Pyeongtaek Self-Care Sunday Itinerary

What is a Self-Care Itinerary?

It’s a day where you only do things that help you and build your ability to cope with change, feel healthy, and feel confident. These kid of days are needed as much as adventure days.

We all fight FOMO (fear of missing out) when we live abroad. Fear of not seeing all the places. Fear of not having all the fun. We are stalking everyone on Instagram, watching all the YouTube videos, and signing up to chase all the “Best of” lists we can find! We are hype! But are we taking care of ourselves?

Does racing around checking things off the list always matter? Ok, yes it does, but maybe making sure your immediate needs are taken care of matters a little more. We all need to find a balance between climbing the highest mountain and taking time for ourselves to simply focus on if we are ok and what it all means.

Honestly, we all need to be worried about not taking care of ourselves. Not making time for the little things and carving out space for self-care. When living in a place where language is a struggle and each new experience requires learning new cultural norms, self-care can quickly fall away and get replaced by chasing the allure of photo-ops. At least you know you can accomplish that task and it requires very little human interaction.

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All of this is said without judgment. This is simply the situation that we all have to manage. What I am describing are natural, normal, and often healthy human coping skills. However, even the best coping skill can become unbalanced over time. That means, as long-term international residents in South Korea, we have to focus on balancing coping with tackling the tough task of self-care in a new culture.

Considering the need for prioritizing self-care caused me think, “How can I set a better example? Why not create Self-Care itineraries? Why not give people a road map and permission to rest?”

So that’s what I am here to do today. I hope you find inspiration in how to slow down and enjoy the magic of your life right now. I don’t expect many people to care about these, but I’m going to make them for those who need them.

Here we go, my lazy (for me) self-care Sunday where I embrace the easy living in Korea.

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What I Include in My Own Self-Care Itinerary

When I create the structure for my self-care days, I turn to research. I’m a fan of finding what works and molding my plans around that. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Researchers have done the hard work for me. The follow list creates my framework:

  • Get enough good quality sleep.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Take brief rest periods during the day to relax.
  • Take a vacation away from home and work.
  • Engage in pleasurable or fun activities.
  • Practice relaxation exercises such as yoga, prayer, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Avoid use of alcohol.

Now, these are the things that I strive for but I am not somebody trying to do everything perfectly every moment of every day, I just look at the above list and keep it in mind. I balance it against my other needs. So here we go…

8:00 am Tea or Coffee and (Sometimes) a Walk with the Dogs

Every morning we start with coffee. We grind our own beans and use an Aeropress which makes the best lazy coffee ever known to man. That’s my opinion. I said what I said and I’m owning it. Currently, we are obsessed with the Brazillian whole beans from Emart Traders at Starfield Mall in Anseong. The Brazillian beans are affordable and taste smooth like silk in the Aeropress.

E Mart Traders Anseong

E Mart Traders Anseong5

031-363-1234

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Basically like Costco on steroids and no membership required.

Hangul Address

경기도 안산시 단원구 중앙대로 397

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

That said, sometimes I also do tea just because of the ritual of it all.

After we finish the coffee we take a long walk through the rice paddies to soak in the morning feeling. Sometimes we take the dogs, but oftentimes they just want to sleep at home so we go alone. I love to watch the fields change day by day on my strolls. If we do take the dogs, our walk turns into a very slow exploration of every blade of grass and rock in the road. Truly meditative.

During these walks, I make an extra effort to focus on the little beauty right in front of me and observe how love flows through the world I live in.

9:00 am Putter around the house and Massage Chair

Puttering is badass. I love to putter and move things around. Maybe I will go through a cabinet, organize a bin, or match socks. It makes me feel grounded and connected to my space. When I first moved to Korea I would spend all day doing this as I learned how I wanted to exist in the new culture.

I LOVE puttering and considering how my routine needs to adjust because the focus helps me connect to the reality of my immediate situation. A counting of my blessings if you will. An acknowledgment of who I was and how I am changing. I seek to remember it’s a huge privilege to move to another country with a job and home included. I am blessed and I prioritize honoring that blessing whenever I can. Even when it’s hard, it’s a privilege and wonderful.

During this sorting time, I itemize my needs. Do I have what I need to succeed in my daily life? What problems do I need to solve in my home? Taking note of my comfort level and needs keeps me grounded and happy in my space. I avoid fixating on what I don’t have, instead, I look at what I do have and ask, “How can I make the most out of this right now?”

10:00 am Video Calls with Friends or Family

During this time I also might Kakao Voice/Video with friends back home. This week it was a long conversation with a friend who recently became a Canadian citizen and lives in Canada now. We spent a few hours talking about all the differences between Korean and Canadian life. It was wonderful and reminded me that my community is global even when I am isolated because of a pandemic.

Kakao Talk

Kakao Talk5

Kakao Talk also offers shopping, Kakao pay, the ability to send gift cards, and so much more. It offers to many things to list. Having a registered Kakao account is life. Kakao is how South Korea connects.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

11:30 am Forage for Food in the House

This is when I’m really happy to have NOSH meals in my freezer so that I don’t have to cook. I can grab a healthy, vegan out of the freezer then add some premade chicken breast from Costco or some cheese. I can only be so healthy guys.

Nosh Vegan Meal Delivery

Nosh Vegan Meal Delivery0

Nosh delivers vegan meals, snacks, smoothies, and makes goods across Korea. They meals are heart and packed with nutrition. The perfect solution for busy educators, vegans, and folks who want to eat healthier.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Keeping pre-made, homemade meals in my freezer is a huge part of my self-care routine. One of the best things I do for myself to make sure that I get through my rest days with grace. Without NOSH, I would be eating tuna from a can or yelling at people because I am hangry. Trust me, I’ve done the research.

12:00 Get out for some more exercise

My perfect day always includes being terrible at something with great enthusiasm, which is why I love skateparks. I’m not good at inline skating and I love it. I love being terrible at it and getting a little better each time. Usually, I watch a bunch of skating videos to get myself hype to carefully try new skills. It feels wonderful to be free from expectations of success and simply embrace the effort.

Godeok Skate Park

Godeok Skate Park5

000-000-0000

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

A small and rideable skate park. Ok, this is actually a big park complex with basketball court courts and playgrounds as well.

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 고덕동 2388

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Sometimes I skip the skatepark (but that photo above is not me but is Godeok) and spend a lazy afternoon by the river instead. I might take my inline skates, bike, or just wander around on my boring old feet. The reason I choose the riverwalk is that I’m old and tired. There are plenty of benches and areas of interest where I can take a rest and just stare off into the distance. I rarely do much more than dink around and think about stuff. Sometimes I just listen to the water and completely zone out.

Godeok-myeon River Walk

Godeok-myeon River Walk 5

000-000-000

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

A long bike path and walking path that follows the river through Godeokbuk.

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 고덕면 좌교리 970

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

The main thing about my self-care activities is that I don’t require myself to actually do the activity. If I get there and just want to sit, that’s what I do. It’s about leaving space for wherever I am at and not worrying about accomplishment. It’s self-care Sunday so failure isn’t an option, just existing in a space is a success.

2:00 Eat some snacks, Cuddle Puppies, Take a Power Nap

Since I have a plan to go get my hair done around dinner time, I don’t play myself. I grab a quick snack and another cup of coffee or tea before laying down to take a rest with one of the dogs.

4:30 pm A Radical Act of Self-Care

I usually pick one big self-care task to accomplish. Something that might require money. I hate spending money on myself so this is a huge, radical move for me. This is when I do self-care activities manufactured by society or social norms. Things like haircuts, massages, facials, etc. I get out of my comfort zone in new ways. Sometimes I might even try a completely new beauty treatment I’ve not done before.

One of my favorite tasks, though, is getting a haircut. Salons can get fancy in Korea so I try to choose a location that offers all the things like shampoo, head massage, haircut, and coffee or tea. I want to feel cared for and relaxed. Such cuts cost around 25,000 – 30,000 won. We recently fell in love with Aura J Salon in Osan because it feels like a little vacation.

Aura J Salon

Aura J Salon5

031-377-1171

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

An upper end salon in Osan. The staff is very friendly and work well off pg photos.

Hangul Address

경기 오산시 금암로11번길 7

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

The reason this usually comes in the afternoon is that I’m not one to schedule things. It’s too stressful to try to make an appointment. That means I either do a walk-in or just take whatever is left in the afternoon after everyone else who made a plan has finished their tasks. However, if you are a “making reservations” person things will go much more smoothly for you.

7:00 pm order food delivery

On some self-care days, I cook. On other self-care days, I take a rest. Lately, since I don’t like leaving the house, I do a lot more delivery. CoupangEats has the best options near my house, but many people also use Shuttle which takes international cards and works entirely in English.

CoupangEats

CoupangEats0

CoupangEats is like the UberEats of Korea. They often have a wider delivery area than other apps. The app has an English interface.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

However, most international residents in our area use Shuttle who also do a great job!

Shuttle Delivery

Shuttle Delivery 5

Shuttle Delivery provides delivery services from a variety of Korea’s best restaurants, so you can enjoy the best food in the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you happen to be! They offer a fully bilingual service where customers can place orders in either English or Korean. If you are not sure what to eat, you can check out the full range of options by selecting by cuisine! Click on the website link to get signed up! They have a website and a phone app. Use what’s comfortable for you. South of Seoul volunteers will get a discount and so will you when you place your first order.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

On weekends we all destroy our diets with cheat days so we under from Pizza One on Sunday or Saturday nights.

Pizza One

Pizza One0

050-7977-0954

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Affordable pizza, pasta, and wings. Very nice sauce.

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 서정로 265

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

8:00 pm WATCHA and Face Masks

I actually found out about WATCHA because they contacted me while researching for an upcoming program they plan on filming (I forwarded them to another South of Seoul volunteer as I’m interested in being on a show). From this, I learned Korea has its own streaming service similar to Netflix called WATCHA. It has all kinds of different shows including many from the BBC. They also have many older US movies. Of course, they also have an epic number of Korean films and shows. We actually watch WATCHA more than Netflicks now.

Although the interface is in Korea, the foreign content isn’t dubbed. It’s all in the original languages with subtitles available. Here is a video that walks you through how it works. It’s a terrible but informative video by some helpful person on the internet.

Once I have my show picked out I put on my face masks and settle in for a little relaxation. I get almost all my masks from The Face Shop. I buy them when they have their 5+5 or 3+3 deals.

The Face Shop Sinjang

The Face Shop Sinjang4.5

0316654209

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Face Shop sells Korean beauty supplies, skin care, etc.

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 쇼핑로 28-2

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

I keep them by the bed so I always have them handy. The magnesium spray also helps calm stressed and tense muscles. I’m not trying to sell you on it, I just thought I would mention why I keep it around since it’s randomly in the photo.

Self-Care Itinerary Planning

I don’t recommend planning lots of radical self-care tasks all on one day when you first arrive in Korea. You will have a lot on your plate simply figuring out how to accomplish one simple task in a new culture. That’s normal, healthy, and doesn’t reflect poorly on you. This is the mechanics of biology and how our brains and bodies process new experiences.

Make sure your schedule is simple and padded with plenty of time for mistakes, misunderstandings, and changes in plans. None of these experiences are intrinsically bad, but can feel horrible if we haven’t built grace for yourself and others.

Good luck!!! I hope you fall in love with creating self-care days.