My 5 Step Self-Care Sunday Routine
It’s been a little over a month since I decided to self-quarantine amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo. Social distancing is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19, but even a homebody like myself gets tired of being cooped up indoors with a dog and toddler. Some days are easier than others, but I always look forward to Sunday! It’s “my day” where I can finally take time for myself and indulge in my 5 step Self-Care Sunday routine.
Self-Care Sunday is a hashtag-driven (#SelfCareSunday) social media trend that encourages us to disconnect, put on a comfy pair of PJs, a sheet mask, and sip a cup of tea. To others, Self-Care Sunday is a gym and post-workout smoothie day, or snuggle in bed with Kindle day.
Everyone’s definition of Self-Care Sunday is different, but it’s all about balance and reconnecting with yourself.
My 5 step self-care Sunday routine has changed little since my work days, before I began to self-quarantine. However, now that the future is faced with increasing uncertainty, self-care Sunday helps me relax and focus on what is important to me. My priorities have shifted from preparing for a new week in the kindergarten classroom, to easing my anxiety and de-stressing.
My 5 Step Self-Care Sunday Routine
My self-care Sunday starts with an unusual step — makeup! These days, my outdoor excursions are limited to a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, so there’s no real need to wear makeup, especially when the lower half of my face is covered in a mask. This is why I like to use Sundays to play around with makeup.
Some days I just relax around the house with mascara and a bold lip color. Other days I do a complete makeup routine, right down to contouring and highlighting with NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer and Chacott for Professionals finishing powder.
2. Wash Day
Because swim classes were on Sunday, Sunday quickly became our mommy-daughter wash day. “Wash day” by the way, is a particular day of the week that naturalistas dedicate to washing, detangling, conditioning, and styling one’s hair.
Even though wash day can be a messy chore, I appreciate the time to get to know my hair. To make cleaning up easier, I do my wash day routine in the shower room.
I always start with Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo & Conditioner (love the scent!) then it’s bathtime for us! Check out more of my Japanese haircare favorites here.
You might already be aware that public bathing is a cultural norm in Japan, but did you know that families also bathe together? Not only is it an excellent way to conserve water, family bathing is a great bonding experience.
Most Japanese homes and apartments have automatic bath controls, so I run the night’s bath while getting ready for dinner (Sunday dinner, by the way, is usually takeaway. After all, the kitchen is closed!)
It’s customary in Japan to wash one’s body before entering the public baths like sento and onsen (hot springs). So, after I’ve finished washing, detangling, and conditioning our hair, we rinse off and soak in the tub.
I’m personally partial to the onsen scented, mineral bath bombs. However, Miss M has terribly dry skin, so we always use moisturizing bath salts from Bath Roman’s skincare line, like this collagen and squalene blend.
To me, Self-Care Sunday and Skincare Sunday are synonymous. Once my girl is asleep, I get to work on my multi-step skincare routine.
Still, I start every Sunday evening with a tropical fruit-scented AHA & BHA peeling gel from Meishoku. It’s a very effective and affordable alternative to brightening the skin compared to costly chemical AHA/BHA peels. I use it twice a week to exfoliate my skin and deep clean my pores.
Then I follow up with a cream mask made with sake kasu, a byproduct of rice wine that also brightens, smooths skin & tightens pores.
(For info on Japanese brightening/“whitening” skincare products, please read this post: The Truth About Japanese Whitening Cosmetics)
Once my final skincare product is applied, it’s time for the most important step in my 5 step Self-Care Sunday routine – sleep!
Most nights I settle down with a glass of wine and stay up to watch a documentary or catch up on pop culture. But, getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be an afterthought. I like wear these aromatic heated eye masks to help me fall asleep.