The practice of self care has become gradually more present in my daily life since I graduated from college. I remember feeling overwhelmed with insecurities and fears, and while I couldn’t control the future (something I still struggle with), I could find a way of making myself feel better. And that’s when self care truly came into the picture.
Now, to be honest, I don’t really have a routine. I have a group of things, activities, really, that I know will make me feel better and more like myself. And when I feel like it, or really need to pick myself up, I’ll choose one or a few and spend the time I can doing them. These activities might be different for everyone, but mine include drawing, going to the movies, meditating, writing the things I’m grateful for, painting my nails, doing a face mask, and reading – the only one that I usually manage to do every single day.
If you don’t (yet) enjoy reading, picking up a book might not be the ideal self care activity for you. But if you’re a reader already, there are many ways you can incorporate something you already do and turn it into a relaxing, soul nurturing practice. Here’s what I do.
1. Your favorite book + your favorite beauty routine = magic
This is a simple equation, and one of the few I can understand and explain. You can’t do many things while reading at the same time, but you can enjoy a nice bubbly bath, or (and!) apply a fancy face mask, and read while you’re at it. So a great way to incorporate books in your self care routine is by planning a pampering evening, read your favorite book, and listen to some relaxing music. How good does that sound?
2. Find your self care book
We all have that one song that makes us feel better no matter what (I’ve been trying to pick just one of mine for the last fifteen minutes to use as an example but no success, so let’s move on), and some books can have that power, too. It depends on your personality, but going back to a chicklit classic, like Bridget Jones’ Diary or The Confessions of a Shopaholic, is one of my favorite ways to enjoy time alone and just have fun. You might want to pick a really great, encouraging self help book you can consult now and then, a memoir of someone you admire and look up to, or just a small one full of quotes that make you happy. Your favorite novel can become your self care book too, as long as you feel happy reading it.
3. Use a book as a conversation starter
Talking can be a self care practice, if you choose someone you trust to have a candid talk with. Using a book about a specific subject as an excuse to start a conversation with someone like your mom or a friend can be a smart thing to do, especially if they enjoy reading too (“Hey, what what are your views on this thing that happened in this book?”). Or maybe the best self care activity you could possibly do is spend the afternoon chatting with friends, and you end up bringing a book with you to discuss – and casually start a mini bookclub.
4. Start creating bookish lists
I don’t know about you, but as a self-procclaimed control freak, I love a good session of list making. If you’re like me, writing random lists can be very relaxing, so why not bring a healthy dose of literature into the equation and make them about books? They can be about the books you love, the books you want to read, the books that taught you a specific thing, the best self care books, and so on.
5. Join the bookstagram community
This one can be tricky, because Instagram is not the healthiest of apps for a lot of people. But if you can use it in a positive way, then the bookstagram community is amazing! Talking about books with people who love them just as much as I do is one of my favorite things in the world, and the reason why this website was created in the first place. Both my instagram account and this website are platforms where I can express myself and just be creative without rules or deadlines, and that, to me, is a self care activity too.