Self Care Routine 9: Hilary Swaim #SelfLoveMonth

florapothecarie is declaring February to be #SelfLoveMonth. To celebrate, we've asked a few of our natural beauty friends to share their self-care routines. We hope they will inspire you to take time to care for and love yourself this month and every month. See all self-care routines here.

Our ninth self-care routine comes from artist Hilary Swaim:

Winter in New England reminds me how much I love bright sunshine. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.

In recent winters, the cold, dark mornings have inspired impressive pillow forts and blanket barriers, but hiding and procrastinating aren't long-term strategies.

After wearing myself down last winter, I've taken a different approach this time around. My change of heart and habit happened when, sarcastically, I thought, " If I love sunshine so much, I should hang out with it more. I should greet it with a smile every day." I smiled as I set my alarm for two hours earlier than usual. In the morning, after I growled at the alarm, I remembered my joke from the night before, and decided to roll with it.

Sunrises happen more quickly than I remembered. The neighborhood goes from inky, to smoky, to pink in less than five minutes. All of a sudden, lights turn on at neighbors' houses, and more cars start to move out and about. Here we all go!

Even on cloudy or stormy days, I now have a failsafe: my new morning routine. I've crafted a little process that gives me a couple of hours to be calm and present before I run out into the world.

I ease into the day with some simple decisions. 1) which tea should I brew, and 2) which book is calling to me? What a privilege! I'll have tea and breakfast while I read, or write.

As much as I love words, I pry myself away from them to spend a few moments at my loom. Weaving is a moving meditation for me. It requires precision and flexibility all at once.

I would spend my entire day reading, drinking tea and weaving in the sunlight if I didn't love my work at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center. When it's time to get ready for the office, I call upon my florapothecarie wonders. Every day (and night), I wash my face with the Rose + Willow Facial Cleanser. Then, I use the Orange Sugar Scrub to channel summer time, and soften my winter skin.

Time can really get away from me when it's time to use the Rejuvenating Facial Serum and Whipped Body Butter. Don't tell my dog, family, or friends, but this whipped goodness is my one true love. In winter, it's difficult for me to take a shower that's not 1,000 degrees too hot. I've hacked this habit by reminding myself that my skin will thank me later if I take a cool shower, and just reward myself with a florapothecarie Whipped Body Butter self-massage.

Now that I have re-introduced myself to the sunrise, and I've felt the benefits of my new routine, I'm even starting to love these Connecticut winters. Happy #SelfLoveMonth indeed!


Hilary Swaim is the Executive Director of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center. She recently moved to Connecticut after several years in Washington, DC, and is currently searching for the best Ethiopian food in New England.