Chalk it up to the stress-fest generation. Because while a whopping 98 percent of Americans have heard of the word self care, only 40 percent of us feel like we the have time to dedicate a couple minutes to ourselves.
I, too, am guilty of hurrying through my mornings, often overlooking breakfast or solo time, to then again hurry to work. And before I know it, I feel as if I haven't spent a single second on just me. But, after looking through the cold hard facts in this study—and Birchbox's resulting self-care manifesto—it sparked some inspiration. Why not at least try to find small windows of intention each day?
So that's exactly what I did. I signed up for my first Birchbox subscription (after all the motivation the manifesto instilled in me), received my personalized beauty samples that arrived in *the* cutest, most colorful box ever, then set out on my self-care quest.
Keep scrolling to see how to self care for real and start maximizing your you-time.
What I didn't realize before taking a look at all my self-love habits is that I already do participate in self care—I just wasn't aware that I could find a moment of calm from them.
Things I normally do like reading on the subway on the way to work, going to the park on Saturday mornings to drink my coffee and eat my everything bagel, and even clocking in some quality time with my Gilmore Girls all count—I just needed to be more cognizant of it all.
Even the You-Time study agrees with me. Most Americans (63 percent, to be precise) appreciate alone time, and 53 percent of people appreciate doing something for themselves every day. But the study also goes on to show that only 40 percent of these people feel like they have time to dedicate to themselves. Who else is ready to rethink that?
As my week of focusing on me progressed, I began to notice that I have even more me-time than I initially realized, and I made it a point to get something out of those small slivers of the day.
That meant when I woke up for work, I didn't just breeze through my beauty routine. Instead, I threw on the Acure Incredibly Clear Sheet Mask that I got in my Birchbox while I looked through my emails. I was still doing work, but that didn't stop me from shifting the focus to myself as well.
Once I got home from work, I didn't get right to meal-prepping for the next day or hanging clothes back up that I threw on the floor (all things I did get to later, don't worry). I decided to cleanse and exfoliate my face (exfoliating is something I never do!) with the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, and then massaged on the Murad Retinol Serum. Since I had these new samples to try, my Birchbox delivery inspired me to take a moment for a mini facial.
My usual morning routine is spent rushing around trying to assemble myself before I run out the door. I rub on moisturizer, dab concealer under my eyes, and finish off my work look with a couple swipes of mascara. Pretty simple overall.
But prior to my self-imposed self-care challenge, I never felt anything from this process—until now (dun dun dun). Rather than jumping right into it, I paused, took a deep breath, and gave myself an internal "you're awesome" before starting my routine with a new primer from my Birchbox.
Lastly, I took a moment (before my usual sprint) to cook up some eggs for breakfast, sip coffee, and bask in the glory of finally dedicating time that I had been overlooking on caring for myself—and felt bomb while doing it.
Looking back at my week, I realized that self care doesn't have to be something I pencil additional time into my schedule for—it's something I innately do and just need to recognize. Plus, now that I do have a subscription to Birchbox, it'll serve as a monthly reminder to take advantage and appreciate those blissful moments of me-time.
Want your own monthly box of you-time? Click here for $5 off your first Birchbox.
In partnership with Birchbox
Top photo: Birchbox
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