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14 Real Women Reveal Their Weirdest Self-Care Rituals

Being an adult can be hard. Between work, family and stalking people from high school on Instagram, taking time for ourselves is a necessity. So we polled our coworkers and friends for their strangest self-care rituals…that totally work. Here, 14 that we’re absolutely trying the next time we want to scream into a pillow.

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“I shave my legs until they’re perfectly smooth and even. The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s probably about being in a super-hot shower and avoiding all other responsibilities, but if I add leg-shaving into the equation, it’s at least somewhat productive.” – Sarah S.

“I watch morning routine videos on YouTube. I wasn’t aware of this (very robust) genre until fairly recently, and boy, was I missing out. They’re all pretty similar—happy music, homemade lattes, fuzzy slippers—and the consistency relaxes me.” – Maggie M.

“When I’m stressed, I like to count. I always thought it was weird, but recently decided it’s a kind of meditation. (I guess.) I also like to go hide in a bathroom stall, but that’s only for the really tough days…” – Abby H.

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“I chop vegetables. The fairly mindless repetition (not totally mindless—I make sure I don’t chop my fingers off, after all) is beyond calming.” – Allison H.

“I watch ASMR videos on YouTube. They put me to sleep within minutes. (I love me some @gentlewhispering.)” – Susannah S.

“I normally run, which is pretty normal, but I also love doing crossword puzzles to relax.” – Jen M.

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“I clean my bathroom. It's a small space and cleaning gives me a sense of control in a world where I feel that I have none.” – Liz B.

“When I'm stressed, I bingewatch Tasty recipe videos and organize. For some strange reason, folding laundry or reorganizing my bookshelves always calms me down. That, and browsing the ice cream aisle at my bodega.” – Angela P.

“I watch Disney movies when I need to feel calm and forget I have adult responsibilities. I’m like, ‘Forget about taxes. I need to know if Esmeralda is OK!’” – Roberta F.


“I go down a YouTube rabbit hole of videos that once gave me comfort and are good distractions (recently, this has been Hamilton clips or videos of Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, etc. at the 1994 Lillehammer Games—I know the outcome, so it's relaxing!).” –Rachel B. 

“I re-watch very specific TV shows. Notably the episode of 30 Rock with Paul Reubens as Prince Gerhardt.” –Lauren G. [Ed. note: The episode is called “Black Tie” and it’s phenomenal.]

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“I paint my own nails. It's so soothing and I feel very accomplished. Plus, it always lasts longer than a salon mani.” – Liv K.

“I have a Buddha my grandma gave me as a kid, and when I’m stressed I’ll just rub his belly.” – Amy W. 

“This is kind of embarrassing…but sometimes I’ll look at the quotes section of Pinterest.” – Katie M.