According to many an Internet list, self-care = getting your nails done.

The thing is, I despise the anxiety of someone else getting so close to my cuticles. When I manicure myself, it gets everywhere BUT my nails. Removing the nail polish makes me feel like I’m inhaling rat poison. And frankly, it’s a lot of effort for something that will fracture within hours.

But the biggest reason why I don’t like it aside than the abovementioned inconveniences? My fingers are fine. To me, the most efficient way to feel better is to improve the conditions of things that aren’t doing just fine. Like your dirty parts.

As a mom who has no time to hygge it up with a book and cup of tea in a sudsy bath, when you have five minutes or even less, making yourself tangentially cleaner is the most efficient way to do self-care. Here’s how:


Get rid of all the gunk in your nails

At least once a week, I use the tiny file that comes with gas-station nail clippers to dig out the crap from underneath my toenails. (Pro tip: do this post-shower so your nails are bendier.) I then add one single drop of Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil to each nail and massage it in. I swear this makes my otherwise gangly feet look delicious. My feet look like what I think JLo’s feet look like on a daily basis.


Wash your gross feet

If you have five minutes, allow your bathtub faucet to shower your feet with warm water. Soap up. Pumice your heels then slather on a feet-specific cream, like O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet.


Spritz then swirl your hair

If you can’t hop into the shower until your spouse gets home, you don’t have to suffer for the next eight hours. Do the next best thing: spray on a “cleansing” dry shampoo, like Living Proof ‘s Perfect Hair Day, which claims to eliminate the grime and oil instead of just layering more goop into your hair, then tie it all up into a cool top bun to further conceal the malodorous hair. Plus, you’ll be like Chriselle Lim, the most fashion-forward mom on Instagram.


Clean your butt and/or change your underwear

If you’re able to hop in the shower for just two minutes, dash in there and clean your butt. While you’re at it, you might as well clean your entire crotch area. If you can’t do that (we get it, maybe your baby is gassy), just change your underwear so it doesn’t feel like you’re stewing.


Clear out your belly button

How often do you clean your belly button? Is it even your belly button anymore, or is it a new version of it? Either way, I’m going to venture a guess and say it’s not one of your cleaner holes. All you need to do is get a warm washcloth with some mild soap and dig around.


Brush your tongue

Between chugging cold coffee and eating pureed pears and maybe some Ritz crackers, your mouth probably doesn’t feel minty fresh. Simply brushing of all coating of food residuals off each taste bud will make you feel infinitely better. Or you can make this act fancy by purchasing a tongue scraper. Some people say the mouth is the dirtiest part of the body, so based on my theory this should make you feel at least 30% better.


Swipe your armpits

Don’t have time for a shower? Just grab a cleansing wipe and get in there.


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