I received a gift pack from Krusteaz to facilitate this post. It also contains affiliate links. All opinions remain my own.
You may have gathered last week after reading my post about care packages, that I like caring for other people. My husband, my friends, and my family are all people I sometimes put in front of myself when it comes to fulfilling needs. Hence why I made a resolution this year for self-care.
The truth is I’ve been feeling a little burnt out on caring for other people lately. I mean, I love the people in my life, there is no doubt about that. I also often get a lot enjoyment out of caring for others. But since I’m an introvert and an incredibly sensitive person, often taking on people’s burdens leaves me my emotional and physical energy stores on empty.
Beyond my husband, I don’t really have many people in my life that at the place where they can care for me when I’m struggling. This is partially because I’m at transition stage in my life where I don’t have that many close friends. And the ones I do have are going through their own things at the moment.
As a result, I’m really one of the only people that knows my needs and can fulfill them. Which is why self-care is so important for me and a lot of us who are running around taking care of everyone else and just not getting our tank filled in the same way. We are all going to hit those periods in our live, especially as women.
So here’s what I’m doing to make sure I’m getting taken care of as well.
Relaxation for Self-Care
Sometimes self-care can be achieved through creating an environment of relaxation. A stolen hour or two away from distractions and other people can be just what you need to de-stress and refocus.
It means finding a place that is away from it all. And by all I mean everything that you feel like should be doing. Where is that place for you? Is there a comfy spot in your house? A local park bench? One of my personal happy spots is Barnes and Noble. It may sound nerdy, but there is something very comforting for me about being surrounded by books. I can pick up a book, purchase a favorite drink or treat, and spend an hour or two escaping into the world of the novel I’ve chosen. It’s a place where no one bothers me and I don’t have to be thinking about the million things that I have to do around the house.
Where is a “happy spot” that is close to where you live or that you can recreate the feeling of at home?
Even if you have to stay at home because you are fitting self-care in stolen moments, you can still create an environment of relaxation. One activity that I find extremely relaxing is baking. It is an excellent way to channel my energy and reduce stress while indulging my creativity. The measuring, cracking, and stirring is relaxing in and of itself, and it is incredibly satisfying to have a finished product come out of my labors as well.
This is why I was excited when Krusteaz sent me some of their yummy Pumpkin Spice mixes to try out. Their fall Pumpkin Spice line includes muffin mix, bread mix, and bakery style cookie mix. I decided to use the cookie mix to make cookie bars with pumpkin cream cheese frosting instead of the included glaze. The frosting tastes just like a pumpkin pie!
Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients for Cookie Bars
- 1 box of Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Bakery Style Cookie Mix
- 1 egg
- 1 stick of butter (softened)
Ingredients for Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar (depending on how thick you would like your frosting to be)
- Blend together cookie mix, egg, and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Spread in 8X8 cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 24-26 minutes. Cool.
- In a separate mixing bowl use a hand mixer to mix cream cheese, butter, pumpkin, and spices until smooth. (It’s important that the cream cheese and butter are room temperature, otherwise it won’t blend properly.)
- Add powdered sugar to mixture 1/2 cup at a time while continuing to mix with hand mixer.
- Chill frosting in fridge until cookie bars have cooled, then spread frosting on top of the bars.
My Self-Care Kit
Here are the things you need for a relaxation experience that engages all of your senses.
Scents: Choose a candle in your favorite scent. Mine is Yankee Candle’s Sparkling Cinnamon. Another inexpensive way to make your home smell fabulous is by putting a combination of spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) in a small saucepan with several cups of water and bringing it to a boil. It makes the house smell like Christmas! Or if you like taking a hot bath, use your favorite scented bath products.
Sounds: Music can set the mood for your time, whether it is your favorite power tunes or musical accompaniment for meditation. Or perhaps what you need is complete silence or a sound spa machine (this is the one I use) to cover other household noises.
Tastes: If you are like me and find baking relaxing, whip up a treat like my Krusteaz pumpkin spice cookie bars. Or indulge in a favorite piece of chocolate. My favorite special treat chocolate is Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel Squares.
Sights: Surround yourself with objects that make you smile. This could include an inspirational print, pictures of special memories, or anything else you find comforting.
What is your favorite way to indulge in relaxation for self-care?