Maybe it’s my age (I’m entering a new decade, but I won’t say which one), maybe it’s all the meditations I’ve been doing focusing on self-respect lately, or maybe it’s the fact that I binge-watched all of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” in two days, but I’ve been on a tear lately with boosting my self-care. I have a new, heightened awareness of my appearance, how I feel inside and out, and my home. It’s not a vanity thing. I’m not obsessing over losing three pounds or getting a laser peel for one new wrinkle. I’m just talking about opting for quality over quantity or quality over speed when it comes to self-care. At first, making the small improvements felt like work. But ultimately, they’ve made the other areas of my life feel…easier…brighter…more seamless. It’s amazing what good self-care can do for your whole world. Here are ways you may want to level up in your self-care.
Buying real jewelry
Plastic, costume jewelry is fun for a night but it quickly cracks, breaks, or falls apart. And something about it just feels…cheap. It’s better to have only a few quality pieces of real jewelry—whether that’s real gold, silver, pearls, or crystals—than tons of fake jewelry.
Getting less synthetic fabric
Synthetic fabrics don’t do your skin any good. They can cause trapped moisture, rashes, and itching. They also just don’t make you feel your best. The fabric that covers your body—which is your temple—should be sturdy and natural.
Shoes that need no fixing
Enough with the shoes that always need a little adjustment to work, like a Band-Aid at the back of the heel or an insole to prevent blisters. Buy shoes that don’t require anything else but are comfortable all on their own. And, buy shoes that will last you at least five years.
Buying quality handbags
Your handbag contains your life. It’s a little representation of your day, holding all the various items you’ll need for all your various tasks. Don’t you deserve one that is sturdy, has well organized pockets, and perhaps even has little scuff-resistant feet? Don’t you deserve one that doesn’t crack and flake after a year of use?
Having underwear you love
Even though nobody sees most of your underwear (besides on those special nights) doesn’t mean that you don’t know what’s touching your most intimate regions. Get underwear that you feel sexy in and that doesn’t cause you distracting discomfort. Throw out anything that doesn’t fit that bill.
Wearing bras that work for you
Your bra should boost more than your boobs—it should boost your confidence. Having an ill-fitting bra that makes you worry about an underwire jutting out or an exposed nipple just kills your confidence. It’s better to have just three great bras than 10 so-so ones.
Investing in long-lasting lipstick
Though the price discrepancy isn’t always worth it, there is good reason some lipsticks cost more than others—they really will last through drinks, food, and kisses. So, you wind up saving money because you don’t re-apply them five times a day.
Purchasing good sunglasses
It might be time to make a deal with yourself to stop misplacing sunglasses. Once you make that deal with yourself, you can agree to buy a good pair. A pair that you feel absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and fabulous in and a pair that will truly protect your eyes from UV rays and last a lifetime.
Not wearing ratty clothes
If you have any clothes that you’ve just worn to the death—they’re thin, transparent, have holes in them, and are just plain ratty—it’s time to toss them. Even if you have sentimental attachment to them, you don’t feel good in them.
Only buying clothes that give you that feeling
Speaking of feeling good in your clothes, make a rule, moving forward, to only buy clothes you have that feeling in. You know the feeling—it makes you feel like you have your life together and are the sharpest-looking person in the room. If it makes you feel anything less than that, don’t buy it.
Buying art you love
Don’t just buy whatever cheap thing you find to put on your walls so they aren’t blank. Invest in art that you love. Invest in pieces that make you feel something you want to feel every day. Invest in art that will inspire and motivate you.
Keeping wholesome and/or gourmet food around
Having good foods in your home just makes you feel like you’re loving yourself. That doesn’t have to mean just healthy foods. It should mean a combination of healthy foods and quality gourmet foods. So, yes, really good chocolate and ice cream fit that bill.
Getting professional mani/pedis
While you don’t need to get these weekly (that gets expensive) consider getting one a month. If you find a really good nail salon, your mani/pedi should last at least two weeks. You can touch it up to carry it through to the end of the month. Your hands and feet are your contact points with the world. Having them look good feels good.
Research your skincare products
I won’t give particular recommendations here because that’s covered elsewhere, but I will say you should read into what potency to look for in your products. When talking, for example, about retinol or hydraulic acid, not all products are created equally. Spending more for the good stuff goes a long way. Spending little on the bad stuff is truly a waste of money.
Refresh your loungewear
Even the clothes you wear at home—where nobody really sees you—matter. Stop wearing those super old sweat pants with the holes in them. The way you feel at home influences the way you feel out of the home. Refresh your loungewear. You know it’s time.