Self-Care in a Small Space (No Dry Shampoo Required)

What is Self-Care?

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

What it is is not is going out, buying a whole bunch of candles and other expensive things touting themselves as “Self-Care”.

Why is Self-Care Important?

Because Stress can kill you.

Stress will kill you if you let it.

Go on, do that Google Search. I’ll wait. While you’re inundated with studies and other blogs and clickbait about Stress is the ultimate killer, I’ll quietly disagree, but agree that Stress if you let it run rampant, it will absolutely kill you.

How the Blazes do I pull it off in a Studio?

Carefully! First, let’s talk about how I approach my own version of Self-Care, which primarily isolation. I’m an introverted person who has some mental rewirings so people can be my biggest drain. So I remove myself from the chaos that is other people and the battery that helps me deal with people already begins to refill by just being alone.

If I’m irritated or angry for whatever reason, I force myself to stop and figure out why I’m angry. Have I eaten? Am I hydrated? Am I cramping and going through a cocktail of hormones that will make me want to strangle the next person who tells me I’m wrong?

My studio was my opportunity to surround myself with beautiful things, which provide me pleasure whenever I see something glittery. I use light to help my mood:

  • Flicking LED candles to provide ambiance if I’m taking a bath.
  • A silly unicorn light to help provide a bit more light in the bathroom so I can turn the main lights off.

I’m a fan of baths to help me put myself back together. Epsom salts in the water to soothe upset muscles from walking everywhere, temperature not too hot so my angry feet don’t take it out on me, and a good dry oil to slather on once I’m out of the bath that appeases both my skin and my nose.

And then my bed has hugs. Sheets that feel nice against my skin, blankets that are just warm enough without helping me overheat, and so many pillows to snuggle against.

I might light a candle. The studio is small, so one good scented candle is enough to spread through the entire apartment (consequently cooking smells spread too). More LED candles line the wall near the bed to keep the lights low.

But mainly I created my space in a way to help me put myself back together from those days where things just did NOT go right. So when I do get angry, I can look around my space, breathe, and recenter.

And if all else fails, I’ll walk into my kitchen and take a spin around the pole. Sore quads can be surprisingly centering.