All I’ve succeeded at today is eating a whole bag of popcorn in my underwear and putting a t-shirt on inside-out. This is okay. I’ve pretty much spent my day snuggled up in the cocoon that is my bedroom, and someday, eventually, I will emerge a beautiful butterfly. Today, I am a slug instead. But a cute slug. A little bit of a sick slug, but recovering.
I know I’m not always the kindest to myself on this blog, so not only are these 7 techniques helpful to you, they’re reminders to me too. I wanted to compile a list of things that didn’t include a Netflix bender, even if my day off has been spent getting caught up on the season’s anime and revisiting an old favorite, Princess Jellyfish.
Let me walk you through 7 things I do on days where I severely need to recharge.
1. Tell yourself 3 things you love about yourself. If you can’t think of things you love about yourself, 3 things you’re grateful for works too–this is just a grounding exercise. Before the days of “Dear Evan Hansen,” I was writing 3 things I was grateful for every day when I was at my lowest of lows. I started doing this more religiously after my grandmother died back in September, just as a gentle reminder that even in the darkest of times, my light can still shine. Don’t just do this on days you’re taking a break. Do it every single day.
“Dear Darrin Clayton, I love your clear skin, your ability to never falter in chasing your dreams, and how proud I am that you haven’t killed your orchid plant yet.”
2. Take a shower–easy, right? Not always. If you can budget it, buy yourself a bath bomb every once in a while. I assembled a playlist called “You Never Walk Alone” as a mental health reminder, filled with songs like Cough Syrup by Young the Giant and Spring Day by BTS. One more spoon of cough syrup down. Parte duo in cleansing? Rub yourself down with lotion, because let me tell you, nothing feels better against my sweatpants than moisturized skin. I’ll use Charity Pot by Lush. Even though it’s a higher price point, I feel good about buying it because they donate the proceeds to charity.
3. Go outside, go on a walk! It doesn’t have to be far. When weather permits me, I’m the first to walk to Doughnut Plant in the morning for my creme brulee donut and cold brew. Sometimes, if I’m feeling plucky, I’ll stand outside Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue and eat it standing in the window, like a broke-ass Holly Golightly.
4. Don’t read the news. It’s absolutely crucial in tumultuous times as these to stay informed, but if you’re taking a day to recharge, allow yourself a break from mass media. It’s okay to not be woke every minute of every day, so long as you are in fact woke.
5. Forgive yourself for past transgressions. That girl that stole your shoes and you called a bitch? Forgive that. It doesn’t help to carry that with you 10 years later and be oddly specific about in a blog.
6. Get cute stationary and start sending letters. This was actually my New Year’s Resolution, since I thought it was a good way to honor the memory of my grandmother, since there was nothing she loved more than walking to the mailbox and opening letters. There’s something so cathartic about taking your thoughts and feelings and sending them to someone you care about. Of course, you can always call or text somebody… but who ever expects to get a letter? My stationary is My Melody, because yes, I am a 6 year old girl.
7. Make yourself something good to eat. If you can’t cook, don’t be afraid to order Seamless every once in a blue moon–it’s just important to make sure you eat! Eat something you absolutely love while you’re at it. Right now, my vice is Halo-Top ice cream. I love that you can eat an entire pint and not instantly feel like your jeggings won’t fit in the morning. The peanut butter cup flavor is seriously where it’s at. My vice used to be Nacho Cheese Doritos and Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar Dip (which is legitimately ambrosia, for those who have never experienced true fake cheese flavor).
You don’t have to do everything listed here. Reward yourself and your accomplishments. Just allow yourself to do what feels natural in self care and don’t forget, at the end of the the day, to embrace yourself, for there is great power in you. If you’ve done something positive, don’t be afraid to share it with the world for fear of other people having feelings about it.
Don’t let anybody rain on your parade.
The more I pat myself on the back for seemingly innocuous tasks, the more I feel validated and empowered to continue making good habits. This should be true for anyone, for any accomplishment either big or small, and anyone who feels the need to pass judgment on positive goals met by their colleagues/acquaintances/friends, can suck eggs, because personal accomplishments are just that. Personal as hell.