever while also working wonders for your confidence levels. Talk about an effective shower!
#4: Switching to fresh sheets
This is a double-hitter – not only is getting into a freshly-laundered bed just about the most comforting thing in the world (bonus points if the sheets still smell dryer-fresh), but once you’ve got your skin and hair squeaky clean/enchantingly soft, climbing into last week’s same old stale sheets is quite simply not the move. We also advise calling it a night early and settling in with a good book to really feel the full effects. Fresh linens for the win!
#5: Buying yourself flowers
Anything that possesses the mood-lifting magic of fresh flowers definitely shouldn’t be reserved for birthdays or visitors – they have the power to enhance any old day! Whether it’s as simple as grabbing a bouquet from your local supermarket or splashing out on a bigger bunch ‘just because’, having florals in the house (regardless of if you opt for cheerful brights or serene pastels) is an undeniable vibe-upper.
#6 Lighting your ‘good’ candle
It’s scarily common to snap up a stunning candle and then store it away for special occasions, but you know what? Life is a special occasion! So why not light that bad boy today? You should be soaking up all its sensory goodness (from the warmth to the scent), not just letting it gather dust while you wait for an elusive ‘rainy day’. Best be warned though; whatever wick you’re dealing with may experience tinges of ‘what smells better?’ envy after the shower you’ve had. The aftermath of a full hair and body wash combo is practically impossible to outdo in the aroma arena.
#7 Focusing on feel-good things
Self-care saviours don’t need to be selfish by any means – guilt won’t make anyone feel good! Ditch the pit in your stomach by doing your bit for the earth and doing your bit for yourself in one go. Here’s the great (okay, excellent) news: Dove’s range already helps you do just that. By filling your OG Triple Moisture Body Wash bottle back up with a Dove 1.5L Triple Moisture Body Wash Refill Pouch ($15 at Woolworths), you’ll actually be using 70% less plastic than you would purchasing another 1L bottle. As for your trusty haircare essentials, their bottles are made with 50% recycled plastic – another pro. Long story short, you can take *that* shower time and time again without causing the earth any further harm. Dove products’ PETA-certified and cruelty-free statuses no doubt also equal an especially clear conscious. Triple win.
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.