If you’re like most people, you were relieved to say goodbye to 2020, but it’s going to be a while yet before things even begin to resemble “normal” again. Lockdowns have a lot of us climbing the walls and suffering from a serious case of cabin fever by now. That’s all the more reason to be good to yourself however you can.

Effective, sensual self-care is about a lot more than making time for bubble baths, hair masks, and beauty treatments more often. There are lots of ways to relax and decompress while building a better relationship with your body, some of which are quite sexy. Here are some great ideas to get started with, but don’t be afraid to come up with a few of your own.

1.      Buy your inner sex kitten a present.

It goes without saying that money doesn’t buy happiness, even in the middle of a lockdown, but a little mindful spending can be beneficial for sensual self-care. When you’re not dating as much or going out as often, it’s easy to fall out of step with some of the little habits that make you feel sexiest.

Treating yourself to something sexy and beautiful for no one’s sake but your own can be therapeutic. Decide how much you can afford to spend and get yourself a stunning new piece of lingerie to feel pretty in or invest in that luxury rabbit vibrator you’ve wanted for forever. You’re worth it, whether you’re partnered up with anyone else right now.

2.      Give pleasure mapping a try.

Pleasure mapping is a fun and exciting way to get to know your body better. It opens the door to discovering new types of touch that turn you on. It’s also incredibly soothing, so it’s well worth including in your sensual self-care. If you have a partner, you can do it together, but it’s totally doable on your own if you’re currently flying solo.

Get naked (or strip down to your underthings if you prefer) and lie down someplace comfortable. Starting at the top of your head and working your way down, mindfully stroke each part of your body or stimulate it using a small sex toy. (You can also have a partner do this.) Make a note of what feels especially good. The idea is to discover incredible new erogenous zones that are entirely new to you.

3.      Try some mindful masturbation.

For most people, masturbation is strictly a “hit it and quit it” operation – more like scratching a familiar itch than anything else. They only prepare to get down and dirty by pulling out all the stops when there’s another person involved. Why not go all out as a treat to yourself next time? It’s a real game-changer.

Go ahead and set the scene by doing whatever it is that makes you feel sexy. Put some beautiful new sheets on the bed, light a few candles, and put on some music that puts you in the mood. Put your favorite sex toy and some indulgent lube within easy reach. Then enjoy a solo session that lasts as long as you like and involves as many orgasms as you’re craving. Take your time. Savor the way every stroke and caress feel, just like you would if you were with another person.

4.      Stage a sexy photoshoot.

Taking a few red-hot selfies to send to a partner or lover is undoubtedly a good time, but you don’t need to have a recipient in mind to stage a steamy photoshoot. Dressing up in something sultry, working your best angles like a boss, and admiring the results all by yourself can be just as fun – especially if you’re in desperate need of a lockdown pick-me-up.

Experiment with a few different outfits or try a few shots with some creative props. Compare the results you get when using different types of lighting. Go ahead and get as creative, over-the-top, or “adult” as you want. This photoshoot is all about you first and anyone else who might see the results second.

5.      Spend some time processing your feelings.

When life feels stressful, uncertain, or frustrating, it becomes especially important to work through any complicated feelings you might be having. Give yourself permission to process your feelings however you see fit and make some time to do exactly that sometime soon. It’s a great way to figure out how you’re really feeling about things.

Start a journal and record your thoughts daily. Set aside some time for a heart-to-heart with someone you love and trust, even if it’s only over Zoom. Find a group of like-minded folks online to talk to about whatever’s on your mind. When you see what a difference it makes, you’ll be glad you did.