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How to Create a Self-Care Sunday

Self-care has transformed a lot over the last few years. It began as a way to encourage people to do more for themselves, which is amazing. But somewhere along the way, it became something people felt like they were forced to do.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with this idea of the perfect self-care routine, it’s time to take a step back. Instead of focusing on having to fit it into your daily life, why not just start one day a week?

Why do Self-Care on Sunday?

Sunday is actually the perfect day to dedicate to yourself, since it is often already a day of rest for many people. You are winding down after a fun weekend, and likely getting ready for a new week to begin. For me, Saturdays are usually the day that I take care of leftover chores from the week and grocery shopping, so Sunday is freed from those tasks as well. Take advantage of the downtime by adding some self-care activities to your routine.

1. Setting Up Your Weekly Self-Care Routine

First thing’s first – figure out what your routine is going to be before Sunday. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead of time makes it more likely to happen! Don’t forget that self-care doesn’t have to be done alone, so if you have a busy house on Sundays, you can still do this!

What you want to do is focus on your self-care on Sundays, whether that means an hour during the day, or changing the entire routine for the day.

Think of Sundays like a reset day. When you not only get your planning done for the week, but you give yourself some time to relax and unwind, reset your body and your mind for another busy week.

How is it Different from Daily Self-Care?

To put it simply, it’s not. You still want to choose activities that help you to relax, are good for your body and mind, and overall wellness. But you might have a little more free time on Sundays, so you won’t feel as pressured to fit it all in before or after work, or during your bedtime routine.

Sundays opens new possibilities for self-care, whether you do it alone or with family.

Think About Your Current Sunday Routine

In order to turn Sunday into your weekly self-care day, you need to consider what you tend to do on Sundays. This self-reflection helps you determine if these are things that can only be done on Sundays or can be moved to another day to give you more time for yourself.

Make a list of things you do every Sunday first. Then look at your list, and cross off anything that isn’t necessary or might no longer be serving you. With what is left, determine if any of those activities can be moved to Saturday.

For example, if you do a lot of cleaning and chores on Sundays, could they be moved to other days during the week, freeing up a bit more self-care time for you?

2. Ideas for Sunday Self-Care Activities

The good news is that self-care on Sunday is pretty much the same as what you would do any other day of the week. It is more about dedicating a day to yourself each week, especially if you don’t have much time during the week to really focus on you.

Here are some activities that can be great to do on Sundays:


Let yourself sleep in – If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least give yourself this time on Sundays! Your body (and mind) needs the rest.

Go to brunch with friends – Self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy with other people. Grab a group of friends on Sunday to go to brunch.

Head to a park or the beach with your kids – You can also enjoy more time with your kids without cell phones and TV. Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day, or do a picnic at the park.

Have an hour of pampering – You might not be able to dedicate the entire day just to self-care, but at least fit in some pampering time. Spending quiet time soaking in the bath or giving yourself a facial are a couple ideas.

Catch up on your reading or creative projects – This is the perfect time to pick activities you enjoy, but rarely have time for. Maybe there is a book you have been wanting to finish or a creative project you would love to do.

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

Get ready for the week – Self-care can also mean just giving yourself time to really reset and prepare for the week ahead.

3. Self-Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Something to keep in mind is that what you consider self-care might change depending on if you are more of an introverted or extroverted person.

Self-Care for Introverts

If you are an introvert, you probably find that you are the most relaxed when you are alone. This doesn’t mean you want to be or should be alone all the time, but that you often need a little bit of time to yourself each day to recharge and gain your composure.

Have Quiet Solitude on Sunday – Self-care for an introvert can be as simple as just making sure you have some alone, quiet time on Sundays. You need this time to yourself to regroup and relax. It can be hard when you go all day around other people and never give yourself this time.

Find Nature-Inspired Activities – If you’re an introvert that enjoys time outdoors, try to find some solo outdoor activities to encourage you to spend more time outside. Hiking, gardening, visiting a quiet park or creating a niche in your own yard to sit and read or meditate are all peaceful ways to get outside.

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Embrace Your Creative Side – An amazing way to practice self-care as an introvert is to do something creative. Learn how to sew, crochet, write a poem or short story, color in an adult coloring book, or start painting.


Self-Care for Extroverts

Extroverts are more social creatures, getting their energy from being around other people. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you probably enjoy time with others more than time alone. But what does that mean for your self-care routine? Here are some tips for practicing self-care when you are an extrovert.

Enjoy Social Time with Friends – What might be a little more up your alley is scheduling in time with friends. What better way to practice self-care than spend time with those you love the most?

Volunteer Your Time – Looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling? You might like to volunteer somewhere as your self-care. Look into local community centers or animal shelters that are open on Sunday and see if they need any help.

Join a Local Club – Another social activity that helps with your self-care is joining a local club, like a book club. Not only will you be encouraged to read more, but you can get together once a week with your book club to chat and talk about the book.

4. Tips for Your Sunday Self-Care Routine

Here are a few more tips for making sure you have a good Sunday self-care routine, and really understand what self-care means and how to avoid the common mistakes.

It Encompasses Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health

Self-care does not fulfill just one need in your life. Different activities provoke different benefits in your life, including helping with your emotional, mental, and physical health.

What works best for you is going to be something that helps you feel relaxed, de-stressed, improves your mood, and is something you absolutely love to do.


Your Self-Care Needs Can Change Regularly

Just because you have committed to writing in your journal and meditating every morning for an hour as your self-care routine, doesn’t mean you have to do this forever. Sometimes, what you choose as your self-care activity changes, or you need to adjust based on your schedule.

Revisit what you are doing for self-care often. As your life and the seasons change, so will your self-care and what is going to benefit you the most.

A Common Mistake is Forcing Your Self-Care

This can’t be said enough – your self-care routine should not make you more stressed! This is a sign that you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do and that is doing nothing for you.

It might be because your friend is participating in this form of self-care, or you read that it is a good idea. But remember everyone is different and everyone is going to benefit from different things.

Likewise, everyone’s schedule is different, and Sunday might not be the day that works best for you. Figure out what works with your schedule and apply these tips to your best day for self-care.

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Quick Drawstring Bag Tutorial or How to Reuse Your SubEarthan Cottage Soap Wrapping

I wrap my soaps in fabric because it looks nice, it allows the soap to breathe (read here for why), and because it feels better than plastic. I often wonder what happens to the wrapping. I’m sure there are some that toss it. I know of one person who collects the fabric for quilts. For those of you who, like me, don’t want to throw away something that could be useful but don’t know what to do with it, I have a tutorial for a drawstring pouch, just for you.

This is done with the wrapping from one of my soaps, but you could make it in any size you like.

Materials
Cloth wrapper from soap (roughly 8×11 inches)
Jute string from soap (about 29 inches)
Thread

Tools
Needle or Sewing machine
Safety pin or Bodkin
Scissors
Iron

First, iron your fabric flat. Then, fold down a long edge about 3/4 of an inch to one inch and press. This is for the casing. It doesn’t have to be super precise.

Sew a straight seam along the bottom of the flap to form the casing. All the sewing can be done by hand or machine. I have no time or patience, so I choose machine. Fold your material in half with right sides together like a book.

The fold is at the bottom of this photo.

Next, starting just below the casing seam, sew down the side and across the bottom. I use anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance for this. Again, it doesn’t have to be precise.

With scissors, clip the bottom corners, being careful not to cut your stitching. You could probably skip this step, but it helps the corners look square and crisp. Turn your bag right side out.

Now it’s time to thread the string. Tie one end of the string to a safety pin, large paper clip, or attach a small bodkin. This makes it easier to work it through the casing. Thread it through the casing, safety pin first.

Once you get the string to the other side, remove your safety pin or other tool and adjust the string so that the ends are even.

Knot the ends together once or twice to keep it from coming out.

Ta-da! It’s done! Perfect for organizing your purse, storing jewelry or other small items, or as a small gift bag.

Or holding your favorite bar of soap.

Tutorials are always a little complicated to write because it’s easy to overlook small steps in things you do frequently. If something is unclear, please ask. 🙂

If you have any other creative uses for a SubEarthan Cottage soap wrapper, I would love to hear it!

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Instant Pot Sausage Potato Soup (Great for Crock Pots, Too!)

With freezing temperatures and possible snow in the forecast, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit this delicious sausage potato soup recipe.

I love the slightly spicy, creamy Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden. Since going gluten-free and dairy-free, Zuppa Toscana and pretty much anything Olive Garden are out of the question. With the cold weather, though, I really crave soups. I made some potato soup a few days ago that was yummy, but just not the same. Today I realized I happened to have everything I needed to attempt a sausage and potato soup very much like Zuppa Toscana.

It doesn’t have quite the same creaminess due to substituting almond milk. Cashew milk is a creamier substitute, but I didn’t have any on hand. For a first dairy-free attempt, it turned out pretty darn close.

I made my sausage potato soup in my electric pressure cooker. You could easily make it in a slow cooker or on the stove top, but I like how the pressure cooker really develops the flavors, similar to cooking in a slow cooker but without the long cook time. I also love that I can use the saute function on my pressure cooker to brown the sausage. This prevents having to dirty a skillet, like I would if I used a slow cooker.

Sausage Potato Soup

Dairy and gluten free sausage potato soup inspired by Olive Garden's zuppa toscana. I prefer making it in my electric pressure cooker but it could easily be done in a slow cooker or on the stove top.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Soup
Keyword: dairy free, Electric Pressure Cooker, gluten free, Instant Pot, simple
Servings: 6 people

Equipment

  • Electric Pressure Cooker, unless cooking on stove top or slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Sausage
  • 3-4 Largish potatoes, sliced
  • 1 medium Onion, diced White or yellow.
  • 2-3 cups Kale, torn or chopped. Could substitute spinach or other greens.
  • 6-8 cups Chicken broth (gluten-free if desired) You want enough to cover the rest of the ingredients in the pot without too much over.
  • 2 cups Almond or Cashew milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Select the "Saute" function on the pressure cooker.
  • Add the olive oil and brown the sausage.
  • Add the onion a few minutes before the sausage finishes browning to soften.
  • When the sausage is browned, turn off the "Saute" function.
  • Add the potatoes, kale, broth and seasonings. Do not add the almond or cashew milk yet.
  • Lock the pressure cooker's lid in place and select the "Soup" function. I used the 30 minute function.
  • After the cooking is complete, either wait for pressure to naturally release or CAREFULLY do a manual release. Soups spray and spatter if you immediately try to release the pressure, so I recommend waiting at least ten minutes if you are going to manually release the pressure.
  • Add the almond/cashew milk and stir. The soup should be hot enough to heat the milk addition without additional cooking.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

I don’t really measure recipes like this, so most measurements are approximate.
The stove top instructions are basically the same. Brown the sausage in a big soup pot, add the ingredients except the milk and simmer for around thirty minutes. Add the milk and serve. 
For the slow cooker, brown the meat on the stove, add everything but the milk to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add the milk and serve.

Please leave a comment if you try this and let me know how it turns out. If any of my instructions need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, too.

For more electric pressure cooker recipes and tips, click here. To stay up to date on SubEarthan Cottage happenings, please sign up for my newsletter.

Sausage Potato Soup Electric Pressure Cooker Instant Pot
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A Few Changes

Just before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I finally began treatment last week after many, MANY scans and tests. Hopefully now that everything is in place I will be able to get back into something of a routine, but I have one more biopsy tomorrow that could change my treatment plan a bit, so we’ll see how that goes. Fingers crossed that this one is normal and everything can proceed as planned.

Because chemo does wear me out, I will be limiting any made to order items in my shop at times and may add a day or so to expected shipping times just in case.

Blog-wise, I’ve debated how much I want to share. After thinking about how much reading other people’s cancer treatment stories help me with knowing what to expect, I’ve decided I will probably be pretty open about it. There will still be plenty of crafty posts and recipes, too, so it won’t be a complete change in subject.

I also may share some other blogs that I think are fitting from time to time. If you are interested in writing a guest post or having your work featured, please check out this page Want to be featured?

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Homemade Candles are the Way To Go

I love candles. Making your own is a great way to recycle old wax into something uniquely yours. This post from Crafting a Green World shares several methods for candle making.

Whether you’re rolling beeswax candles with kids or pouring a multi-color, multi-layer jarred candle, homemade candles give you the power to fill …

Homemade Candles are the Way To Go
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Heating a Rice Pack Without a Microwave

Hot rice packs are wonderful tools for easing muscle aches, cramps, and just comforting to use in cold weather. I prefer using a rice pack to an electric heating pad because you’re not tied to an electrical outlet.

A few years ago, though, I got rid of our microwave. I have some concerns about whether they are healthy, and we rarely used it anyway. Even if the potential health risks are exaggerated or non-existent, I don’t like having things that don’t get used taking up space. At the time, it was summer in Texas, I didn’t really miss my rice packs. Now that it’s cold, I wanted to find a way to heat them without caving and getting another microwave.

Please be cautious. I’ve seen some things that say anything other than a microwave is a fire-risk, so if you try to heat a rice pack in an oven, please never leave it unattended and use extreme caution. All appliances are different, so what works with mine may not work with yours.

Basic oven method

When researching, I found many people say to use an oven set to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes. They also said to put the rice pack on a metal tray or roasting pan, and to have a pan or oven-safe dish of water alongside it to keep it from getting too dry.

My method

I was a little concerned that I may forget about it, and my oven doesn’t have a window so keeping an eye on it would be difficult. I do have a counter-top convection oven, so  that is what use. Because the door is glass, I can see in and keep an eye on things. It also has a timer that turns the unit off once time is up, so even if I get distracted I don’t have to worry about it over-heating. 

I always place the rice pack on a tray and put a dish of water in with it as others have suggested. Any rice packs I heat in the oven are made with 100% cotton fabric and thread. Synthetics melt easier and burn faster, whereas cotton can withstand a pretty high heat and burns slower, so cotton seems like a safer choice. 

I started with 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. It worked, but I needed it hotter. I upped it to 300-325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. At that temperature, sometimes I have to let it cool for a minute or wrap it in a towel, but it works better for me than the lower temperature. I tend to push the limit with heat, though, so 200 degrees for thirty minutes is probably plenty for most.

Probably safer method

One other method I’ve seen is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, TURN IT OFF, and place the rice pack (on a tray with heatproof dish of water next to it) in the preheated oven. I haven’t tried this yet, but having the oven hot but turned off seems like it would minimize any risk of the rice pack overheating and burning. If I didn’t have the convection oven, I would probably use this method. 

The standard microwave method

Using a microwave is still the recommended method. To heat rice packs in the microwave, warm it in the microwave in 15 second intervals until you reach the desired temperature. Some people recommend placing a cup of water in the microwave as well.

Basic safety

Whether you use a microwave or an oven, be mindful that they can vary in power. ALWAYS test the temperature of the rice pack before using and never leave the microwave or oven unattended while heating. You should never use heat packs on individuals who are unable to let you know if it feels too warm on their skin.

Lavender rice packs at SubEarthan Cottage

SubEarthan Cottage now offers large 100% cotton flannel rice packs. These are filled with a blend of rice and lavender buds for a pleasant hint of lavender. I sewed channels in the flannel to help keep the rice evenly distributed. They can be heated as described above, or kept in the freezer to use cold. Find all of my rice packs here.

 

Lavender rice packs at SubEarthan Cottage.

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