Self-Care: Why, and More Importantly, How

Self-care. Hygge. Treat Yo Self. aka Quinstance. How many times have you heard "you can't take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first"? There's been a huge upswing in the media urging people — mostly women, let's be honest — to take time for themselves. Maybe you even made a New Year's resolution to do so.

We know we need to. The "why" is the easy part. Slowing down and doing something nice for yourself sounds luxurious. But that's exactly the problem: it sounds like a luxury, something extra, something you can't actually attain.

That's where we come in. Last week I was at The Herrington Inn & Spa for a conference with my independent retail buddies. It was work, yes: two intensive days of brainstorming on how to build a better store and a better customer experience. But the Herrington is known for its baths: every room has a whirlpool bath, and the spa will deliver a bath basket to the room upon request. So I did the unthinkable: I took time for me.

It was absolutely glorious: 20 minutes to myself, and the Herrington provided a handy sheet to walk me through the order of using the products they provided. But maybe the most important thing I realized was that I needed those 20 minutes. I slept better. I felt happier and more relaxed. I felt rounded at the end of the day: I had worked hard, but I had also taken some time for myself. 

I also realized I can absolutely do this at home. In fact, I just got back on Wednesday, and I've already taken a bath once. 20 minutes! It's really not that long. And we're here to help; remember that a "quinstance" is something that "makes you happy every time you use it, put it on or look at it." That is some self-care right there!

Erin's Recipe for a 20-Minute Bath

1. Start with the Cottage Greenhouse's bubble bath. I just started using the Japanese plum and white tea, and it's amazing. It's light and not too bubbly. It's an excellent base for your bath. 

2. Pour in one of Rinse Bath & Body Co.'s salt soaks. These are incredibly gentle and just turn your bath into a light epsom salt soak. There are several scents, including lavender, the traditional soothing scent, but choose one that works for you.

3. Just soak and relax for about five minutes. Listen to the faucet drip. Close your eyes. Then, on to the next step:


4. Scrub after your soak to slough off dead skin. It's amazing how the roughness of a sugar scrub actually makes your skin softer and smoother. I like Spinster Sisters' Gardenia sugar scrub, but again, pick a scent that works for you. We carry neutrals like Oats & Honey and Pure & Simple if you don't want to layer scent over scent. 

5. Just sit again. Soak. You've got another five minutes. Really.




6. Step out carefully, dry off, and then apply a good lotion. Walton Wood Farm makes a nice, whipped one with shea butter. Lots of scents, but there's actually one called "Me Time," which rounds out your evening well.


That's it! That's the magic formula! I know as well as anyone that finding the time to take care of yourself isn't easy. And I resist the notion that I have to find time for myself first, too. But those 20 minutes really do make a difference. Find those 20 minutes.