Pamper Yourself: Cozy Self Care In Four Easy Steps
by Esme Addison
As a cozy mystery author, I’ve spent years writing about the art of living a small town cozy life, surrounded by books, candles, and warm blankets. And along the way, I’ve discovered the power of cozy self-care, the practice of nurturing yourself in a comfortable, relaxing, and cozy way. In this article, I’m going to share my best tips for creating a practice of cozy self-care, and explain why it’s so important to your emotional and mental well-being.
Table of Contents
What is Self-Care?
Let’s start with the basics. Self-care is the practice of taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. It’s a way to prioritize your own needs, to recharge your batteries, and to maintain your well-being. Self-care can take many forms, from eating a healthy diet to exercising regularly to taking time off work. It’s a way to show yourself love and compassion, and to recognize that your needs matter.
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What is Cozy?
Now, let’s talk about cozy. Cozy is a feeling of warmth, comfort, and contentment. It’s the feeling you get when you curl up with a good book on a rainy day, or when you sip a hot cup of tea by the fire. Cozy is about creating an environment that feels safe, inviting, and relaxing. It’s about surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy and comfort, whether it’s a soft blanket or a scented candle.
Why Combine Cozy and Self-Care?
So, why combine cozy and self-care? Let’s call it the peanut butter and jelly principle. Take two things that are amazing by themselves, blend them together and you get something altogether new and utterly amazing. What you’ve got is a new thing you probably didn’t even know you wanted or needed.
Cozy self-care is a way to take care of yourself in a way that feels good. It’s about creating a relaxing environment that supports your physical and mental well-being. When you combine cozy and self-care, you create a practice that is nurturing, comforting, and enjoyable.
Studies have shown that creating a cozy environment can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. For example, a study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people who worked in a clean and organized environment were more likely to make healthy food choices and less likely to snack on junk food. This is because our environment can influence our behavior, and a cozy environment can create a sense of order and comfort that supports healthy habits.
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Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that exposure to nature can improve mental well-being. Participants in the study who spent time in a natural setting reported lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to those who spent time in an urban setting. This is why spending time in nature is often recommended as a form of self-care.
Additionally, research has shown that certain cozy activities can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. For example, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who practiced gratitude regularly had higher levels of well-being and lower levels of depression. And another study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that practicing mindfulness meditation can improve immune function and reduce stress.
Creating a practice of cozy self-care is a way to tap into the benefits of both cozy environments and self-care practices. When we create a cozy environment and engage in cozy self-care activities, we’re creating a space that supports our physical and mental well-being. By taking time for ourselves, we’re reducing stress, improving sleep, and boosting our overall sense of well-being.
Creating Cozy Self Care Rituals
I have a practice of cozy self-care built into my day. For example, every morning I have two cups of coffee while sitting on my bed (made up for the day), with my back against a cloud of soft fluffy pillows and a pretty, soft fuzzy blanket across my legs. I wish I could say I was device-free in these moments but I’m usually writing on my laptop during this time.
At night, I finish my day by taking a hot bath filled with epsom salts, scented bubble bath and essential salts. My baths are always lavish affairs, very indulgent times in which I usually read. I have an app that I’ve used for years that reminds me to meditate daily (sometimes around lunch time, and sometimes before bed), and I try to squeeze in a round of lunchtime yoga to mitigate mental burnout and tight shoulders and back. (I write a lot)
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Now, in between that I am super busy, being a mother, running a business and writing for Due South and my books but it’s bookended by cozy self-care which I really need. I also get lots of fresh air and sunshine by walking my dog several times a day – that also helps clear my mind and keep me connected with nature.
Anything else, I have to mindfully plan for: like journaling, drawing or crafting? These are all things I aspire to do more of, but if I don’t make a goal of doing it… it doesn’t happen.
You may be wondering how do you create a practice of cozy self-care? It begins with three steps: first you prioritize yourself and well-being, second you schedule yourself some me time and lastly you select a cozy self-care activity.
Four Steps For Cozy Self Care
1. Prioritize Yourself
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We often put the needs of others before our own and neglect our own self-care. However, it’s crucial to take some time out of our busy schedules to focus on ourselves and recharge our batteries. This is where me time comes in. Me time is a term used to describe any activity that allows you to focus on yourself and your needs, without any distractions or interruptions.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours at a spa or take a week-long vacation to incorporate me time into your busy lifestyle. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can create a cozy self-care routine that fits into your daily routine. Here are four suggestions to get you started.
Schedule Me Time
The first step to incorporating “me time” into your busy lifestyle is to schedule it into your calendar. Just like you would schedule a meeting or an appointment, make time for yourself. Block off an hour or two in your calendar each week to do something that you enjoy. This could be anything from reading a book to taking a bubble bath. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that you find relaxing and enjoyable.
Mindfulness is a technique that can help you stay present and focused in the moment. It’s a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall well-being. You can practice mindfulness in many different ways, such as meditation, yoga, or simply taking a walk in nature. When you’re practicing mindfulness, make sure to focus on your breath and let go of any distracting thoughts. This will help you feel more relaxed and centered.
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Find Joy in Simple Pleasures
Incorporating me time into your busy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that can bring us the most joy. Take a few minutes each day to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or to savor a piece of chocolate. These small moments of pleasure can help us feel more grounded and connected to ourselves.
Disconnect from Technology
Technology can be a great tool, but it can also be a source of stress and distraction. To truly unwind and recharge, it’s important to disconnect from technology for a little while each day. This could mean turning off your phone during dinner or taking a break from social media. By disconnecting from technology, you’ll have more time and space to focus on yourself and your needs.
Once you’ve made time for yourself, it’s time to set the stage for some cozy me time.
2. Create A Cozy Environment
Creating a cozy environment is key to practicing cozy self care. When our surroundings feel warm, comfortable, and inviting, it’s easier to relax and let go of stress. But what exactly does it mean to create a cozy environment, and how can we do it in a way that supports our well-being? Here are some tips:
- Choose warm, soft lighting: Lighting can have a huge impact on the mood of a space. Instead of harsh overhead lighting, opt for soft, warm lighting from lamps, candles, or string lights. This creates a soothing atmosphere that promotes relaxation.
- Incorporate comfortable seating: Whether it’s a plush armchair, a soft floor cushion, or a cozy bed, having comfortable seating is essential to creating a cozy environment. This encourages us to slow down, relax, and take time for ourselves.
- Use soft textures: Soft textures like plush blankets, fuzzy pillows, and comfortable rugs create a sense of warmth and comfort. They also help absorb sound, which can make a space feel more peaceful and inviting.
- Add natural elements: Bringing in natural elements like plants, wood accents, or stone can help create a connection to the outdoors and promote a sense of calm. This is why nature is often incorporated into cozy environments.
- Use comforting scents: Aromatherapy can have a powerful impact on our mood and well-being. Consider incorporating essential oils, candles, or incense with scents like lavender, vanilla, or citrus to create a calming and inviting atmosphere.
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3. Select A Cozy Activity
Next, choose cozy self-care activities that you enjoy. This might include taking a long bath, reading a book, watching a movie, or spending time in nature. The key is to choose activities that feel good to you and that help you relax and unwind. And don’t forget to schedule me time into your calendar. Make it a priority to take care of yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
Here are some cozy self-care activities to consider:
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- Taking a bath: A warm bath can help you relax and soothe sore muscles.
- Reading a book: Reading can reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
- Drinking tea: Drinking calming tea in a cozy environment can help you feel calm and reduce anxiety.
- Watching a movie: Watching a movie can be a great way to escape and unwind. Look for movies described as heart-warming, feel-good and family-friendly
- Spending time in nature: Being in nature can reduce stress and improve mental health. Keep your time in nature device-free
- Writing in a journal: Journaling can help you process your thoughts and emotions.
- Snuggling under a blanket: Snuggling under a soft blanket can help you feel cozy and relaxed.
- Listening to music: Listening to music can reduce stress and improve mood.
- Taking a walk: Going for a walk can boost your energy and improve mental clarity. make your walks device-free unless you’re listening to a walking-meditation
- Practicing yoga: Yoga can help reduce stress, improve flexibility, and boost mood.
- Cooking a comforting meal: Cooking a meal you enjoy can be a soothing and satisfying activity.
- Having a cozy night in: Spending a night in, cuddled up with a loved one or a pet, can be a comforting and relaxing way to unwind.
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4. Create A Cozy Self Care Practice
I have found that creating a practice of cozy living self care is essential to maintaining balance and overall wellbeing. While it can be easy to prioritize the demands of work, family, and other obligations, taking time for yourself and intentionally engaging in self care can have profound benefits for both physical and mental health.
Here’s five tips for for creating a sustainable practice of cozy living self care.
- Start small – Creating a practice of cozy living self care does not have to be a major undertaking. In fact, starting small can often be the most effective way to build momentum and make self care a regular part of your routine. Begin by identifying one or two self care activities that you truly enjoy and that can be easily incorporated into your day. This might include things like taking a warm bath, drinking a cup of tea, or practicing deep breathing exercises.
- Create a routine – Incorporating self care into your routine can help make it a habit. Consider setting aside a specific time each day for your self care practice. This might mean waking up a few minutes earlier in the morning to meditate or doing a quick yoga sequence before bed each night. Whatever you choose, aim to make it a consistent part of your daily routine.
- Be intentional – It can be tempting to multitask while engaging in self care activities, but this can actually detract from the benefits. Instead, focus on being fully present and intentional with your self care practice. This might mean turning off your phone or computer, finding a quiet space, and really allowing yourself to fully engage in the activity at hand.
- Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness can be a powerful tool in building a practice of cozy living self care. By focusing on the present moment and being fully engaged in the activity at hand, you can enhance feelings of relaxation and reduce stress. Consider incorporating mindfulness into your self care routine by practicing mindful breathing, body scans, or even simply taking a few moments to appreciate the present moment.
- Embrace imperfection – Remember, building a practice of cozy living self care is not about being perfect or doing everything “right.” Instead, it’s about finding what works for you and making self care a regular part of your routine. Embrace imperfection, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day or don’t engage in self care as consistently as you’d like. The key is to keep going and make self care a priority in your life.
By following these tips and creating a sustainable practice of cozy living self care, you can enhance your overall well being, reduce stress, and find greater balance in your daily life. Remember to be kind to yourself, start small, and focus on building a routine that works for you. With time and practice, self care can become an inherent and fulfilling part of your day.
Creating a practice of cozy self-care is a powerful way to prioritize your own needs and take care of your physical and mental well-being. By creating a cozy environment and engaging in cozy self care activities, you can reduce stress, improve mood,
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