In this edition of our blog series, Rituals, we spent a Sunday with Peloton cycling instructor Jess King to learn exactly how she practices self-care and why it’s crucial to her success throughout the week. Get a look inside how she spends one of her favorite days caring for her mind, body and spirit.
Why is your self-care Sunday routine so important to you?
This routine is super important for me to feel grounded throughout the week. I spend Sunday resting and recharging. Otherwise, I spend unnecessary energy worrying and stressing out throughout the week. I know I’ll be too draining to grocery shop at the end of a long day of working out, and I don’t want to show up for the start of the week exhausted, mentally and physically.
What type of elements do you always make sure to incorporate into your self-care routine?
It's important to me to focus on nourishment, of my mind, body and spirit. I spend so much energy throughout the week on output, that Sundays are my day for input. I drink celery juice every day to kick start my body, hydrate and detox. I love to read--The New York Times, books, anything but Instagram. I make sure to do something creative, like draw. It's massively important for me to honor this part of who I am. It's also the day I grocery shop and make sure my fridge is stocked for the week with fresh veggies and proteins. I take care of my home and make sure that I'm organized and prepared for the week.
What does it mean to you to spend time cooking for yourself?
I honestly don't make a big deal of making food. I value eating well and knowing where my food comes from. I try not to spend too much time in the kitchen. I'll make big dinners and use the leftovers for lunch the next day. Another go-to move is to make a huge hearty salad before I head out. What's cathartic about this is knowing that I'll have the fuel necessary to power me through the day.
Let’s talk about hanging on the couch with the New York Times--why is this a favorite part of your day?
I don't sit on my couch enough. I created this ritual of reading the New York Times, mostly to sit on my couch, but also to stay connected to what's going on in the world. I don't watch the news, I prefer to read it.
What role does drawing play in your life, especially when you’re trying to relax?
I have always drawn. Being an only child, it was my way of playing and spending time alone. I also went to college for Fine Arts, so drawing and painting are a huge part of who I am and I never have time to really spend making art. So I try to at least doodle or have something that I'm working on to honor that part of myself.
We know that spending time with Zeus is something that you love. How does having him by your side make your rest day better?
My day? Zeus makes my whole life better. I've had him for over 13 years. I really don't know what it’s like to not have him by my side. Because I'm out of the house every other day of the week, Sundays are devoted to showering him with love and attention. We play, go on long walks, he gets brushed or bathed and lots and lots of snuggles.
How have you seen your overall energy shift just by having one day where you focus on self-care?
Taking this day to power down has played a radical shift in my stress levels and performance throughout the week. There's nothing worse, for me, than the feeling of panic that sets in when basic needs (food, energy, sleep) are an unknown. By just being responsible and taking one day a week for myself to chill out and prepare for what’s ahead has allowed me to spend my time and energy on creating the life of my dreams. Our bodies, minds and spirits need our own love and attention. Choosing to give back to Me is one of the greatest gifts I can myself.
Why would you encourage someone to take a day where they refocus their efforts back on themselves?
I don't believe it's sustainable or enjoyable to only give to others and not to oneself. We must dismantle the stigma of selfishness and realize that the way we care for ourselves is mirrored in the way we care for others. One might think that giving everything they have to the rest of the world is what's expected and a form of love, but its not wholehearted. If it were, then you would be included in that energy circle. Caring for ourselves gives us deeper insight into the needs of others because we understand how to do that from a soulful level. It's not just about doing, it's about listening to the request of our bodies and spirit and having the courage to prioritize and honor the call. If you can do that for yourself, you can marry the love you have for others with the wisdom of your own experience. Self-care is not selfish. It's also not optional. We all deserve to be on the receiving end of love, especially from ourselves.