Self-care is a hot topic in the wellness world right now and for good reason. We all need to take time for ourselves, doing whatever it is that makes us feel good. But like anything that’s good for you it can easily fall off the list of priorities and onto that guilt-inducing pile of shoulds.
On episode #111 of The Lively Show Jess Lively talked about how the concept of self-care has become a to-do list item that can make us feel guilty when we’re not doing it. Instead Jess is focusing on finding ways to bring pleasure into her everyday life.
I really connected with this idea as I have found it incredibly difficult to focus on self-care in the traditional sense since Maisie was born. Before I was a mother I was the Queen of Self-Care. I never had any trouble finding time for myself and I did it all, from yoga to gratitude journaling. After Maisie’s birth I found even just trying to decide what to do was exhausting. Then there was the pumping, the fretting that the baby wouldn’t take a bottle, strategizing how not to waste precious time on transit, and don’t even get me started on finding something to wear. When I did have a few minutes to myself I usually spent it scrolling through Facebook and feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing something better to take care of myself.
Like Jess I’ve spent the last few months trying instead to bring pleasure into my own everyday life so I can take care of myself while I’m taking care of my sweet girl. If I’m going to zone out on Facebook I might as well do it feeling good instead of guilty! Here are a few of the ways I’ve been finding pleasure lately.
These days it’s rare when I take the time to put on make up, but I do make a point to wear lipstick when I’m leaving the house or having company. It’s such a simple thing to apply and it instantly makes me feel pulled together and presentable. I’ve got a tube or two of lipstick stashed in my bag, my jacket pocket and even the little cup holder on my stroller! My favourites are ILIA in Wild Child and Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector #5.
A warm cup of herbal tea has always been a go-to for bringing a little pleasure into a busy day, but I fell out of the habit when I was drinking medicinal herbs throughout my pregnancy and after birth to stimulate milk production. These days I enjoy a cup or two from my favourite tea atelier in Brooklyn.
A Good Bra
By the time Maisie was two weeks old I was desperate for a proper nursing bra and I hastily bought a pair that weren’t quite right and didn’t fit well. I finally treated myself to a beautiful bra that’s well made and fits well from Secrets From Your Sister. This has literally made everything better from my posture to the way my clothes fit.
At Christmas I always buy a fir tree scented candle to make-up for our artificial tree. I loved the ritual of lighting the candle each night when I turned on the tree lights and found myself missing it come January. I’ve been burning this one and there’s something about the soft scent and flickering flame that elevates a night of Netflix in PJ’s seem much more enjoyable.
For more on the benefits of pleasure listen to episodes #121 and #122 of The Lively Show.