The Self-Care Rituals Getting Me Through Quarantine

Pre-COVID-19, my life consisted of moving from one commitment to another. Certain rituals like taking a bath or lighting a candle were my way of making sure I got some ‘me time’ after work. But staying at home the last few months, I found that my productivity tanked. Working from home transformed my work life and home life into a shapeless blur. Without the clear boundaries of going to the office, my days got longer and less satisfying. I was alone more than I’ve ever been, but it didn’t feel like my treasured alone time. Something had to change.

As much as I hate to admit it, my mother was right. I do better with structure in my life. When we went back into WFH mode this time around, I decided to make myself a schedule. I make it a point to wake up early to do a workout, shower, get dressed and start working around the same time as I normally would. I also committed to setting aside time to unplug, stop staring at a computer screen, and get some real downtime.

Bath time: Soaking in a tub is so much more than a way to get clean. It's a way to detox and heal, especially if you take a few minutes to have a good dry-brushing sesh and add a scoop of Himalayan Bath Salts. Depending on the day I’ve had, I’ll either bring a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) with me. If you’re a bubble-bath person, I recommend using this amazing Heales Body Wash. The smell alone makes me feel more relaxed.

And because it feels like I’m always doing the laundry, I bought new Turkish towels that are gorgeous, feel cozy, and dry much faster than my old ones.

Meditation: Okay, I’m not good at meditating yet. But I downloaded the Calm app, and I’m trying, which is what counts. My most successful attempts at winding down happen when I take a beat to meditate or bathe beforehand. I take a second to prepare with a little ritual that I’ve come to look forward to doing each night.

Lately, that means burning an incense stick and lighting it in the chic little holder. It instantly transforms my space, and signals to my brain that we’re in a different mode. I love the aloeswood, pomegranate, and plum scents because they’re brighter and more elegant than I ever thought incense could be. None of that smokey heaviness or weird patchouli smell. If you’re not an incense person, then an Ultrasonic oil diffuser will also do the job. And nothing beats a scented candle for soothing light and fragrance. The Mediterranean Fig is my hands down favorite right now.

Caffeine fix: I caved and got a membership to an online workout class service. It’s never going to be as good as getting yelled at by an incredibly fit instructor in person, but it's better than doing nothing. Since I'm not swinging by a coffee shop after a workout to grab a latte, I'm doing it at home before I go into full work mode. Right now, I’m using this pretty sustainable coffee cup. It even has a lid, to keep my coffee warm while I work!

Sunday night: In order to face down the prospect of Monday morning and all the madness it will bring, I like to do a little something extra on Sunday nights. I don’t spend too much time on beauty treatments during the week, so I throw on a hair mask because my always curly, sometimes frizzy hair needs the love. And because I always need to have my nails painted (I used to bite them), it’s the perfect time to take off the polish, apply Heales nail detox oil, and think about what the next color will be for the week ahead.

Oh, and the last thing, it’s far from the sexiest of rituals but every morning before I brush my teeth I use the Boka tongue scraper. It gets rid of that gross white film that lives on the back of your tongue which harbors a ton of bacteria and also gives you bad breath. You're welcome.

Hang in there (and take care)!