What you are about to see is a list that I made for my dear friend when she got seriously sick and needed to slow down for awhile. Making a care package for her, including this advice, not only cheered her up, but honestly made me feel a lot better. So I’ve decided to share these steps to self-care in the hopes that it will have the same positive effect on others.
Because if there’s one thing I want to give to people in this world, it’s the confidence to love themselves.
So without further ado, here it is:
1. Light a candle sometimes when you take a bath or shower. Relaxing scents are best, like lavender.
2. Make a playlist of songs that motivate you or make you feel powerful. Listen to it often. (I myself have a different playlist for everything from working out to typing this very blog).
3. Go through and purge your closet every year or so. It clears room for new items and makes you feel organized (a really rewarding process).
4. Make time for light exercise at least once a week. Maintaining your health and strength is the biggest favor you can do for yourself. I recommend yoga if you’re like me and hate normal workouts.
5. Make a Christmas list every year. Put anything you desire on it. Even if you don’t get it all, it’s a good way to figure out what you want.
6. Experiment with your hair. (I’ve been doing that a lot lately). Just like with clothing, trying different hairstyles can be a great way to get to know yourself.
8. Choose a guilty pleasure and drop the guilt. Treat yourself to it occasionally. (For me, it was going to the coffee shop. I’ve pretty much turned Round Mountain into my office). Honestly, let’s all try to move away from the idea that feeling good is somehow sinful.
9. Set the lock screen on your phone to something that makes you smile. A lot of people use a photo of a loved one, or something from a movie/show they like.
10. Choose a mantra that empowers you and never lose sight of it. Mine, for example, is “I am the queen of my life.”
11. Pleasure yourself frequently. Yes, I mean masturbation. We’re grown-ups, and sexual health is important. Get the good chemicals flowing.
12. Wear clothes that make you feel sophisticated and sexy. (I preach this one all the time. It’s pretty much what this blog is about).
14. Buy quality when it comes to necessities like soap, hair care products, and makeup.
15. Wear cute underwear as often as possible. It’s not for someone else; it’s for you.
16. Moisturize. If you read my recent post on skincare, you know this is an important one.
17. Eat healthy, but don’t avoid sweets and treats altogether. Life isn’t supposed to be about deprivation. Find your balance.
18. Keep a journal. Think of it as a place where you can be totally honest. Writing things down is a big help to me, for example, when I’m trying to sort out my feelings.
19. Find at least one powerful female role model and think of her strength in your difficult moments. She can inspire you to push forward.
21. Make a list of the people in your life who truly add to your happiness and fulfillment. Nurture your relationships with those people above anyone else.
22. If a situation doesn’t feel right, leave it.
23. If someone doesn’t treat you right, tell them to fuck off.
24. Find a hobby. Become obsessed with something. Nothing is more fun than pursuing a passion.
25. Cuddle with your dog every single day. (Cuddle something else if you don’t have a dog).
26. Watch videos/shows that make you laugh at least a couple times a week. The harder you laugh, the better.
27. Delete the people who stress you out on social media.
28. Stay hydrated. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like water, put some lemon juice in it and drink it anyway. You’re body needs it.
29. Talk about what’s bothering you. Everyone needs emotional support.
30. Indulge in a magazine subscription. Even if you don’t care about the fashion, it’s nice to flip through something every once in awhile without having to concentrate much on it. (I like to snip out some pictures afterwards and make collages).
31. Let yourself have an entire week of selfishness every year for your birthday. Pick the restaurant. Buy the thing. Put yourself first for a change.
32. Spend a few quiet moments alone in Nature every so often. Open yourself to the spirituality of being a (small) part of the universe.
33. Practice escapism. Taking a fun break from the world’s pressures can give you some much needed perspective.
34. Read books for the rest of your life. Do not deprive yourself of the knowledge, imagination, and variety that reading provides to us all.
35. Remind yourself–consistently–that you have only this one life, and so you really must strive to live it to your own satisfaction.
As pleasant and comforting as I would like my advice to be, dear readers, I also wish it to be entirely serious. I didn’t shy away from some of the heavier points in this post because true self-care isn’t all cheesecake and bubblebaths. Life–being alive–is an intense and visceral thing. There are usually just as many hardships as there are pleasures, often even more. Sometimes we’re misinformed, or make the wrong choices. Sometimes it’s a literal fight just to remain alive.
My point being that loving and caring for oneself is essential.
Who must you live with for the rest of your life? Who must you rely on when the chips are down? Who can be your strongest foe, or your greatest ally? The inescapable answer is yourself. And it is my belief that if more people showed themselves respect and compassion, the world would be a merrier place.
Humans get too wrapped up in how other humans are living. Try instead to forget about what’s none of your business and take advantage of your own life. Seek to better yourself. Work towards a fulfilling existence. If there is peace and love in your heart, that will naturally shine out and benefit others.
I guess what I’m trying to say, overall, is that you should make yourself go to the gym, but also eat those cupcakes. You should abstain from risky behavior, but also fully enjoy your own body. Life isn’t black and white. It’s not one extreme or the other. I’m saying just get over yourself and live.
May your mind be sharp, your body tenacious, and may you dwell contentedly in your own kindness.
Have a beautiful week.