These days, we’re hearing about “self-isolation” a lot more often than “self-care”. In an effort to restore some balance, we’re trying to change that. Activities that lift our mood, promote well-being, and help curb anxiety are more important than ever. Whether you’re in it for the spiritual, mental, or physical benefits of self-care, most of us can agree that one thing always has the magical ability to take us far away from the stresses of daily life: our beloved vacations.
While travel may be limited these days, we can still recreate the most restorative parts of a good getaway at home: no packed schedules, no clutter, little TV watching, time to work out, and a pristine space to hang out in at the end of the day. All it takes is a little planning and some creative workarounds to bring that vacation vibe into your everyday life.
Bring Your Hotel Room Home
Is there anything like the feeling of returning to your hotel after spending an adventure-packed day in a new city? It’s as if months of burnout instantly disappear with the swipe of your key card.
Here are a few ways to recreate that luxury hotel feel:
- Clean out the closet. Yes, it’s a bit of a chore now, but you’ll thank yourself later. Hang a robe where you’ll see it first thing in the morning or just before bed. Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to declutter different areas of the house as well. Creating calm and meaningful spaces to spend your time in may be the ultimate self-care practice.
- In the bathroom, don’t let plastic containers clutter your sink. Switch them out for that crystal perfume bottle, luxe skincare jar, matching glass canisters, and a chic scented candle. Elevate the look even more by placing everything on a beautiful marble tray, and round out the hotel ambiance by hanging up those rarely-used guest towels because, hey, you’re the guest now. Put out the expensive hand soap, it’s time to use the good stuff.
- Wash your sheets with a scented laundry detergent (check out The Laundress for a worthwhile splurge). Style that bed like a pro—this is no time to leave out the throw pillows. You’ll be reminded why one of the great joys in life is slipping under fresh linens at the end of the day.
At-Home Spa Day, Anyone?
Bring the oasis of the spa home. Try some aromatherapy with calming essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus to recreate that spa atmosphere at home. Saje makes great options for steam diffusers with scents based on the mood you’re aiming for. Aesop’s oil burner blends are another recommendation for a moment of zen. Then treat yourself to a hair or face mask and dip into a tub sprinkled with relaxing salts or luxurious bath oil. More time on your hands? Give yourself a mani/pedi. You can even try a DIY nail look that might otherwise be too time-consuming. Check out Chillhouse’s nail art tutorials for advice from the pros.
Marie Kondo your beauty stash and give back while you’re at it. What better time to clear out that beauty and skin care cabinet and make it “shelfie” worthy? Take inventory of what you have and haven’t been using and donate the rest. Two beauty editors and a former nurse teamed up to form an initiative called Donate Beauty to supply overworked healthcare workers with products like hand cream, sheet masks, and sunscreen. Anything moisturizing is always in demand—with lotions and lip balms consistently topping their list of requests. Put those products to good use rather than letting them sit there unopened.
It can be as easy as remembering a treasured ritual while on vacation (a daily espresso at the neighborhood café or a morning walk along the beach) and recreating that experience as closely as possible at home. Do yourself a favor and don’t tune into the news first thing in the morning. This is the time to create a morning routine that will set the tone for the rest of your day.
Find a plan that works for you. You may be the “exercise at 5am type” (more power to you), or your day might flow better with a later wake-up time and some mindful meditation in order to feel centered. Activities like reading, journaling, making a list of the day’s goals, or just getting outside for a walk, are all things you can do that will have a positive impact on your life. As easy as it is to regress to old comforts for breakfast, do your best to keep it real. Opt for whole foods that will fuel your day, not make you tired 4 hours in.
Need a virtual excursion to another country? Think of somewhere you’d love to travel and watch a movie set in that destination. Extra points if you whip up a dish or a drink beforehand to match the location. Cubano sandwiches pair perfectly with the funny and charming flick Chef, as does Beef Bourguignon for Julie & Julia. A glass of chianti can’t be beat for watching Under the Tuscan Sun, just like a glass of rosé for the Provençal classic A Good Year.
If you really want to commit, we recommend selecting a curated tablescape from Social Studies to complete the look. They’ve sourced everything so your décor can channel locales from Joshua Tree to the Amalfi Coast. Their “Quarantine Cutie Kits” include all you need for your tabletop, from runners to florals to plates and glassware—for two guests.
Move it or Lose it
Yoga is self-care at its finest. A muscle relaxer, brain booster, immunity enhancer and stress reliever all in one mindful practice, you may just find that now is the time to make this healthy habit part of your daily living. So roll out that mat, stream a class, and give your body, soul and spirit what they need to feel their best.
Want to move a little, but don’t want to follow yet another online instructor? Push your furniture to the side of the room and have a themed-dance party. Whether it’s Hip Hop, Disco, Motown, or Salsa, just let loose and dance like no one’s watching. Because they’re not.
Sorry, We’re Booked
And if, like us, you have too many books and too little time, now’s the opportunity to make a dent in that stack piling up on your nightstand. Enjoy a little Vitamin D with your literature if you’ve got a sunny outdoor space, or sink into your sofa with a cup of tea and a book about—what else—self-care, and escape the noise of life for a while. Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Step is a go-to for remembering to stay present, as are the mantras of his “How To” series.
Self-care is what it takes to improve our health, manage stress, and connect us more fully to the world around us. Accepting and enjoying the extra bit of time we now have is a great way to look after ourselves and begin new habits that will boost our well-being for years to come.