Self Care Sunday - Slowing Down the Rush

Self Care Sunday! I wanted to do a little post on this to share some products I love with you, but most of all to share something that has been on my heart recently:

Taking the time to slow life down in seasons of busyness.

December is busy. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years finds us running from gatherings with friends and family to community events with our children, to all the winter fun like skating, cookie decorating, choosing a tree, finding gifts for loved ones. These are all good things to be busy with, but we are undoubtedly busy and many of us feel the strain.

For me, whenever there are seasons like this, it is important to be sure to set aside time for self care. For some that may look like a girl's night out or mani's and pedi's... for me, an introvert, it is much quieter. Time at home with books and coffee, a long bath, even a walk to the mailbox without any children trailing behind can be a tiny moment of refreshment.

Prioritizing prayer is also especially important in this season. We meet so many faces this time of year, both familiar and new to us. They all have needs and hopes and desires and it is our job not only to pray for our own strength and family's needs, but for those of the people that we meet and serve in our daily lives. That family next to you at the restaurant. That father bringing two kids on his own to church every week. That lady who seems to have it all together. Pray for them all, and for those who are hurting this time of year because I see you, and I know you are many.

I know many of you are giving extra to others this time of year. We give to our children in helping them make joyful memories and delicious meals. We give to our community when we visit or serve those who are lonely or in need. We give to family, friends, and neighbors when we take time with them and kindle the relationships with those who are dear to us. We do all these things, and we must also take time to nourish ourselves. 

So whether it is a moment alone, an evening away, or an extra pot of hearty broth that sustains you this time of year, be sure you are doing SOMETHING for you. Do not compare your self care with that of others, because different people have different needs and abilities. Think about what you need. Where you can sacrifice, and where you need strength.

Anyways, phew, on to the products, because that was a lot. These are five items that I have really been enjoying recently that I wanted to share with you in case you need some beauty recommendations.

1. Best Daily Winter Hand Cream for Women:

Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. I know that some of you aren't in love with the Aveeno brand, but their hand cream keeps my hands so soft in the winter and works for 24 hours straight. If I remember to apply it at night, it keeps my hands from cracking and bleeding and works better than just about anything else I've tried (and I've tried many). 

The only thing that I found that worked as well was a very pricey Kiehls lotion, which was fantastic, but not in my budget. A large pump bottle of this is under $10, and lasts me the entire winter, if not longer.

2. Texturizing Spray

This Oribe texturizing spray is definitely not a budget friendly item at $22 / 2.2 oz, which makes me sad, because it works SO well. I got a sample of it in an IPSY bag, and it has been one of my favorite hair products since. My hair tends to be really flat and not hold any curl or style, and this spray helps make it look like the fluffy southern girl hair of my dreams. It also helps hold a curl, and looks just as great the second day as the first. It doesn't make my hair greasy or gritty or weird. It's good stuff y'all.

3. Winter Hand Salve for Men (or whoever)

My grandma used to keep this bag balm by her kitchen sink, and it is great stuff. You can probably find some at your local pharmacy, at least that is where I buy mine. It would make a great stocking stuffer for a man because they aren't likely to be buying hand salve, even if their winter hands really need it. Highly recommended.

4. Face wash / cleanser

I thought I had tried it all. Aveeno, Cerave, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, St. Ive's, regular plain old soap... but nothing compares to this K-Beauty face wash which is basically magical. It makes my pores look smaller, soothes my skin, leaves it feeling ahhh-mazing... and it isn't expensive either! I wish I had found this product 10 years ago. It even smells good.

and lastly...

5. Hair protectant spray

I am not a girl who uses a lot of products in my hair. I don't have a favorite hairspray (help? send ideas on one?) nor do I use product every day or even every week. This protectant spray though has been a gem, because it does what it says. One of the reasons I don't use products or heat on my hair every day is because I want it to retain it's natural shiny healthiness, and I worry that if I do it will damage my hair. 

This 12 Benefits Hair Protectant is a spray that I use if I'm going to curl or blow dry my hair, or if I'm going to go outside on a particularly nasty day where I just want my hair to have an extra layer of protection, especially in winter. It works great, and I really notice the difference in how soft my hair feels when I use this versus when I do not and my hair gets beat up by the elements a bit.