Friday, January 27, 2017

40 Lessons in Self-Care


You probably noticed I took a month-long hiatus. I had been working myself into the ground previously, and things were getting harder and harder. The weather turned harsh with snow in NYC and torrential rain in LA. My country's politics turned upside down--a lot of people, including myself, are incredibly distressed about how the new administration will affect us. The general geopolitical climate of where I call home has been torn apart and I'd been feeling a little alienated and lost.


So, I took the month off for self-care.

Self-care is incredibly important. Without it, your soul runs on fumes and you'll eventually burn out. I spent the last month sleeping in more, rescuing abused and abandoned dogs and cats, spending quality time with loved ones over the holidays, and going on trips with friends--these are the things that make me happy and calm.
I was curious to know what other forms of self-care I could test out, so I asked Instagrammers from all walks of life to divulge what they do to take care of themselves. Here are some of my favorites; even typing these out was incredibly soothing. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me.

1. "Sit at the dog park." -@nottaylersmith

2. "Write a gratitude list. And I always start small, like 'coffee'.  And the next thing I know, I'm at 'all the people who love me' and I feel brand new." -@the_erin_rose

3. "Redoing my entire face and spending three hours on my eyeshadow. It's very therapeutic." -@rachelhasacamera

4. "Going for long walks where I turn off my phone so nobody can contact me for like 20 minutes. Also listening to ASMR before bed." -@hannahrimm

5. "Probably the funnest thing I've done recently was to go to a late afternoon dance party at a club and just shake it out for a few hours. Felt fantastic after." -@rowlflores

6. "I love Korean spas because they make me love and appreciate my body. We do often neglect the very thing that helps us experience this life. Spa time is my time to be one with myself." -@theoriginal_danadane

7. "[I] pay attention to the small things (like feeling the wind, the color of the sky, kids laughing) because this reminds me I'm connected to everything." -@sylviageatery

8. "I take extra long, hot showers, wear really loud clothing to make myself and others laugh/[as] conversation starters, and sing (scream and howl) extra loud in the car. If I'm home--NO PANTS AND RED WINE!" -@theconcretechic

9. "I go to Disneyland at least once a month. Working in treatment is really difficult so I try to spend time at Disneyland and check out. I think the environment is so pure, everyone's just happy and fun...working in the environment I do, it gets me away from the harsh world and enters something fun and exciting where everyone is happy." -@garrettbraukman

10. "I cuddle my cats every morning, stare deeply into their eyes, and think of [a] list of 5 things I need to do. Everything is tolerable in small numbers. -@_ohliviajane


11. "Drink a mug of hot water. Stretch. Eat a bowl of vegetables. Make a bowl of egg drop soup. Spray some scents that I like around my room. Open the windows and let the air change in my space." -@sophia_akiko

12. "On weekends I play D&D [Dungeons & Dragons] and other table top games with two of my closest friends and we talk about our creative endeavors that we're working on! It's a great way to check in with myself and my friends and we exchange creative energy in a very symbiotic way." -@swamp_thaaang

13. "Take myself on a date and really pull out all the stops. My favorite is going out to a nice dinner with wine and a full meal in a nice restaurant, then going to a movie (preferably [at] Arclight because they have wine in the theater and I love a good bubbly while I watch)!" -@helenaveee

14. "Watering my milkweed and keeping it alive for all the monarch babies and their cocoons (read: hours of talking to caterpillars), taking 'cat walks' around my neighborhood and petting all the stray cats (read: hoping they adopt me and stay in my yard forever), calling my mom and talking about life (read: me bitching and moaning about future worries that won't even come to pass)." -@brrrlynn

15. "Everyday I do something that brings me a realistic amount of joy or excitement to counteract the mundane things I do to be an adult. And I love making effort to talk to a stranger every day about something other than the weather." -@payforwater

16. "I grow houseplants and tend to them like they are my children." -@meaganrosae

17. "It's easy for me to forget about all the little things I need to do and it turns into a downward spiral which manifests into a messy apartment. So I usually start there--I clean my whole space. I give myself the whole day so I don't feel rushed." -@bunny_witch

18. "Spin class, specifically Flywheel Sports because the teachers are so positive and uplifting. I go really early in the morning before my brain is awake enough to have negative thoughts, and let the teachers sort of fill my head with positivity before I start my day." -@guineadetectives

19. "I go camping a few times a year. It's nice to just get away from everything and be unreachable for a few days." -@theyshootfilm

20. "I do drag level looks. As a makeup artist I create a new character for myself and dress her like I would a doll. I experiment with drag taping, wigs, reshaping and altering. It helps me to dissociate from myself as a person who has boring errands and needs, and appreciate myself as a blank slate." -@plumfingloco 
21. "Confide in close friends. You should be able to speak candidly about anything weighing on your soul with those who are truly your friends. It's an opportunity to vent and to get a different point of view. One thing I never do is apologize for expressing negative feelings. Doing this is a subtle way of putting yourself down because you're acting in a way that essentially says, 'Hey, I'm sorry I only have bad things to tell you and that I have normal human emotions.' Fuck that. Instead, thank your friend for taking the time to listen." -@claytonsu

22. "Using [the] Yoga Bath Bomb, French Kiss Bubble Bar, and a Floating Island Bath Melt all from Lush (all at once)--it's so relaxing and grounding. -@lordsofsalem

23. "Binge watch The Bachelor. I know, I'm the worst." -@clothesandpizza

24. "Food is life for me when I'm feeling down. I'll order enough food for 3 people and sit in a bathtub and eat in the bathtub with some yummy smelling bubble bath. I also like to shop a little bit, so I'll look at my friends' shops and buy something. The act of buying and also giving to a friend makes me happy." -@noboringdays

25. "Nails. Getting my nails done is a must. I stopped for about 6 months and just started back up and already feel an improvement in my self-esteem. I'm not in the prettiest field for a female (male-dominated cocktail/beverage world) so it's nice to feel feminine while going against the grain...if that makes sense. It's the little things." -@hollyrachel.j

26. "My daily lifeline self-care is working out/yoga, but when things get especially bad, I put headphones on with classical music and I go to a discount clothing like Ross, T.J. Maxx, Crossroads Trading, etc. and go through each aisle touching each thing on the racks. I don't buy anything but just systematically going through the chaos recharges me." -@laurenhurtphoto

27. "I dance. My family (husband and I and two littles) have a 'dance party' once a week to let loose and have fun. We'll usually do it mid-week to energize us to power through the rest of the week. Think movements akin to those in The OA. Just meaningless, original, crazy dance moves for 20 minutes. It is important for us let go of any inhibitions and just move freely. We love it so much that if anyone feels down, someone will yell, 'DANCE PARTY!' and we all get up and go wild." -@thebeautysoiree

28. "I turn out the lights. Turn off my phone. Light candles and imagine simpler times. Then meditate a little bit with the appropriate chakra in mind. I usually lie down and stretch out my limbs as far as possible, to help myself relax while making myself lie in the most vulnerable position--so I can be open to new thoughts and clarity." -@novafoxmusic

29. "What I do is take ritual baths with some of my soaking salts. I like to wash away the days energy and cleanse my being for the next day. I believe we pick up and catch other people's energies throughout the day and it's important to release them and wash them away." -@littleshopofoils

30. "I allow myself time to cry and be vulnerable. I think sometimes people deny themselves moments of vulnerability, and holding in emotions is detrimental to one's well being." -@afro.vogue


31. "I rewatch stuff on Netflix. I find familiar stories comforting and I find new stuff in the old stories. Also sometimes, depending on the show, if I am puzzling over a problem, the show's message or moral can help me figure out what my next move is." -@koramadrama

32. "I refuse to get less than 8 hours of sleep. I don't care how much money is on the table, or what anybody is barking about. Unless somebody is in the ER, I do not short myself sleep because my physical and mental health suffer otherwiseKnowing my limits and what I need to function properly on a day-to-day basis is how I practice self-love." -@justindocanto

33. "At night I write down every random thought--good; bad; emotional; what I ate; it doesn't matter as long as I write until I'm out of random things to write about. I don't read it. This is crucial because it's no longer relevant. I either burn it or tear it apart and trash it so I can start with a clean slate the next day." -@netsuki

34. "When I am doing best in life, it usually coincides with the times where I do this specific ritual before bed. I have blank book that I fill in on each night, writing five things that hurt me or that I am angry or upset about (with the purpose of releasing that energy), five things I am deeply grateful for,  five things that I truly appreciate and love about myself, and five things that I intend to draw to myself in the near future. Things I desire. Things I pray will happen for me. After years of doing this since I was 20, I can tell you that the best times of my life, the most peaceful times, were periods of time when I did this religiously. I have just started again and I am very happy with the relief and hope that it gives me every time." -@dearestemily

35. "I unfollow people/groups that post unsubstantiated, hyperbolic news stories that are designed to raise anxiety; I specifically follow news that I trust and set aside time for that; I play fetch with my cat. I feel sort of bad, but unfollowing certain people has led to a much better mood for me than seeing constant screenshots of something asinine someone's college roommate said and people sharing InfoWars or whatever the liberal alternative to InfoWars is." -@jbrylah

36. "Bikram yoga, ride an exercise bike watching Rick & Morty a few times a week, eat lots of ice cream, sleep as much as possible, look at any dog memes I can find." -@daneburman

37. "I've been aiming to drink a gallon of water a day. At first it was sort of difficult to drink so much, but as I've continued doing it, it has only become easier to do. I feel so much more refreshed during the day, and it's such an easy thing to add into your daily routine." -@mrcowan

38. "Going on solo hikes and backpacking trips. There's something about reconnecting with nature and self-reliance that does the job with resetting yourself." -@mellylee_

39. "Audio books and podcasts. My brain is often going a million miles a minute, and in just as many directions. Sometimes it's hard to pay attention to the story. Sometimes I need to rewind certain parts many times until I can focus on just that one thing. It's a relief for my busy brain, and has helped me tremendously. I can't even begin to explain how therapeutic it is for me." -@bribowie

40. "If this were 6 months ago I'd say Pokémon Go lol." -@full_of_yummm

Wayf top / L'ecole des Femmes pants / Zana Bayne belt

Photography by Noel McGrath

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28 comments

  1. Thank you for featuring my silly self care tip! I'm totally going to work my way down this list the next time I need some me time!
    xoxo
    Abby @clothesandpizza

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  2. This article could not be more timely. I needed to read this and am so grateful to included! Glad I could contribute and thank you!!

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  3. I love seeing what everybody does to keep themselves centered! Politically the last few months have been emotionally exhausting, leaving me feeling like an enervated potato. Thanks so much for including my very sage advice, as well. 😂

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  4. So happy you took the time to recharge. It's so neat to see what others do. Thank you for the reminder to take care of me.

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  5. I'm going to use the list and try to do one of these each day!

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  6. There are some really great ideas in here that I'm going to try to implement in my life. Thanks!

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  7. Yes Please and thank you! Something to brighten up my internet day <3

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  8. I need to drink more water! Thanks for the reminder.

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  9. I appreciate being included in here! Such a helpful post plus these photos are amazing <3

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  10. This is such a great list. I wanna print this out for my wall! ❤️

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  11. I love this so much. I will keep this list handy and really challenge myself to explore more methods of self-care. Thank you! ��

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  12. Self-care is so so important especially during this time!

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  13. This was really helpful and insightful. You're such a beautiful person Eugenie thank you ❤️❤️

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  14. Thanks a lot to sharing this, Love!!!!! My self-care is watching Japanese dramas and movies non stop!!
    I hope I can travel more this year! xoxo

    xo from Seattle,
    AikA❤︎

    ★BLOG★
    ★INSTAGRAM★
    ★FACEBOOK★

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  15. This is so helpful, especially now. (And beautiful photos!) x

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  16. Love this post, all about self-care and taking it back a few notches.

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  17. This is such a great post babe. So helpful!!

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  18. All of these comments are truly amazing(that is coming from a person who lived and experienced life quite longer than most of you��
    I tired all of what you described and I know it works. Nowadays, I take it slow when I feel the pressure. It is the human nature to try to produce and pushing more when there is a absticle and delay. But I learned through the decades, when you feel the pressure and stress, that is the time you need to slow down and look inside of your heart, re-align your self, believing all things are works for you. I go to the beach, park, short vacation or even shopping(!!!) to reward myself then keep continue what I do, unless there is a shift comes for the next level of my life.

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  19. I really needed this. I'm in a low point in life where I feel like every day is just dragging from one to the next. I go to sleep at 3am and don't wake up till around 12pm, I feel unmotivated and uninspired. Think I'm gonna try some stuff from this list to rejuvenate my being. Thanks for sharing :) <3

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  20. A beautiful post, I'm glad you're back but also glad you could take a month off for self care. I always find animals when i need a bit, dogs are the best at making you feel that bit more cheery

    The Quirky Queer

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  21. This was just what I needed. I'm not in the US but the whole world is being affected by what's going on there and it's scary!

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  22. these are so important especially in our political climate right now - thank you for collecting all these and sharing <3
    xo

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  23. Love this concept and your photos set the tone very well :)

    CR

    http://www.creationdespite.com/fashion/

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  24. I love how you styled this outfit!

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  25. noovernightguestsMay 6, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Such a lovely post! Thank you for taking the time to get some many people's perspective on this topic.

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