I'm working on trying to worry less about what taking care of myself "should" look like, and more about what actually makes me feel good.
Like, for example, I grew up with this idea that girls who focused a lot on beauty products were vapid and dumb. But it turns out that I actually like trying out different little pots and potions. It's not for everyone, but I find it pretty fun.
And further, what "taking care of yourself" means is such a malleable, day-to-day concept. For me, some days it looks like a six mile run. Some days it looks like a basket of fries with marshmallow dipping sauce. Sometimes it's going to bed with Little Miss at 7:30. Sometimes it's staying up writing 'till three in the morning. It all depends on what part of me particularly needs to be nurtured on a given day.
What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself? I'm curious to hear what I might not be thinking of. And--in the spirit of I'll show you mine, if you show me yours--here are some of my favorite self-care bits and bobs of late:
This compilation of Cheryl Strayed quotes. The Kid (assisted by his father) got it for me for Christmas and I've been carrying it around, reading it at odd moments, ever since. As she says in the introduction, among other things quotations "tell us we're not alone. Their existence is proof that others have questioned, grappled with, and come to know the same truths we question and grapple with, too."
These running tights. I love Target for workout clothes for hitting just the right intersection of quality and price. These tights are cute and they stay where they're supposed to, which is awesome-sauce.
This scale. Confession, the company that makes it sent me one to try. I wasn't sure I'd love it at first--I'm not super gadget-y, in general--but I underestimated how much fun it would be to see my muscle mass as a trackable number. It changes your focus in what I feel like is a very positive way.
This face scrub and this moisturizer. I'm afraid I'm about to dive into the deep end of the K-beauty stuff. Not to 10-step levels, but--particularly with the dry, cold winter air--it's amazing what a few extra layers of moisture will do. The scrub is pleasantly mild, and you use only the tiniest bit so it lasts for ever. The moisturizer--which Sweet Husband has jokingly started calling "the blood of unicorns"--is almost more like a sealer in that it feels like it helps keep my regular moisturizer soaking in. I know that's a weird way to explain it, but it's good.
And, while I'm talking product, Amika texture spray. My hair used to be really thick, but some combination of babies and age has done a number. This helps plump it back up and hold curls. Yay curls!
This recipe. I signed up for a "winter salads" cooking class next month with locally famous chef, Rick Martin, purely in hopes that he would teach this spaghetti squash salad, which is an occasional special at his restaurant. Imagine my delight at opening the newspaper this morning to see that he had published the recipe. I'm so excited to try it for dinner next week!
Water. Drinking all of the water. Whenever I start feeling generally dull and out-of-whack, it's almost always because I've fallen off the water wagon. This week I'm vowing anew to carry my faithful tumbler with me wherever I go and drink-up.
Pigeon pose. I haven't resumed regular yoga since Little Miss was born, but even just doing a few quick poses "of a morning" gets my day headed the right way. I actually hate pigeon--something about it makes me both physically and mentally uncomfortable--but pushing into it anyway feels good, too. Like I'm testing myself and passing.
Alright, that's all I've got. But, for-reals, leave me your own favorites in the comments!