Self Care and Improvement: Your Toolbox

Self Care and Improvement: Your Toolbox

There are so many things that could fit in this category. (Couldn’t all the other ones, if we want to be honest?) I am going to narrow it down for the first 31 days, though. We’re going to start with making sure we take care of ourselves.

I’m sure you’ve heard a flight attendant tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. The same applies in life. If you haven’t made sure that you’ve gotten enough sleep, eaten nutritious food, and seen to it that you feel good about yourself, what will you have left over to give others to make sure they have done the same?

We’re going to talk about establishing routines in the upcoming weeks, so I want to make sure that you have these basics for your toolbox (and I do mean basics!):

  • Facial cleaner. This does look different for everyone, depending on your age and skin type. My personal routine is cold cream and eye makeup remover in the evenings so I go to bed with a clean face, and a light scrub with a warm washcloth in the shower in the mornings. (If you have normal to dry skin, do try cold cream. It’s relatively inexpensive and a jar lasts a long time. It’s similar to the oil cleansing idea, just a bit more solid in form. The key  is to use warm water to wipe it off. Cold water seems to leave more of the cream behind.) There are obviously a multitude of products on the market for cleaning your face. Use what works for you. Just make sure you are cleaning your face at least once a day.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Your dentist will thank me. (You are going to the dentist every 6 or so months, right?) The bare minimum use is once a day. Brushing twice a day is preferred. And I will admit right now that I’m forgetful about the dental floss part myself, so I’ll be working right along with you.
  • Time just for you. Make sure you are carving out a space time every day just for you. If you keep a calendar, make an appointment with yourself right now and hold it sacred. It could be anything – it depends on what refreshes you. Go for a walk or run, take a nap, read a bit, take a bath, go outside, do some yoga or light stretching exercises. It could even be a square of that absolutely delicious dark chocolate that you love.
  • Clear a space on the floor. We’ll talk about some basic exercises and stretching in the future, so make sure you have room to touch your toes without smacking your head on the coffee table and to swing your arms in a circle without accidentally clearing your lamp onto the floor.
  • Hide those lights in your bedroom. I don’t know about you, but the light coming from my alarm clock can probably be seen from the moon. Solution: a microfiber cloth that I toss over the face of it before I go to bed. That being said, I know there are some people who need a nightlight – I know a few who sleepwalk without one. That’s fine, but get rid of all the blue lights from the technology that we seem to constantly be surrounded by. Even while sleeping, we’re sensitive to light, and I know I sleep much better with less light in the bedroom. If you need it because of the streetlights outside, invest in a black-out shade to block that light as well.

After all that – I’m operating under the assumption that you are already showering, so I don’t need to mention soap and water and that a bath or shower when you need one (which might vary!) is a good idea. But, there you go.

Extra credit:

  • Something that makes you happy. Find a picture of family or friends. Maybe it’s a candle that you love the smell of. Or, it could be your favorite body wash, sweater, fuzzy slippers, or music. That way, when you’re having a rough day, you have pick-me-up ready to go.
  • A checklist and/or routine app. You can always use your notes app, or use an app like HomeRoutines to keep track of the new routines you are trying to implement. If you’re anything like me, I love to check off to-do items. Even if it’s “Get out of bed”!
  • Remove all the tech from your bedroom. Maybe you can’t because of space limitations, but that’s why it’s extra credit. 😉

What of the above are you hoping to add to your daily routine? (In case you missed my true confession above – mine is flossing once a day in addition to my regular brushings.) Or, if you’ve got that all covered, what one thing that makes you happy are you setting aside for yourself?


Sewist, knitter, reader, dancer. Wife. Lover of things vintage and retro.