By now, I’m sure you’ve read advice on how to incorporate self-care into your everyday life. I’ve even created a 30-Day Self-Care Challenge to give you some ideas! However, something occurred to me recently, and I’m honestly ashamed of myself for not realizing this back in January when I first published my self-care challenge. Self-care isn’t easy for people with mental illnesses. Between having a lack of motivation, being constantly fatigued, and simply not remembering to take care of yourself, it’s easier said than done to just take a bubble bath. As for laundry? That takes me two hours! The most basic tasks can feel like excruciating activities when there are days when you can’t even get out of bed.
There is a need for self-care suggestions that take into account our daily struggles. While it’s ideal to shower daily and clean your room often, there are still things you can do to take care of yourself. Even on our “off days,” we can still be a little productive. Hopefully, these suggestions will make more sense than the typical self-care advice we receive.
1. Use dry shampoo when you don’t want to wash your hair.
Washing my hair is a process. After shampooing, conditioning, leaving the conditioner in for 3 minutes and rinsing it out, I then have to squeeze the excess water from my hair and apply a leave-in conditioner. I can expect it to take four hours to dry. Not only can I not walk around with wet hair most of the time, but it’s hard to motivate myself for that task. On the days I don’t wash my hair, I use dry shampoo. My hair is cleaner after a few sprays.
2. Need to get out of bed? Move your alarm clock.
If I don’t set an alarm, I stay asleep for a little over 11 hours. Most days, I can’t just stay in bed. Getting in bed earlier isn’t always an option when life’s commitments prevent that, and being in bed doesn’t always mean you’ll fall asleep. Adjusting your sleep cycle can take days. If you need to get out of bed, move your alarm clock to the other side of your room. This will force you to get up if you want to turn off your alarm.
3. Opt for alternatives to waxing and shaving (for legs + arms).
I can’t think of an easy way to get out of shaving your face, and some jobs require you to be clean-shaven as part of their uniform. However, you might be able to get away with not shaving your legs if you can’t find the time to do it. If your skin can tolerate Nair (always do a patch test first!), you can remove your leg and arm hair in 3 minutes. If you can’t use a hair removal cream, consider only shaving below the knees. Use this tip with caution, as some people do not tolerate Veet or Nair very well.
4. Incorporate breakfast into your diet with granola bars.
I’m busy. You’re busy. I’m tired in the morning. You’re tired in the morning. I keep granola bars in my apartment to get some food in before I head out for the day. Breakfast is important, and a granola bar is better than nothing! They require no cooking, they’re portable, and they’re pretty healthy. Other quick snacks for breakfast include 100-calorie snack packs, bananas, Go-Gurt, Fiber One brownies, and trail mix.
5. How often do you really have to wash your clothes?
As it turns out, you usually don’t need to wash your clothes after every wear. Real Simple published a guide on laundry, and it outlines how often specific pieces of clothing need to be washed. Apparently, jeans can be worn up to five times before being washed, sweatshirts can be worn for a week straight before becoming too soiled, and bras can last 3-4 wears before being tossed in the laundry bin. This could cut down the amount of laundry you have to do, how often you do it, and how often you need to change your clothes when you leave the house.
There aren’t ways to get around every chore that we have, but sometimes, a quick shortcut is better than nothing. If you’ve used any other self-care hacks that make your day easier, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section!
Have a great day, and remember to take care of yourself!