What Self-Care Practices Soothe You to Your Very Core During Stressful Times?

Netflix & Chill is now officially Netflix & Numbing From The Insistent and Cold Sting of Reality.
Publish date:
November 11, 2016
open thread, Self-care

Fun fact: I wasn't aware of what "self-care" meant in anything other than the context of something like bandaging a wound on yourself in the event that no medical personnel were present. So, like, the literal definition of caring for yourself. But no, the internet quickly alluded to so much more!

Self-care can be basically anything that you do for yourself with the intent of taking care of yourself, mentally, physically, spiritually. It can be as simple as taking 20 minutes to do a face mask, meditating on a mountain top, building a blanket fort and giving yourself a mani in the blanket fort, going to an archery range, making your own guac from avocados you grew in your backyard and then not sharing with anyone... OK, I'm going a bit off the rails here, but the point is self-care is something you do for yourself that makes you feel good. It's that simple.

It never occurred to me to take time for self-care because I feel like I do that a lot already? I mean, I'm living that unwed, no-children/dependents, professionally flexible lifestyle that allows me to indulge in me-time pretty much whenever I want. Not true for many others! Whenever someone who asks me for beauty advice responds with "I don't have time for that!" to my suggestion, I'm like, "Uh, OK, then don't ask. RUDE." And OK, it is sort of rude to immediately dismiss the advice that you solicited, but it also got me thinking — what is going on in everyone's respective lives that the idea of taking five to 15 minutes out of your day to do a hair mask seems like an unacceptable imposition?

Well, it turns out that when not working or doing things for others, we're all in constant combat with our own brilliant but often heavy existences. To live in a (first) world where we are inundated with news, ads, wants, pressures, expectations, FOMO, paperwork, media (social and otherwise), it's no wonder that time seems like the one eroding resource that we cannot spare for something so frivolous as a goddamn face mask.

But you can't be a strong and proper warrior when you're at your weariest. So we practice self-care and we better ourselves and reconnect with ourselves so we can be ready to fight and/or protect whatever is we have to. Or just, ya know, chill out and decompress from our day-to-day. (I had an old boyfriend who always "had to decompress" from his workday, usually with alcohol.)

Alright, in retrospect, I'm not trying to rally a self-care war cry here but I really think, all things considered, we need it. I mean, writing about makeup feels super-dumb right now despite this being a beauty site, but it's my job and if beauty can connect, lift up and support people in anyway, I'm about to dive right the fuck in.

So let's start with our xoVain contributors on their self-care practices:

What self-care practices soothe your very core during stressful times?

Lisa: "The beach is my happy place! Even if it's crap weather (sometimes it's even better when it's crap weather cause Mother Nature is cool AF). On the flip side, I'm a picker. I'll find myself picking imaginary zits/blackheads/whatever on my face. Definite stress-picker."

Samantha: "I just watch as much stand-up comedy as possible."

Allison: "For your average bout of stress I'd say taking a bath, but for this level of stress I've just been numbing my brain with bad TV. Also: watching episodes of Bob Ross is a really great way to relax enough to fall asleep."

Rachel: "Honestly, right now I'm just taking Benadryl so that I can knock myself out for several hours at a time throughout the day because I'm just ridiculously depressed. I'm drinking lots of water. Mostly to make up for all the crying. Texting and calling my friends to tell them how much I truly love them. Avoiding certain parts of the internet/Facebook. Using lots of moisturizer. Wearing my favorite perfume, even if it's just to hide in bed under the covers all day."

Kristina: "I watch a lot of Netflix and movies 'cause it seems to be the only thing that really gets me to zone out and stop worrying about whatever I'm stressed about for the time being. That or reading a book. Anything that takes me out of my current reality and puts me into another."

Tynan: "I talked about this in the article I wrote today so forgive me for self-plagiarizing, but doing my nails is the one and only way I can shut my brain off. Maybe that's why I always have them done. I am on my fourth Budweiser."

Hannah L: "I like to go for a walk in my neighborhood and listen to a good podcast. My Brother, My Brother and Me and My Dad Wrote A Porno are both so funny and always take my mind off stressful things."

Maura: "Doing my makeup and watching Netflix (and smoking substances that are totally legal here.)"

Kara: "Watching Kim K snapchats of North, basically."

Kelly: "Snuggling with my dog and BF. Watching funny shows (my sister and I watch Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and they both help a lot). Also I bite my lips a lot when stressed, so LOTS of lip balm comes into play."

Maricar: "Threading my brows and upper lip while watching Netflix calms me down even though it gets painful. I also like soaking my feet in a bucket of water with bath salts while wearing a sheet mask."

Marci: "If I can get my boyfriend to brush my hair, that pretty much pushes the reset button on my brain. I wish I wasn't so worried about annoying neighbors with singing loudly, because I'd be doing a lot of that right now, BUT I'M JUST SO FUCKING CONSIDERATE."

Caitlin: "Painting my nails — it requires all of my concentration so I have to keep my brain focused on it and not the stale Cheeto from in between the couch cushions that just got elected."

Dan: "Facial. Facial. Facial. Something about someone rubbing my orbital bone just helps. Recently, I've been obsessed with the OxyLight Facial which I'll actually be getting again right before Turkey Day, so I can feel refreshed for the parents. Because I'm pretty sure my dad voted third party and we're going to have to have a conversation about that."

Wendy: "A good bath and glass of wine is classic, but when I'm feeling less motivated I'll do a foot soak instead. I also find it therapeutic to paint my nails and to throw on a face mask and lie in bed while reading/zoning out/looking for pictures of animals on the Internet."

Kim: "I ate a whole pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food last night, but that's just stress eating."

As for me? I'll be sharpening my nails. So... manicure, I guess.

Now what about you?