Sweet Self Care

Recently I was struggling with some life disappointment or another: I can’t remember if it was a nasty cold or stress related indigestion or something else entirely. Whatever the case, I decided to draw on some advice I had heard from a medical pro and do some nice things for myself. Self-care, she had said, is something that people often neglect, to the detriment of their mental, and ultimately physical, health. The logic being that in life, as in the kitchen, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

I dedicated an entire Sunday to the mission, and challenged myself to do only things that I could accomplish in my home and without spending any money.

I started my day with a wholesome and delicious green smoothie spiked with seamoss gel. Armed with that nutritional boost, I was inspired to do something else nice for my body – a quick living room workout. Even though deep down I knew I’d feel better when I got through, I had a bit of a case of the “don’t wannas,” which I squashed by putting on a funny audiobook while I did my circuit of pushups, lunges, dips and crunches.

Once my healthy moves were done, it was time for a fun reward, which for me was a home pedicure. I don’t do these all the time but when I do, I take them very seriously. That means a soak, scraping the calluses and some serious moisturizing all have to happen before the nail polish even comes out. I think the years I spent on my feet working in a restaurant make it feel like a fun ritual rather than just a lot of work.

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Post pedicure nap situation.

That home-spa experience reminded me that my younger (and far cooler) sister-in-law had raved about an exfoliating face mask you can make by combining charcoal powder and white glue. I felt a little silly mixing it together and trying to put it on may face without making a sticky, charcoaly mess, but it was so much fun to peel off after it dried that I’d totally do it again.

After my feet and face were looking and feeling fresh, it was time for a few episodes of a favorite old TV show and a nap. I think under different circumstances, I might have kicked myself for not trying to get ahead on work or household chores for the coming week, but when I woke up the next day, I really felt refreshed! Consider me a self-care believer.

This column was in the Limin Times a little earlier this year.

Why are you smiling?

screwface.memeI walk a lot. I walk to work, to get groceries, to go to the bank, to the laundry, to get some exercise… pretty much every day, multiple times a day, I walk. 

People who see me tend to mention the same thing over and over again: my smile.

Apparently, I am supposed to put on a screwface while I’m strolling around, and the fact that I don’t* is a real surprise to folks. Seriously people I am meeting for the first time will bring this up to me.

Anyway, here are some of the things that have made me smile on recent walks:

1. It’s a beautiful day.

2. The breeze feels nice.

3. I just remembered something funny my sister sent me in a text.

4. I am listening to a song that makes me happy.

5. I am listening to a funny book/podcast.

6. I’m looking forward to whatever it is that I am on my way to do.

7. My boyfriend just said something really sweet to me on the phone.

8. I have just seen a person I like drive past so I waved and smiled at them.

9. I feel extra cute.

10. I’m singing a fun song in my head.

11. Someone who has just driven past is listening to a humorous song.

12. I have just tripped or bumped into something.

13. I am enjoying a delicious beverage.

14. My manicure is holding up really well this week.

15. A baby just waved at me.

16. I have just seen a rainbow.

17. I read an amusing bumper sticker.

18. I just noticed a particularly pretty flower.


The point of all this is to say that I might be smiling for any number of random little reasons. My smile has nothing to do with anyone who happens to see it, it’s just a visible signal that I am experiencing a little slice of joy in my day.


*More and more I actually DO put a screwface on because I’m actively trying to avoid street harassment. But that’s a whole other post.