Putting on a face mask might seem tedious—there is a fair amount of waiting patiently while it dries—but it can be transformed into an act of self-care. It takes only a minute to apply it but you have to give it time to do its wonders. What can you do while using a face mask to make the most of the me-time you’ve earned? Here are a few things you can try for those precious 20 minutes of undisturbed time:
Meditate or Focus on Your Breath
As you wait, embrace this opportunity to step into your own sanctuary, even if just for a while. In this quietude, let gratitude bloom – for the time you gift yourself, for the care you shower upon your skin, for the recognition that you, too, deserve these moments of blissful slowness. One proven mindfulness technique, that has been practiced for centuries in India and now across the world, is the simple act of focusing on our breath: Pranayama. The other recommended technique is following a guided meditation led by an expert practitioner. Both these methods will help you soothe your nervous system, reduce anxiety, and feel grounded.
Pro tip: Don’t worry if you can’t seem to focus for the first few minutes. Let the thoughts flow and take their own shape while you feel the power of the deep breaths.
Catch Up on Your Reading
“That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet” said Jhumpa Lahiri in her novel The Namesake. Reading opens up realms of creativity and makes you feel a myriad of emotions. Studies have also found that reading regularly helps strengthen cognitive abilities, improves mood, and leads to better sleep. Every book you read is a unique experience that helps you grow in different ways. If you are out of touch with reading, start slow. Take up a goal of 10 pages a day so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Pro tip: Pick a genre that you love. You can even explore short stories so that you don’t have to stop at a cliffhanger.
Journal your Thoughts
Journaling is a great way to put all your thoughts onto the page. You don’t have to make sense, just start and the words will come. You can even try a guided journal if you need prompts. It is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety. It compels you to slow down and acknowledge whatever emotions you are feeling.
Pro tip: While it is okay to use the notes app on your phone, putting the pen on paper can feel more therapeutic, as well as helping to reduce your screen time.
Organise your Space
There is something about clean surroundings that sparks joy. While the thought of organising and cleaning a space might feel overwhelming, actually getting it done can be a reward for your future self. The rhythm of decluttering can make you feel in charge of the space. Be it decluttering your wardrobe, the kitchen, or simply your digital files —it will most definitely help you feel zen.
Pro tip: Take one small area at a time. You don’t have to clean everything all at once. Organising your work desk is a good place to start.
Make yourself a Nourishing Drink
Few things come close to the happiness your favourite drink brings you. A comfort drink can be anything from tea to coffee to fresh, antioxidant-rich vegetable juice. When the face mask is taking care of your skin, you should sip something super nutritious to show your body some more love. You can make yourself a glass of turmeric milk or check what veggies you've been avoiding all week and blend them into green juice.
Pro tip: Take small sips and relish your drink. You will feel refreshed once you finish the drink and wash off the face mask.
These seemingly small tasks can have a huge impact on your body and mind. Self-care does not have to be elaborate rituals, it has more to do with what makes you feel grounded. Combining your skincare routine with simple and nourishing self-care rituals can make applying a face mask into an act you will look forward.