And the Category is... Self-Care and Mental Health
There’s no doubt, when it comes to my family, I’m showing up and showing out. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m an exceptional wife and even better momma.. so there’s that! (Toot Toot). I give my family all of me in every situation, however, in order to protect my own mental health, I needed time to focus on ME. I don’t hesitate to request time alone. And ya’ll, I require more than just an occasional visit to the mall or the nail salon, I needed some REAL time alone. Thank GOD for my husband who listened and made it all happen. The next day after my request, Trey greeted me at the door with a confirmation to an overnight stay at a local hotel. I was all set up at the Intercontinental in Buckhead, and because my guy is a good one, he was sure to leave no leaf unturned. He made sure my stay would be completed with breakfast in bed by paying ahead.
My request was simple:
I specifically asked for time alone at a hotel near a mall; just in case I felt like strolling through- unbothered by the 4 feet that usually trail me complaining the entire way. I asked for a room with a tub; I wanted to sit listening to music until my body wrinkled. Lastly, I asked for peace and quiet while I engaged in my self-care routine doing all things girlie.
As a mental health worker, I fully understand the importance of protecting my own mental health. The demands of other’s situations can become tiresome potentially causing you to become burnt out. We’re encouraged to take a mental health day as often as it’s needed. With the year I’ve had, I needed it, so I requested it.
Here’s how I prepared for my staycation to make it a success:
1. Inquire about early check in- So, am I the only one who is bothered by the fact a hotel stay is less than 24 hours? I wanted to ensure I was intentionally using my time away in its entirety. A quick phone call to the hotel suggested calling the day of check-in to inquire about an early check-in. Thankfully, I was able to check in 3 hours before the actual check-in time. (WIN-WIN!)
2. Research and plan the day- Again, to ensure I used my time wisely, I was sure to do my research about hotel accommodations including hidden fees with valet parking, COVID restrictions, in-room mini-bar/snack prices, and nearby dining options. My staycation was scheduled in the midst of Mother’s Day weekend; therefore, I knew restaurants would be busy. Proper preparation allowed me to preorder dinner while I visited the mall and picked up my food before I returned back to the hotel.
3. Be selective- I was mostly excited to soak in a tub as part of my self-care routine. I was sure to include this in my wish list to Trey. Again, because I called ahead for an early check-in, I was able to upgrade my room to one with a better view! This room also had a separate shower and garden tub. This was the first step to set my mood.
4. Create a playlist- We all know, music is life. I created a playlist of soft R&B music entitled Baddie Vibes that was guaranteed to keep me in the mood all night. BTW, let me know if you’re interested in this playlist. I don’t mind sharing.
5. Snacks and wine-This particular hotel was not equipped with a microwave or snacks but there was a fridge. I knew to pack my favorite goodies including SmartPopCorn, Stella Rosa Black wine, and…GET THIS… I even allowed myself to indulge in a slice of red velvet cheesecake! *What?!! Stop looking at me like that! I had to! *
6. Wear sexy lingerie-This may sound silly to some but yes! WEAR SEXY LINGERIE! There is something so satisfying in completing my routine and afterward slipping into one of my favorite teddies. You have to understand, this time, I paraded around the room for MYSELF. This time I wasn’t obligated to perform at the end of the parade.
7. Sleep naked! -.. And now that #6 is out of the way…sis! Take that off and sleep naked! In everyday situations, as a momma, it would be nothing out of the ordinary for my littles to crawl in bed expecting to catch free snuggles. At this point, I can’t risk the chance of a nip slip. So, yeah... I took full advantage of the chance to sleep free as a bird without peeping eyes.
8. Self -Care routine- I strategically identified each item needed for my self-care night. This included face masks, candles, room sprays, body scrubs, etc. I even took my own air diffuser and peppermint oils that gave me the spa-like vibe I was longing for. And girl, remember those Amazon pink and red rose petals from our last anniversary in Vegas?! Yep, took those too to sprinkle in my bath. THIS surely gave me self-care vibes!
9. Take Pictures-I love a good photo session! You too, right? My phone is flooded with private rolls of self-portraits. These photos don’t have to be inappropriate pictures, instead, I intentionally captured my flaws. It’s so cliché’, but the statement is true: If you don’t love yourself, no one else will. And besides, INSTA is always searching for a new chance for an influencer moment, right?!
10. Inquire about complimentary late checkout-I’m not shy to admit, I wasn’t ready to leave. I wasn’t away long enough to miss my family. So…. Instead of unfolding myself from the most comfortable bed, I called back downstairs and requested to extend my check out. “Mrs. Strickland, your complimentary checkout has been extended until noon.” **Crawls back under the covers. **
So... That was it! My mental health has been restored. I left feeling well-rested, pampered, and a tad bit sexy. Ladies, are you taking care of your mental health? So many of you reached out voicing your longing for a self-care day. I hope this post moves you to want to act on your wishes to align your mental health and spend some time alone. Follow these tips mentioned above, and you’re guaranteed to request days like this more often.