Inspired by a beautiful, all-natural beauty shop that I strolled into in Beacon Hill, I wanted to make a step-by-step guide to my relaxation routine. Behind the glass store front in one of the quaintest neighborhoods in Boston, Follain houses skincare, makeup, and wellness products. My inspiration for this post came from a tiny sign that reads, "Self care is self ❤️."
I love this. It's a motto to live by. Self care can mean anything from taking a longer-than-normal shower just to soak in the steam, making a to-do list to declutter your mind, or turning off your phone for an uninterrupted nap. Self care is everything.
Here is my favorite way to unwind, destress, and pamper myself . . .
BYE BYE, MAKEUP
To me, an obvious first step to winding down for the evening is taking my makeup off. For months now, I've been using Garnier's SkinActive Cleansing Micellar Water, a waterproof makeup remover. I splash a little of the miscellar water onto a cotton pad or two and I'm able to remove almost all my makeup easily. Next, I use Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser to remove any left over makeup and cleanse my skin while also hydrating it. I used to hate taking my makeup off and washing my face, but now, it's become less of a chore and more of an excuse to focus on myself.
HELLO, FACE MASK
I use face masks probably three or four times a week. Sometimes, I go a little crazy and use two different masks in one night. I'd like to do a whole post on my favorite face masks, so I won't spend too much time talking about this, but I typically decide which mask to use based on how my skin feels that day. A lot of the time, this means a hydrating mask, such as the Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask.
SET THE MOOD
This may be the most crucial step. I am someone who is very affected by lighting, noise, and the overall ambiance of a room. When I really want to unwind at night, I turn off the fluorescent overhead lighting and instead turn on a desk lamp for a dim, cozy atmosphere. Then, I kick it up a notch by turning on my Himalayan salt lamp, a Christmas gift from my brother. This might be my favorite item in my room. It gives my whole room this very subtle peachy hue. Lastly, I always light a candle. My favorite ever is Vanilla Bean from DW Home -- sold at TJ Maxx. I'm not a fan of perfume-y scents in my bedroom. On my body, sure, but for a room, I prefer a light floral scent or something that smells like I could have just baked it in my oven. If I don't have a candle, I take the lid off of my jar of lavender which lightly scents the room.
ALL PLAY, NO WORK
This is the part where I'll choose what I want to do with my time. A lot of people will tell you that electronics have no place in a relaxation routine, but I'd counter that by saying Netflix. I love to cue up whatever show I am into, at the moment I am watching Private Practice, a Grey's Anatomy spinoff series (It's filling a void that a Patrick Dempsey-less Grey's cannot fill. Private Practice and Grey's are supposed to take place simultaneously, meaning that Derek is still alive and well while I watch this!). I also enjoy writing in my journal, coloring, or giving myself a manicure. Essentially, do something that makes you feel good and takes minimal mental presence. Need a mindless TV show that only focuses on trivial, un-relatable problems that will help you forget your own? I suggest Gossip Girl.
Also part of this step is putting on comfy clothes and making myself a cup of tea or a snack to go with whatever activity I've decided to center my night around. Sitting in my bed dunking cookies into tea is a guilty pleasure.
All of these steps are interchangeable, of course. If you haven't figured out what the best methods of relaxation are for you, I highly suggest taking more time for yourself, even if it's just one night a week. Self care is a daily routine, but having a few designated hours dedicated to your care can be great for your mental health and will rejuvenate you for the coming days.