It’s no secret the last year has been — to put it mildly — harder than most. Having just had my first baby last February, I envisioned that wondrous 8-week maternity leave full of slow-paced days and baby snuggles, complete with family and close friends eager to lend a hand to our new son. But when the pandemic struck and meal trains turned to Postmates and drop-ins to FaceTime, my husband and I quickly found ourselves taking turns squeezing in drops of self-care in the sparse moments those new days of parenthood allow.
As part-owner of a small-business that touts self-care, I suddenly found myself practicing very little of it. I had to consciously carve out moments to myself — moments that didn’t include work or housework (!). Take comfort in knowing there are ways to squeeze slivers of self-care out of your daily lives and don’t underestimate the importance of doing so for your well-being! Before I share some of my personal self-care practices, I want to say this: if there’s anything this last year has taught me, it is to allow yourself space — space to indulge, space to make mistakes and space to learn.
- After Archie and I wake up, I cherish the steady ritual of making a cup of coffee in the still of the morning. It remains one of my most cherished ways to slow down and tune in before diving into the day. For added benefits, I mix in a scoop of Tocos powder, an incredible superfood that promotes the removal of toxins from the body and supports healthy skin with an abundance of vitamin E. I put on a playlist for Archie while I take some time to knock out emails and process orders. Then I make breakfast; some days it’s the healthiest darn meal you’ve ever seen, some days it’s Eggos, and that’s ok!
- When it comes to my skincare, I’ve always practiced a “less-is-more” routine. Luckily, all the products we create at Solare take this same approach, and this face oil has saved my postpartum/pandemic/mom skin! I gently cleanse both morning and night with a warm washcloth and pat a few drops of the Signature Oil into my face and neck. Another favorite skincare ritual is dry-brushing! I promise it’s not as daunting (or uncomfortable) as it may sound. I try to dry-brush daily; it’s a surefire way to instantly awaken my body and is especially helpful on days when the weather’s not ideal and we can’t get out and move our bodies! I usually dry brush before I take a shower, starting at the extremities and moving the brush inward making small circles across my skin until I reach my heart — think of it as working outward in. I use this brush for my body and this brush on my face.
- Getting outside has become easily the most attainable and effective form of self-care for me this year. I am fortunate to be able to work from home and stay home with Archie, but being home all the time (especially during a pandemic) can start to become monotonous and isolating. Going for walks at our favorite parks is one of the quickest ways to improve my clarity. Bonus points if you can talk on the phone with a loved one or socially-distant walk alongside a friend!
Okay, making coffee and going for walks may sound superfluous, but I’m telling you, devoting small moments to yourself when you can will make a world of difference. As a woman in the throes of postpartum-hood, my moments are relatively small, but if you have time to take bigger moments like getting your hair done at Salt & Water or a massage at Udånder, by all means, do it! And don’t let up on the balance aspect — eat the Oreos, watch the Bravo TV shows — it all adds up to you taking time for yourself, and there’s little more important than that!
Blakely Hiner-Riley has lived in Oklahoma City for six years with her husband Trent and their
11-month-old son Archie. She is part-owner of Solare, where they create organic, multi-functional skincare and clean-burning candles. Follow her @blakelyhi and @solare_shop. You can also shop Solare online with free OKC metro delivery at www.solare-shop.com.
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