33 Self-Care Tips in a Trying Time

Alright, we all know these recent times have been, well, tough. The political climate in the United States is certainly stressful for me, and I’m not the only one. During these crazy times where it’s easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in the news, what move Trump is making next to further destroy the country, and what else could possibly be going wrong, it’s easy to forget to focus on ourselves. But self-care is SO important, now and always.

Maybe you already have routines, big or small things that you do to take care of yourself – or maybe you don’t. Either way, we can always use more self-care in these trying times, so check out the list of 100 self-care tips below! (And feel free to share in the comments what *you* do for self-care, if it isn’t on the list.)

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Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge

Have you ever heard of hygge? (That’s hoo-ga.)

For a long time, I hadn’t. I saw this book on an Instagram account I follow a few months ago, and I was intrigued. Danish people are said to be some of the happiest in the world, and I’d love to know why. So I requested this book through my library – I was 36th on the list, with it being a recent release and all. Months later, I finally got my hands on it!

So what is hygge? It doesn’t have an exact English translation, but we all know hygge when we feel it. It’s that feeling you get when you’re surrounded by loved ones, able to enjoy each other’s company. When you’re snuggled in a blanket with your dog, reading a book when there’s rain outside. It’s that feeling of warm, hominess, comfort. We all know it, even if we don’t have a word for it.

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Labels: Not For People, But For Things

Ask yourself this: how often do you actually read the labels on things? For me, the answer is realistically, not often enough. I recently read my friend Marie’s blog, where she discussed a mobile app called Think Dirty. It’s quick and simple and allows you to scan most of your at-home products (such as cleaning products, lotions, shampoos, etc.) and determine how “dirty” they are, or how bad they really are for you.

Honestly — I was shocked by the results as I scanned some things in my bathroom. Both the oatmeal avocado face mask I’ve been using, and the Neutrogena hair mask, rated as 9 – meaning they are super dirty and filled with chemicals that can have negative effects, especially in the long-run. I was surprised to learn that these products contained such things that have been linked to a number of health issues, including cancers, reproductive issues, and the like. Even my shampoo ranked a 7! It looks like I need to revamp a lot of what I’ve been putting on my body and use things that are healthier and “cleaner.” In the short-term, these products might end up being a little more expensive, but I’d rather pay a few more dollars now and save my health going forward.

So many people focus on their diets and what they’re putting in their bodies that way, but how many of us think about the chemicals and other bad stuff that we’re putting on our bodies in other ways?

In addition to downloading the aforementioned app, I’ve also been starting to make it a point to actually read the labels on food products. Not just for ingredients – many of which go right over my head unless I Google them – but also specifically to look at serving sizes, which are all too often ignored. I had bought a little $1 container of graham crackers the other day. In the past, I might eat a lot of it in one sitting, maybe even the whole thing, in lieu of a proper lunch. It turns out that container actually has 2.5 servings in it! It’d be easy to fall back into old habits and ignore serving sizes or proper portion sizes, but these are important! (Of course, equally important is my attempt to try and introduce more fruits & vegetables into my life on a more regular basis. The worst part of this is forgetting about something that *was* fresh and finding it only when it’s gone rotten. Yuck!)

At any rate, this is where I’m at right now! Just trying to do my best and be my best. And again, I’m so glad I read Marie’s blog where she talked about the Think Dirty app and introduced me to it. It’s crazy to see just what’s in the products we use on a regular basis, without even thinking about it. You can download the Think Dirty app in the App Store!


Book Review: The Beauty Myth

“We do not need to change our bodies, we need to change the rules. Beyond the myth, women will still be blamed for our appearances by whomever needs to blame us. So let’s stop blaming ourselves and stop running and stop apologizing, and let’s start to please ourselves once and for all. The ‘beautiful’ woman does not win under the myth, neither does anyone else. The woman who is subjected to the continual adulation of strangers does not win, nor does the woman who denies herself attention. The woman who wears a uniform does not win, nor does the woman with a designer outfit for every day of the year. You do not win by struggling to the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped within one at all. The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.

A woman wins by giving herself and other women permission — to eat; to be sexual; to age; to wear overalls, a paste tiara, a Balenciaga gown, a second-hand opera cloak, or combat boots; to cover up or to go practically naked; to do whatever we choose in following — or ignoring — our own aesthetic. A woman wins when she feels that what each woman does with her own body — unforced, uncoerced — is her own business.

When many individual women exempt themselves from the economy, it will begin to dissolve. Institutions, some men, and some women, will continue to try to use women’s appearance against us. But we won’t bite.” – The Beauty Myth

Though there are undoubtedly many key statistics and facts and statements, I felt the above quote nicely summarized my most recent reading, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. What an integral piece of reading for women everywhere – and men, too, for that matter; an imperative look into our society and the world around us and how the beauty myth shapes pretty much every aspect of that, and what we must do to fight back against it.

Wolf examines several key pieces of life: work, culture, religion, sex, hunger and violence, and picks apart each one to discuss how the beauty myth is present in that specific topic.

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Please, Don’t Ask People If They’re Expecting (Etc.)

When I first got married, I guess some part of me knew that the question would eventually come. I wasn’t sure when, or how, or who would ask it, but I knew, sooner or later, someone would ask if (or when) we were planning to have children. We did get a few questions right off the bat – literally, just days, maybe even hours, after the I-dos… “Are you guys thinking about kids?” “Do you guys want kids?”

I roll my eyes already. We’ve barely been married a few hours, or a few days, and already, the conversation has turned to our potential parenting at some point in the future.

I want to put it straight right here, before I go any further. It is absolutely, completely okay (and awesome) if people have children right after they get married, or soon after. It’s also awesome if they have children before they get married. It’s awesome if people choose to wait. It’s awesome if people choose to never have kids. It is completely up to the couple.

And that, my friends, is where we often run into a roadblock. Having a child is probably (I assume, since I’ve never done it) one of the most incredible things you can do. But it should be your decision — not anyone else’s.

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