Due to the COVID-19 and lockdowns, I’ve had more time to focus on my well-being and self-care habits. Yet many people during these awkward times fell into depression. Hence the need to pay more attention to ourselves. So NO, wellness movements are not just trends. Self-love and body positivity is indeed important for our mental health!
Most French women approach self-attention a bit differently. Their self-care practices look more like a way of living. We call it “La joie de vivre” a popular expression that translates to “The joy of Living”. They less overthink about it or overdo it. They tend to less strive for perfection which consequently decreases the impact of stress on their life. It’s a mentality that is embedded in our French culture and passed on from generation to generation.
Enjoy this list of top 14 self-care activities for a happier work-life balance à la French!
14 French Girls’ Self-Care Ideas
Adopt the French self-pleasure attitude
French girls practice self-care by adopting the self-pleasure principle. They indulge in what they like without any guilt. For example, I like a beer with my meal on the weekend or I please myself to a pastry once a week while heading to work.
1. Buy yourself some fresh flowers
Yep! If you love flowers then don’t wait for your friends, boyfriend, or hubby to offer you a bouquet. Take good care of yourself by treating YOU right!
2. Treat yourself to your favorite drink, chocolates, etc..
I love “mon chéri” chocolates so each evening, I treat myself to one chocolate with my infusion in front of a good movie. Instead of adding sugar to my cup, I eat a small portion of chocolate… That’s a good compromise, don’t you think?!
3. Sit at a café
Enjoy people watching, read a magazine, or invite a friend to chill at the “terrasse” of a coffee shop on a sunny day. I also love to do this on rainy days. I try a new café, check out their decoration, or visit a new part of town.
4. Offer yourself jewelry, a home decoration…
Talking about decoration, why not spoil yourself with that Christmas tree ornament you saw the other day? or those affordable earrings you spotted at the market?
Read the related article “10 French lifestyle tips!”.
Stick to your favorite daily self-care rituals
Identify what makes you happy and make it a regular custom. Here are some of my self-care routines.
5. Take a hot bath or shower
Spas are very popular in France. But I agree, not everyone can afford a thalassotherapy or a thermal spa weekend… but you can simply take a long bubble bath with your favorite scented candle, oil diffuser, and some relaxing music… Therefore, you can create your home spa center!
I call my bath time ritual, my little “luxury” me time. I really pamper myself to ease my mind.
Also, a hot bath has awesome health benefits and will relax you in no time!
6. Create a blissful bedtime routine
It is important to unwind in the evening and get a good night’s sleep. By creating a regular sleep routine, you restore your body, reduce your stress, regulate your mood, and boost your concentration. That’s why taking care of yourself in the evening is so crucial.
I have the habit of taking a bath, listening to soothing music, and reading my book to help me decompress. Then I fix myself a calming infusion or chicory coffee cup that will help me fall gently asleep.
7. Give your skin some extra love
Skincare products in France are so numerous! I’ve already mentioned above that French women love to go regularly to the spa for skincare treatments such as facials and massages. Moreover, nurturing their skin isn’t a luxury, it is simply another lifestyle habit.
I do home facials, body scrubs, and hair masks every weekend! I also lavish my body with lotion or oil every evening. Further, I take pleasure in trying new products and smelling their different scents.
Read the related article “Best French anti-wrinkle serums”.
Unique self-love tips
8. Do a home manicure
If you love manicures but can’t afford them, learn how to do it and entertain yourself with a home manicure once a month for instance.
9. Subscribe to a monthly beauty box, fashion or food box, etc…
If you can afford it, why not subscribe to a monthly beauty box, food box, etc… Those are interesting because they surprise you with their content. You don’t know what you’re gonna get. You send yourself a true gift!
Read the related article “My French-inspired winter body skincare routine tips”
Simple self-care tips
10. Slip into comfy clothes
When I come back home, I love to slip into comfortable and cozy clothes! But apart from wearing a T-shirt and hoodie, I also occasionally love those chic, stylish yet comfy pieces that have the power to boost my mood.
The French are fond of stylish lingerie like silk robes that are known as “déshabillé”. It brings a touch of luxury into their lives.
From sumptuous silk, and cashmere to cotton pajamas and knits, choose the fabric that best suits your personality!
11. Use less makeup
Be minimalist with your makeup. French girls keep it polished yet looking natural and fresh. Heavy face makeup is the trend but too much contour and foundation don’t enhance your beauty. Besides, it can harm your skin. Remember to embrace your wrinkles, and your uniqueness. Less is more! In addition, if you have sensitive skin, opt for organic cosmetics that suit your skin type.
Read the related article “12 French 100% organic cosmetic brands you should know about!”
12. Try a new recipe
There are plenty of simple ways to pamper yourself such as trying a new recipe. For instance, I cook something different about once a month. Try a new Asian, Italian, or French dish to tickle your taste buds.
Healthy self-care payoffs
When you work out, you increase the “feel-good” hormone called dopamine. This happiness hormone is stimulated when you strive towards a goal. As a consequence, you experience the pleasure of the reward.
13. Take a walk and stretch every day
The French walk quite a lot and that is due to the fact that they use their cars less because everything is within walking distance from their home. In each neighborhood, there is a grocery store, a bank, a bakery shop, and a post office nearby.
Moreover, it is part of their living habits to take a walk to the woods or to the park after a big meal to better digest.
I also highly recommend stretching which is another super effective way to gently mind for yourself. You cannot imagine how much you benefit from stretching every day. From boosting your energy, and building new muscles to increasing your flexibility and reducing your cholesterol.
Read the related article about all the health payoffs of stretches!
14. Embrace the French love for good food
It is simple: delight in preparing and sharing food! NO extreme diet and quality food! To the French, mealtime is one of the quintessential joys of the French lifestyle and culture.
The French diet is all about eating whole foods over processed foods. It is about taking the time to enjoy a cooked meal. French women keep the “health-pleasure balance” by avoiding diet foods and snacking. From time to time, they satisfy themselves with goodies without abusing or over-consuming what is unhealthy.
Read the related article “Why are the French people so thin?”.
“La joie de vivre” pretty much sums up how French women do self-care! Above all, the way they attend to themselves is a state of mind, a cheerful enjoyment of life.
In fact, to the majority of the French, living life is not just about work work work, and spending a fortune on beauty treatments. It’s more about slowing down and savoring the simple little things of life within your reach and means.
Read here the related article “Chicory coffee health benefits: why the French love it?!”.
How do you do self-care? Please share your thoughts below!
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