Do you ever find yourself feeling more exhausted a year into a global pandemic than ever before? If so, you’re not alone.
In the past year, the number of people investing in sweatpants, face masks, and Headspace subscriptions skyrocketed. Amid a global pandemic and racial reckoning, people turned to self-care products and practices in search of rest from news headlines and remote work.
Self-care is rooted in activism and community well-being. Although it first originated as a medical practice in the 1960s, self-care soon became intertwined with the civil rights movement and the rise of the women’s movement. During this period, it was seen as a form of reclaiming body autonomy and finding rest amidst social conflict.
This intimate relationship between self-care and community wellness continues today. The practice of self-care saw a sharp increase following 9/11, as people endured collective trauma. In 2020, the self-care industry boomed to a USD 450 billion market as people sought comfort and rest amidst the global pandemic.
You don't have to buy another pair of sweatpants or a weighted blanket to practice self-care. At its core, self-care is about one thing: building community.
Despite what the word implies, self-care is also about building connections, caring for others, and community wellness. When we surround ourselves with people who care about one another’s mental and physical health, we recognize that we are far from alone.
At Mache, we believe in investing in our individual health and the wellness of others. From ergonomic furniture to carving out time for daily yoga, we have built a workspace that cares for the physical and mental health of our employees.
We partner with influencers and work with ambassadors who share similar core values. Through our collective work, we are building a global community of individuals who encourage both physical and emotional well-being.
Improving physical and emotional wellness is a journey that requires consistent work. Sometimes it can be difficult to step back from answering emails to practice yoga or reach out to friends you haven’t spoken to in months. It’s important to reflect on our priorities and become aware of the emotions, which each action creates. How much joy do you get from a cup of coffee vs a 5 minute meditation? Actively engaging only in activities that provide value creates positive energy that radiates to everyone around us including our friends, families, and colleagues.
Don’t know where to start?
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when starting to invest in self-care and the wellness of others!
It will look different for everyone.
It can be easy to feel like self-care equals meditation, yoga, or self-help books. In reality, there is no one singular way to practice self-care. Maybe you prefer to walk outdoors and reconnect with the natural world, or maybe it’s carving out time for afternoon tea while reading a book. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for self-care. Avoid comparing your self-care routines and habits to those around you or on social media.
Find what works for you
Searching for a way to practice self-care may require some trial and error. Meditation isn't everyone's cup of tea, but maybe a cup of tea could be your trigger to relax and unwind after a long day. If you’re not sure where to start, research methods and techniques. Start trying them out to see what feels right for you and what isn't the right fit.
Mesh self-care into your daily life
Did you know that according to research, 40% of our daily actions are habits? To incorporate self-care into our lives for the long term we need to find ways to do it without consciously thinking about it. Habits are made by following three simple steps including cue, routine and reward before finally becoming powered by a craving.
Creating a habit takes work and consistency. This can be as simple as calling friends and family while walking the dog, getting on the yoga mat after your last work call, or writing in your journal before going to bed. Try to use a motivating reward system to incorporate these healthy habits into your life. Maybe you have a relaxing shower and face mask after practicing yoga or enjoy a sweet tea after reading. When we associate happiness with our self-care routines, we’re more likely to stick to them and convert them into a habit we crave.
Have your surroundings reflect your self-care
Design your home spaces to reflect your individual self-care needs. Do plants inspire you and help ground you? Invest in some native plants and learn how to take care of them. Does organization help to make you feel calm and focused? Invest in home organization ideas or eco-friendly products like Mache’s Homi yoga tube to organize and store your yoga mat and blocks in an inspiring design. The way we feel often mirrors the way our space looks and vice versa, take the time to organize and design your space to reflect the way you want to feel.
Find or build a like-minded community
Humans crave a sense of belonging and community. Finding or building your community of people with similar values around wellness will only strengthen your self-care practice. Need ideas to build community in a virtual setting?
- Try a virtual yoga class with friends
- Join a digital book club to discuss topics and ideas that matter to you
- Engage with an online wellness community, like Ethel’s Club or Yoga with Adriene Find What Feels Good Community
Being around a community will give you new ideas, new perspectives, and a new way to see the world. You can discover routines and habits that enhance your wellness and quality of life.
When we make self-care part of our daily routine, we find greater focus and fulfillment in our work and relationships. Building these habits may be difficult, so try to engage your friends, families, and colleagues to go on this journey with you. At Mache, we strive to build wellness into our daily schedule allowing us to foster a culture that prioritizes self-care and promotes community wellness.