Rituals and Social Media
Thanks to Instagram, the words “self-care” and “ritual” have become slightly pretentious. I’ve seen one too many snapshots of baths filled with flashy pink salts, or videos with bath bombs coincidentally exploding just as the camera hits them, captioned “NiGhTlY RiTuAL” or “Me TiMe!”. As someone who is trying to build a brand on Instagram, trust me, I get it – but I also know that these harmless IG Stories can end up having a pretty negative effect on other people. When I see these Stories, I find myself thinking:
1. How does this person have the time to do this AND take a picture?
2. Should I be taking a bath? I don’t really want to.
These “wellness” social media pictures can really start to mess with your brain and make you question if you’re partaking in enough “self-care activities”. Which is absurd.
My self-Care Rituals
Luckily for me, though, I’ve been able to develop my own self-care rituals kind of on accident and 100% painlessly! So, I don’t need to succumb to that fancy bath. 😉
My obsession with skincare has more or less forced me against my will to perform a morning and nightly self-care ritual, as I refuse to start and end my day without performing my 10-step skincare routine (for vain reasons, wink). Of course, when I began taking care of my skin like this, I didn’t realize I was signing up for any kind of wellness ritual. But, that’s basically what it’s turned into, and I can honestly say there is something so calming and satisfying about having one act to go back to each day – especially now that I am freelancing and am always on a different schedule (more on that here).
When I was working a 9-to-5 in San Francisco, on the weekends, my morning self-care ritual would consist of waking up, laying in bed for an hour or two and listening to a podcast with my eyes closed (and probably definitely falling in and out of sleep), and then getting up to work out. I liked to consistently work out at the same studio on the weekends (shoutout Uforia Studios in Nob Hill) because it was a decently long walk from my apartment, and the walk helped me to feel energized and alive, which was also great as it meant I was less likely to scare the ladies at the front desk of the workout studio with my tired/negative energy and zombie eyes. Again, this definitely didn’t start out as a self-care ritual; but slowly, over time, my body began to crave this “podcast-walk-Uforia” weekend routine.
What Should My self-Care Ritual Be?
Now that I’ve written a novel about my own self-care ritual, you’re probably wondering what yours should be. Obviously I can’t tell you exactly what it should be since IDK you, but I want to throw out a few ideas:
- Have a crazy boss you’re dealing with? Come up with a calming mantra to say to yourself in the mornings before work, whenever you’re dealing with him/her, or even Sunday nights before the week starts. And practice some calming breathing while you’re at it!
- After work, take 10-15 minutes to stretch. Your body will thank you and it will totally calm you down from whatever you were dealing with from the day.
- Instead of scrolling through IG in the mornings (am I projecting…) take 5 minutes to write in a journal. It can be anything you want – what you’re grateful for, something funny that happened to you yesterday – anything! You’ll loveeee looking back at it in the future.
- Find an audiobook you love and listen to that for 10 minutes every night before you go to bed instead of watching TV.
See?! Self-care rituals don’t have to involve skincare or wellness products. I hope those sparked some ideas.
SpaRitual Founder Shel Pink
This idea of your body craving a consistent self-care ritual is exactly what SpaRitual founder Shel Pink was trying to promote during her Q&A with Didi Gluck (founder of @theplumonline) at The Detox Market in Soho, Manhattan last night.
Shel explained that each night, she’ll give herself a body massage with the SpaRitual body salve. (I was using this stuff prior to the event and can confidently say it’s amazing and you need to buy it, especially if you have dry elbows, which if you are a normal human, you do – another wink). SpaRitual is “a sustainable, vegan beauty brand based on the rituals of self-care.” It’s one of the OG clean beauty brands – they’ve been around for 15 years. Clean beauty is really only beginning to take off, so to think that someone developed a vegan beauty brand over one decade ago is kind of crazy to think about. I’m not sure I’d even heard any of my friends use the word “self-care” until about 2 years ago! So SpaRitual is certainly a pioneer in the industry.
Back to self-care rituals: though Shel did radiate one of the most zen, calm, cool and collected vibes I’ve ever come across, she also mentioned that she has 2 kids and (obviously) runs a business. Further proving that there really is something to this “ritual” idea! Anyone can have a self-care ritual, no matter how busy their life may be. Having a self-care ritual will help alleviate your stress despite the feeling that it’s actually piling onto your to-do list. And honestly, it’s kinda really fun.
I sincerely can’t believe I just used the word “self-care ritual” that many times in a blog post when prior to last night, I think I had done everything in my power to avoid it (in an effort to NOT be a pretentious social media person, though I think that ship might have already sailed for other reasons…). Either way, here I am, totally turned and professing love for my own rituals that I previously didn’t even know I had!
Now go and purchase the SpaRitual products linked above and create your own self-care ritual – it’ll be fun!!!