• Vittoria Zerbini

Self Care Is Not Selfish - It’s Essential

Taking care of yourself is important!

Image source: Ira SwatiManish

Everyone who knows me can confidently say that I am the queen of self-care. No one takes it more seriously than me - I have cancelled plans because of self-care. Whenever I take time for myself, I never feel guilty about it. I know that I need this time to recharge before another day begins and, most importantly, I learn to love myself more.

I am an introvert, so since I was a kid, I’ve always needed alone time away from everything and everyone. When I was little, I used to grab a book and read for hours, immersing myself in those magical realms with fairies and pirates and monsters – I loved every second of it. But then I grew up and reading became a bit of a luxury as I had to prioritise university readings and essays and to be honest, I just couldn’t bring myself to read a book after spending the whole day at the library so I had to find new rituals for my self-care routine.

We live busy lives, even if we don’t see it now due to the many lockdowns. Life pre-COVID was hectic.

An Instagram post by Grazia India showing a delicious cup of coffee, perfect to start off a day of self-care.

Image source: Vittoria Zerbini

We used to hop from one lecture to another while also making time to get a coffee with our friends before getting ready for a night out. That kind of life rarely allowed us to be alone for long periods of time. Now, due to the pandemic, we’re on the opposite side of the spectrum. We’re basically spending our days alone inside our houses, but we’re clearly way more stressed than before. The workload has increased and not being able to leave the house has taken a huge toll on our mental health and the relationship we have with ourselves.

On top of all this, many of us feel guilty when we’re not being productive - myself included. I remember when I used to take a break from studying by watching Netflix and I’d just sit staring at the screen and glancing at the time, anxious to start work again but not really wanting to. I realised that to truly let go of the stress that builds up during the week, you need to plan your “me time” and romanticise the little things that make you feel good.

Image source: Vittoria Zerbini

For me those little things revolve around skincare, cleaning my room, exercising, and being in nature.

For example, my perfect Sunday consists of going to the gym followed by deep-cleaning my room, kitchen, and bathroom. I know it sounds boring but having a tidy space makes me see things more clearly and brings me to a mental space of peace and calm. After I clean everything, I go to take a steamy shower and use a hair mask. As soon as I get out, I reach for my hydrating face mask and eye patches and put them on. While waiting for the mask and patches to do their job, I moisturise my body and get dressed into freshly cleaned pyjamas.

I remove my face mask and eye patches and start with my night-time skincare routine – rosewater, eye cream, cannabis serum and hydrating serum. I light my candles and incense and wait for my sushi to arrive. Once it’s in my hands, I hop into bed to watch a comfort movie, usually Pirates of the Caribbean or a true-crime documentary.

The best moment comes when I finally get comfy in my clean sheets, with my candles burning, my sushi in my lap, and a good movie in front of me. I feel my heart settling a little deeper in my chest to finally rest and I’m happy.

Selfcare isn’t selfish. It’s essential.


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