There’s been a huge self care movement over the last couple of years that has taught us that taking care of ourselves is actually not selfish, it’s a necessity. As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup!” Self care comes in all shapes and sizes and we’re sharing what we do to help keep our cups full.
Alaina • Co-Founder & Creative Director of Bijou
As an entrepreneur, my work days don’t really span the typically 9-5, M-F, it’s really more of an all the time, whenever it needs it, type of schedule. I actually love this because I am super passionate about my business, but it does mean I have to set up boundaries for myself when it’s time for me to turn it all off for a bit. For me, this is going to the gym and lifting weights. For 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week, I turn off all alerts and focus on achieving goals I’ve set for myself, set to an immaculately curated playlist of Britney Spears, Carly Rae Jepsen etc. It allows me to be completely present with myself, with nothing but my own inner voice and deep thumping beats of Twister Remixes to motivate me. Nothing has filled my self care cup more than the mental and physical high I get from picking up heavy things and putting them down, several times in a row. The progress is slow, but staying consistent will pay off in the end. It makes me feel powerful and like I can do anything and everything. It also makes me feel extremely sore, which is why the second part of my ritual involves a deep, intimate relationship with my beloved heating pad, in bed. Most times I pair this with Halo Top strawberry ice cream and Bravo’s nightly lineup. If it’s an off night for Bravo, Murder She Wrote it is. Overall, I feel like my lifestyle is all about investing in my future – physically, mentally, emotionally and professionally. Knowing future Alaina will be 10x better helps me sleep like a baby at night (plus I’m just exhausted) and I’m here for it!
Jocelyn • Co-Founder & President of Bijou
Running your own business is incredibly rewarding, but it also means that you’re constantly working. Once Bijou was born, it became very obvious that I was going to need to carve out some serious me time. Since my background is in the beauty industry, self care would typically look like face masks, body scrubs, and mani-pedis. However, I’ve found that self care is really more than just skin deep for me. (Don’t get me wrong, I still love me a mani-pedi!) My wife (see above) inspired me to start lifting weights. Me, a damsel?! I had a serious case of gymtimidation. I’d typically only flirt with an elliptical machine and then peace out. I had literally no background in weight lifting, I danced all throughout childhood and college, so this was essentially a 180 in the fitness world for me. The first couple weeks was essentially me awkwardly adjusting machines that made no sense to me and googling things like “frog pumps with dumbbells.” Now almost a year later, going to the gym is honestly my favorite part of the day. Last-year-me wouldn’t know who this person is, but she’s a boss ass bitch and I’m happy for her to stay.
Aside from taking care of my physical well being, I enjoy my down time listening to podcasts about murder (SSDGM!). I know that sounds wild, but dissecting some of the worst behaviors in humanity somehow helps me feel like I have control over it? Apparently I’m preparing for some sort of serial killer apocalypse and...so it is! My other favorite thing to do is cancel all plans and lay in bed for hours on end binge watching one of my many applications that I subscribe to (I’m Netflix/Hulu/Prime rich, cash poor) all while wearing a Turbie Twist (not sponsored, but if you’re reading, I love you Turbie!), a face mask, and painting my nails. Please note: the art of the in-bed-manicure is VERY tricky, please use care...and paper towels. All in all, self care needs to work from the inner to the outer and should be regarded as important as those 8 glasses of water we are all definitely drinking every day.
Karen • CEO of Bijou
Starting and growing a company is a 24/7 commitment — it’s hard to ever stop strategizing, planning and reacting to the non-stop demands of an online business. Jocelyn, Alaina and I decided early on to make self care a priority. We found that the more we took care of ourselves, the more productive and creative we were at work. We gave ourselves the flexibility to take necessary breaks and space so we didn’t get burnt out.
For me, self-care means slowing down, turning off distractions and doing something for myself. Alaina and Jocelyn inspired me to start working out (peer pressure at its best). Knowing myself, I knew I didn’t have the motivation to do my own exercises at the gym so I signed up for a gym that offers classes, and I’ve made it a point to go at least 3-4 times a week and get at least 10,000 steps a day on my FitBit (I do the Workweek Hustle Challenge with a few friends for some competition-driven motivation). A couple times a week, I also take the time to cook dinner. Cooking is therapeutic and I love being able to make something healthy and delicious for my family. The hour it takes to prep and cook gives me a chance to listen to a podcast, usually the latest from Pod Save America or This American Life. After dinner, I then force myself to put down my phone, light my fave Bijou candle (usually Hermione or Claudette), put on a Focus playlist on Spotify, and read a book (I try to read at least 1 book a week based on friends’ recommendations, reading lists on BuzzFeed, or any of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks) while cuddling with my dog CC. Doing this cooking-then-reading routine a few times a week really helps me to destress and recharge, ready to take on the next day’s challenges.