How Your Laundry Routine Can Be Part of Your Self-Care
Self-care is definitely a buzzword these days (thanks, COVID-19). Taking a bath, meditating, and pampering your skin with a daily face mask are all tried and true self-care acts. Yet carving out the time for these activities daily isn’t practical with our chaotic and busy schedules. Thankfully you can implement similar feelings of self-care into your daily chores or tasks such as doing your laundry.
While you might not outright compare washing, drying, and folding your clothes to soaking in a tub, hear us out. A laundry routine can be considered self-care if you merely approach it that way. It’s all in how you think about it.
Additionally, everything you surround yourself with — dirty clothes and towels included — can impact your overall well-being. An overflowing bin of dirty clothes isn’t exactly going to add any zen to your life or your space. Not convinced? Keep reading to discover how to make your next load of laundry an act of self-care that will benefit your well-being.
1. Organize to Streamline the Process
If it’s not easy to do, it will only frustrate you, making the task at hand harder to complete. Think about cooking dinner, for example. If you keep your pots and pans on the highest shelf, you’ll be more tempted to order takeout every night. Moving the necessary equipment to an easily reachable spot makes cooking dinner nightly easier to complete.
Set up your laundry space in the same way. Organize it in a way that makes completing the task more seamless and maybe even more enjoyable. Keep your favorite laundry pods on a shelf next to the washer and your dryer sheets next to your dryer. Make space for a folding table so you can organize your clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer.
Setting yourself up properly can be considered self-care as you are simply making the act of doing laundry more pleasurable. If you are the primary laundry-doer, make the space as you see fit. If you don’t have a washer or dryer in your home, that’s all right, too. You can still make doing laundry easier by keeping all of your necessary items in one convenient basket.
2. Make It Part of Your Routine
Self-care must be scheduled. If you don’t make the time for it, it most likely won’t happen. The same goes with laundry. If you never think about doing it, it probably won’t get done — not until you run out of underwear, that is.
One way to make laundry part of your self-care is to block it into your daily or weekly routine. Depending on your family, you may be doing laundry every day or only once or twice a week. No matter what your schedule, find a time of day that works for you. This could be first thing in the morning while brewing coffee or at night when the kids are in bed.
Making time for doing the laundry will help you see it as part of your self-care routine. You’ll eventually begin doing it on autopilot, not thinking too much or too hard about it. This can be beneficial to those who tend to procrastinate doing laundry or waste time doing other things instead. After a few consistent attempts, you might not even notice until the laundry is done. Think about how lovely that will feel!
3. Be Mindful and Present
We’re all guilty of multitasking. We scroll on our phones while waiting in line at the store or check our email when walking our dogs. We eat dinner with the television on while simultaneously looking over our kid’s homework. Multitasking can lead to a crazed, overstimulated, and oftentimes exhausted mind.
Think of multitasking like having too many tabs open on your computer’s browser. Eventually, your laptop will stop functioning correctly and you’ll need to restart it. Well, the same goes for our minds. Eventually, you’re going to become burned out from doing too many tasks and will need to take a break.
With that in mind, once the laundry basket is full, prioritize doing a load of wash. Take the time to sort through the clothes, separating dark colors from the lights. Check the labels to ensure you aren’t throwing something into the washing machine that is meant for handwashing. Be present with how you approach the chore, without any distractions. You’ll start to notice yourself sinking into a rhythm, and likely completing the wash in a shorter amount of time.
You may not see your favorite influencer incorporating laundry into their self-care manual, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be! Your next load of laundry can be as comforting and soothing as a face mask if that’s how you approach it. Just think of the fresh scent of clean clothes and your refilled sock drawer waiting for you tomorrow. Organize your wash and dry area, schedule it into your day, and approach it mindfully. These are all ways to make doing laundry part of your self-care routine. Remember these tips before your next load and see if you go from dreading it to actually really enjoying it.