Our Self-Care Sunday Routine
The term “self-care” was originally coined by African-American feminist writer Audre Lorde in 1989, and it pertained to political self preservation. Nowadays, the term has been appropriated by the thriving wellness industry to market a slew of products, from face masks to jade rollers to quartz-infused water bottles (yes, that is a thing.) Though there is nothing wrong with indulging in a product or two, we wanted to share a product-free Self-Care Sunday routine that keeps the focus not on self-indulgence but on self-preservation.
1. Wake up at the same time you do everyday.
Though you may be tempted to sleep in on Sundays to “catch up on sleep,” this actually disrupts your circadian rhythm and creates a cycle similar to travel-induced jet lag. This means that if you wake up two hours later on Sunday, chances are, you will be going to bed two hours later on Sunday night, leading to a cascade of lost hours of sleep over the next week. According to a 2008 study by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a slew of health problems including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
2. Embrace stillness.
Whether this means meditating for 10 minutes or simply sitting still and looking out the window, Sunday mornings are an optimal time of week to indulge in stillness, with no commutes or deadlines looming over you. As we’ve shared in a previous post, embracing stillness is not only a relaxing practice but also helps you tap into your intuition – a much-needed tool for the week ahead.
3. Practice mindful eating.
Though weekday breakfasts tend to fall to the wayside (to-go bagels, anyone?), Sunday is the perfect day to reconnect with the joy of sitting down and enjoying a meal. According to a 2019 study by the Journal of Consumer Research, standing while eating – which many of us are guilty of doing during the week – requires your heart to pump faster to bring blood back up to your head and neck area, causing your body to produce cortisol, the stress hormone. It also leads to mindless eating or overeating. Practice mindful eating instead by sitting down, taking note of the colors, flavors and textures of your food and chewing it slowly.
4. Go outside.
We know we’ve brought this up before, but there’s a reason why – sunshine and greenery are naturally uplifting and according to some studies, improve short term memory by 20%. While it may be difficult to spend blocks of time outdoors during the week, Sundays are an ideal time to dedicate more than an hour to go outside and relax. Remember that you don’t have to be an avid hiker or athlete to enjoy time outdoors – some of our favorite outdoor activities are to people-watch at the park, read at the beach or take a stroll around your favorite neighborhood.
5. Engage your creativity.
Unless you’re in a creative field, it’s difficult to carve out time for creativity during the week. Why creativity, you ask? Reconnecting with your creativity helps nurture vital skills as an entrepreneur, like innovation and creative problem solving, but most importantly, it helps you become more comfortable with ambiguity. A 2010 IBM survey shows consensus: creativity was ranked as the number one factor for future business success, above management discipline, integrity, and even vision. Whether it’s creating content – like painting or writing – or consuming content – like listening to music or visiting a museum – take some time to tap into your creativity on your self-care day.
6. Prepare for the week ahead.
Whether that means meal-prepping, cleaning your apartment or reviewing your finances, preparing for the future is very much a self-care practice. Too often we leave self-care for after we’ve worked ourselves to the ground – which is akin to getting treatment for the flu. But what if we can prevent the flu altogether by taking preventative measures like washing our hands regularly and developing healthy sleeping and eating habits? Preparing for the week ahead is taking care of future you, which should naturally have a place in your self-care regimen.