Sundays are meant to be lazy and makeup-free, but college usually dashes that dream with 11:59 p.m. deadlines, student organization meetings, and funday tankards with other procrastinators. However, Sarah and Mackenzie (no, not the Spoon founders) are convinced that setting aside a few hours on Sunday night to yourself is crucial. Well-being shouldn’t be an afterthought; it deserves the planning and forethought of an exciting Sunday night!

Our definition of a Self-Care Sunday includes DIY skin and hair care, great tunes, and activities that smooth out premature wrinkles rather than deepen them. So turn off the iPhone and curl up in your pajamas because this night is all about you.


Mackenzie Patel

1. Makeup Remover

Even if you were binge-watching instead of partying the night before, take some time to thoroughly clean your face. You never know if there could be some extra "ick" clogging your pores from makeup or whatever else. Recommended products include Neutrogena makeup remover towelettes and Clinique's take the day off.

2. Face Mask

Nothing says “self-care Sunday” like an African black soap mask. Smelling like Play-Doh and looking like tar, this face mask erases impurities after ten minutes. It leaves your cheeks pink and your mind clear. Individual Africa Black Mud Masks costs around $2 at Target or Walmart. 

#SpoonTip: Be careful about choosing a face mask if you have sensitive skin. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure about a skin product. 

3. Exfoliating Scrub

I (Sarah) really love this Equate apricot exfoliating scrub that uses a natural exfoliant (walnut shells) to keep your skin feeling fresh and hydrated. You can buy a bottle of this face scrub for $2 at Walmart and it'll last you months. 

4. Hair Masks/Leave-In Conditioner

Self-care Sunday is the time to catch up on some much-needed hair care. I (Sarah) really like the Biosilk brand of leave-in conditioner. Just start at the roots and apply it all over your scalp. It will keep your hair feeling soft and almost as fresh as your mind after self-care Sunday. 

Setting The Mood With Music

Mackenzie Patel

Here’s the definition of “mood”: Lights off, lava lamp on, and music ebbing through a Bluetooth speaker. According to a NPR article, “Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function.”

This “stimulation” isn’t physical – it’s more of a creeping sense of tranquility and mental activity. Music unwinds my body but stokes my creativity, so nights are small-scale parties in which I’m the only attendee. I (Mackenzie) created a *mood* playlist for all the Spoon music-heads out there, featuring Fleetwood Mac, Japanese Breakfast, The Vaccines, and Mac DeMarco.

These songs will wind stress down to zero and Zen up to 100 – and they're an optimal background for writing articles. 

Self-Care Activities

1. Goal planning

I (Mackenzie) derive supreme pleasure from my to-do lists. Planning out the upcoming week – upcoming year – the rest of my life – is a great Sunday night activity. Focus keeps me collected and on track, and whether I’m prepping for a music interview or an exam, Sunday nights ensure I’m not a disaster. 

I (Sarah) absolutely live for checking boxes. As my tasks get completed, I feel progressively more accomplished. Personally, I do not like to use my iCalendar or other planner apps. The classic pen and paper (in the form of a colorful planner full of motivational stickers of course) is the way to go. I plan out as much as possible on Sunday so that I can get look forward to tackling the week. 

2. Reading

Novels have a way of making me exhausted and thrilled simultaneously – the physical act of reading drags my eyes, but the words are oftentimes enchanting or stupefying. Self-care includes mental food for thought, and the Feminine Mystique is a five-course meal.

As book lovers, Sarah and Mackenzie recommend these “unwind” books: The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway), The Doors of Perception (Huxley), French Rhapsody (Laurain), Chicken Soup for the Soul, and The Tao of Equus (for anyone who likes horses).

3. Tea-Drinking

My friend, Keval, and I (Mackenzie) have this ritual of drinking homemade chai and playing chess in the evenings. The hot beverage, milky and spicy, is an Indian nightcap I couldn’t live without. Even when the temperature is 85 degrees (which it often is in Florida), the humidity and sweat can’t tempt me out of tea. The heat percolates into your chest, and the Sunday silence makes it taste even better. 

I (Sarah) am more of a coffee person tbh, but my stress-relieving tea gets put to good use, especially during midterms or finals. I love the Bigelow brand, and my favorite is the lemon ginger probiotic tea. It helps calm me down, especially around bedtime. 

4. Yoga

Yoga seems like a cliche way to relax and unwind because it works. You'll feel stretched out and relaxed. Yoga can also help you have a better body image by focusing your attention on your body's ability and the present moment. It will increase the strength of your mindset and give you focus to accomplish your weekly tasks mindfully and successfully.

5. Playing Instruments

Nothing feels better than shredding Arctic Monkeys on the bass or mastering Mozart’s flute concerto. With dim lights, velvet legs from a fresh shave, and wet hair, strumming the bass takes on an otherworldly quality. Instruments require concentration (leading to great sleep), but they also induce fulfillment – and what’s better than falling asleep to a self-made melody? 

6. Losing yourself in Google Arts & Culture 

I (Mackenzie) have studied art history since I was 15, so the Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th century “isms” are in my bloodstream. Google Arts & Culture is one the sharpest educational websites I’ve discovered – it’s easy to lose yourself in the oils, encaustics on wood, and lithographs until past midnight. 

The Results

Both of us have busy schedules and have really taken the time to practice some self-care this summer. We realized that self-care Sunday does not have to be a full day. Even if you just take a few hours on Sunday evening to recenter yourself, you will feel much more energized and less stressed during the week. Do things you enjoy and take time off from screens. Plan out your week so that you feel ready to tackle it.

Even if you have a million things to take care of, take time to care for yourself. Wind down on Sunday and clear your mind because no matter what anyone says, you're worth it.