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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation...”  ― Audre Lorde

With these crazy, hectic lives we lead, it can feel nearly impossible to set aside actual “me” time. Self-care is not a luxury, but is essential to keeping ourselves in tip top shape and allowing ourselves the ability to rejuvenate. Read on to see how the Soapwalla studio unwinds and finds balance in the ever busy New York City.

Rachel, Rockin’ Soapwalla Chef

Move it || I make time for exercise of some sort every single day. It can be 2 hours of intense kickboxing or 5 minutes of restorative yoga. Movement keeps me healthy and alleviates stress. It also gets me out of my head so that I have a chance to let ideas marinate – some of my best business decisions have happened directly after a particularly intense exercise session.
Cat life || Everyday is Caturday. I make sure to set aside snuggle time with my kitties. It’s pretty easy to do because they are adorable.
Kitchen time || I find cooking and baking to be incredibly soothing. I love getting creative in the kitchen and creating nutritious, nourishing meals that feed my loved ones and myself.
Stacey, Super Shipper

Cool Water || The sight of water always calms me. I grew up on a lake and now even driving over a bridge or along the West Side Highway works. Working right near the Gowanus Canal is obviously pretty awesome.

    Ilana, Illustrious Instagramer

    Fresh flowers || Once a week I buy fresh flowers. Now that I have a cat who is extremely curious, I make sure they are pet safe and won't send us to the vet. I find having fresh blooms around my apartment to be very soothing. Less so in the beauty they bring, but in the intention that I'm going to be home enough, and relaxed enough, to enjoy them. 
    Walking || I look forward to my weekly super long walk. It is an amazing way to sort out everything that is swirling in my head and to ground myself and connect to the earth. It's also my favorite way to listen to new albums. I always come away refreshed and ready to jump into projects that before might have seemed daunting.
    Cute animals on the internet || Even though in real life I have a most adorable cat, on demand animal videos are the best way to create serious bursts of laughter and usher in relaxing vibes. My current video favorite is the one from Japan featuring a penguin who runs errands around town while wearing a penguin backpack. Pinky swear, I’m not exaggerating.

      Megan, Master Mixer

      Laying in the park || I always bring a book, but usually don't end up reading it. Giving myself permission to lay around, people watch, take a little nap, or whatever, is a way to give myself the gift of time without the pressure to be productive. Plus, getting outside and enjoying some sun is always a bonus.
      Chai Lattes || I used to drink a chai latte everyday until I realized that the sugar content was not really supportive of my ideal lifestyle. By cutting way back, chai lattes have become a treat again. They’ve become something I get every now and then and can sit, sip, and enjoy mindfully. 
      Catching up on emails in bed || My inbox gets jammed during the week. After sleeping in a bit, I spend my weekend mornings clearing out my inbox while still under the comfort of my covers and it feels "lazy" and yet productive at the same time. It takes the pressure off of the beginning of the work week by allowing me to declutter from the comfort of my cozy bed so I can start work again on Monday with a clean slate.

      Juliette, Jazzy (Job) Juggler

      Getting off campus || Since I'm still a student, most of my life revolves around classes, homework, exams, and papers. It's easy to get into a rut where I go from my bed to the kitchen to the couch, and back to bed. I feel so much better when I get out of this pattern. At least once a week, I like to set aside time to go into the city with my friends and do something fun. I like having an afternoon to read on the subway, talk to people I don't see every day, and focus on tasks that aren't school-related.
      Exercising || When I get really busy, exercising is the first thing that I put aside for later. However, when I do this I get even more stressed. I try to put aside at least one day a week to go to the gym. When I finish an exam-heavy week, I go to the gym and let out some frustrations there. Exercising calms me down and refreshes me so that I can be productive again.
      Painting my nails || Again, most of my stresses revolves around school and my obligations as a student. When everything seems overwhelming, I take a break and do something that I want to do, such as painting my nails. It's a mindless task where I don't have to think about anything else. When I look at them throughout the week, they're a pop of color that cheers me up and reminds me to calm down.

      Original image via Death to the Stock