My friend recently faced a break-up with her ultimate crush.
As she spoke of her despair, I tried to console her.
I said, “Make yourself extra special foods, take naps, shave your legs and put on lots of lotion, you know…small things for yourself. Eventually a new guy will come that you’ll like. But, for now, hang out with friends and take the time to make yourself happy.”
She replied, “You’re not thinking clearly.”
I burst out laughing because I thought that my friend was joking, however afterward, I wondered if perhaps she wasn’t. Didn’t she know how important it is to take care of oneself?
For those of us who are struggling right now, I have compiled a list of things you can do for yourself this week that can brighten your day and lighten your mood.
Each person is wonderfully unique, so some of these ideas may sound ghastly to you, while they fill me with glee. But, I believe specifics are good. It’s like that scene in It’s Complicated when Meryl Streep just wants an answer from her therapist about what he really thought of her affair.
As an ongoing soul searcher, even I must admit that sometimes we just need someone to straightforwardly tell us what to do and what direction to take, especially if we are depressed.
So, no thinking involved!
Make iced tea.
Buy a pitcher. It can be colorful or clean glass, but having this pitcher inside your fridge will make you appreciate how adorable you are…innovative, modern, and sexy for the fellas.
Next, pick a flavor, distill your tea of choice, add extra special ingredients like lemon or mint (adding in fresh elements will really put your tea over the top in deliciousness), and place your new-found creation in the refrigerator to cool. Viola! You’ll now have an extra glass of happiness that you can reach for throughout the week.
Get high, ridiculously high.
Don’t have any plans on a Friday night, or the hours are simply dragging in between work and when it’s acceptable to go to bed? Plan out a high time.
Go to the grocery store in advance and get those bad snacks that you love. There are times for being healthy and weight watching, but that time is not now. Make sure you get something to drink as your throat will be especially parched, and proceed to check out. Get back home, roll yourself a joint or nibble on that edible (the more preferable choice; please take care of your lungs), and get down to business—or complete lack thereof—for a few stress free hours.
Light a bunch of candles.
Don’t have them? Go buy them. (I’m sending you to the store quite a bit this week, but let’s face it: you’re down and need something to go do anyway.)
Spread them out or congregate them like a faux fire. (Yes, it’s perfectly fine if you only want to light one). Scented candles are preferable because their scent will fill the entire space. Happy nostrils lead to a happier you.
Set an exercise intention for the week.
I’ll be the first to say that the gym and I aren’t on speaking terms right now, which is bad, as exercise is important. I know it’s hard to picture doing anything at the moment, but don’t worry. Think small.
Need to strengthen your tummy? Sit-ups. You knew they were coming. Only do 20, but just do them. Lay down an extra soft blanket to make the exercise more enjoyable. Or go outside and do them.
Need to perk up your breasts/pecks? Do 10 to 20 push-ups a day. (Yes ladies, doing push ups will help your pectorals, which can help lift your boobs.)
Need to work on your legs? Do 20 squats a night. Or, take yourself for a walk around the block, down the street, wherever (Legs are my target area, and my super secret exercise is lifting my leg, and extended to the side. I do 20 reps of these on either side when I’m in the shower).
Whatever you do, do it seven days in a row. After a week, you can stop, but you’ll feel so much better doing something productive, consecutively. You’ve accomplished, and you were in dire need of, feeling successful. Go you.
Plan a hike by yourself.
No, Jon Snow, I refuse to believe that winter is coming. Use up this last bit of sunshine before it all turns white to take yourself for a walk. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic this will feel. You’ll get to be in the silence of the wilderness and things will become clearer in your mind. Take this moment for yourself if you especially have a lot on your plate this week or you are facing a tough decision. It will help.
Go get yourself a massage.
Whether you beg your roommate to rub your feet, go sit in a mall chair, or book yourself a solo appointment in an enclosed room, get a massage. Just being touched by another human being in this positive way will lift your spirits. Also, it’s incredibly important to let your muscles relax and give your body some tender love and care. It holds on to a lot of your burdens—sometimes without your knowledge. Give it some release, you won’t regret it.
Take an extra long bath.
Baths aren’t meant to be hygienic and this one won’t be either. They are meant to be soothing. Pour some bubbles in (shower gel works just as well). You can light your newly bought candles in here or just enjoy the sweet smell of warm water. Bring a book in with you or sit quietly. Put your head under the water. Close your eyes and find your inner calm. You’ll most definitely feel better, albeit a little soapy, when you reemerge.
Taking care of oneself is extremely important. Sometimes we forget to take that extra time for ourselves.
I hope these ideas have helped you today in some small way. Be brave. This too shall pass.
Author: Brittany Ann Bandemer
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flóra Soós/Flickr