An alternative resolution: Relax and take care of yourself

Cheap, DIY self-care recipes for the new year

By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer


The new year is here—and with it, all the stress of the real world. You’d think it would be easy to jump back into your everyday routine after the relaxation of a holiday break, but it can be surprisingly stressful. In the mad dash to get back into your daily grind, what often ends up happening is that your self-care gets neglected. Coupled with financial stress, drab weather, and a new semester at school, it can be tough to manage the stress that has crept its way back into your life.

Here’s a few ways to ease back into the swing of things. With a few simple yet effective ideas, you can take a little bit of time so that you don’t have to start your new year feeling stressed and run down.


Face masks

Face masks are easy to make at home and you probably have most of the ingredients to whip one up in your pantry.

Ingredients like honey and oatmeal might seem weird to slather on your face, but they have surprising skincare benefits. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to soothe skin and retain moisture. Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help ease breakouts while simultaneously moisturizing the skin.

Simply mix two tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons of oatmeal, then add a splash of hot water until it’s evenly mixed. Spread a thick layer over your face and let sit for fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize accordingly.


Body scrubs

Body scrubs are easy to work into your shower routine. They smell great, make your skin soft, and are an extra little bit of self-care you can work into your busy schedule to make yourself feel good.

For a simple body scrub, all you need is some coconut oil, wet coffee grounds, and essential oils of your choosing.

Melting 1/4 cup of coconut oil in the microwave, mix in 1/4 cup of coffee grounds and the essential oils. Some good options include tea tree oil, which helps with acne prone skin but can be drying; rose water, which helps soften the skin; or a soothing chamomile. Eight drops of oil should be enough to implement a noticeable scent and desired effect.

Wet your skin with warm water and scrub your skin gently, rinsing as the coconut oil begins to melt.


Massage oil

Massage oil might seem unnecessary or extravagant, but it can really help you wind down and physically relax. You just need two ingredients and a few minutes before bed.

Mix 1/4 cup of neutral carrier oil—I recommend sweet almond oil because it absorbs easily—and 8 to 10 drops of essential oils of your choice in a small container and massage into your shoulders and temples as needed. You can also add some arnica oil if you’re looking to relieve muscle pain and inflammation.

Lavender and grapefruit essential oils both smell good and work to relieve anxiety and stress. Peppermint oil is known to relieve headaches, if that’s what you’re struggling with. If there’s a particular issue you want to try to relieve, look up which essential oils can help you and play around with the recipe!