Let me tell you a secret: you deserve to take care of yourself every day. That’s right. Every. Single. Day.
In this post, I’m going to breakdown a typical day in my life and all the ways I practice self-care in each little step. Everything I do for self-care is designed to boost my confidence, because sexual assault not only destroys your sense of self, but creates the belief that you have no value. I’m seeking to undo that conditioning in the way I treat myself Monday thru Sunday. Rather than doing nice things for myself once every blue moon I’m actively creating moments of peace and growth as often as possible on an average day. We’ve talked about what self-care is, how to develop a schedule for it, and now I want to share how I infuse every day with actions meant to heal and steady me for every little battle life throws my way. Let’s dive in!
Monday – Friday
6:45 AM : After mumbling some version of get up, bitch to myself 30 times, I roll out of bed to start the day. I retreat to my favorite room in the house – the bathroom – to get everything going. I’ve been working on not looking at my phone straight away, because my days seem to be more productive and happier without being bombarded with news from the outside world. My mind feels more centered on what I have to get done without all the distractions. After cleaning up for the day, I’ll sit on my bed and go over what I need to accomplish to feel good about myself and continue the feeling of personal growth.
Breakfast: I make sure that I have three meals a day no matter how busy I pretend I am, or how much I don’t want to eat. Continuing to have control over my eating disorder means eating well and without guilt. I’ve never been a huge fan of a big breakfast – it make me feel sluggish – so now the meal is either a fruit smoothie, granola, or cereal. Once I’m done eating, I’ll head off to start writing!
8:00 – 11:00 AM: This might sound lame, but I love working. Thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband, I currently exist in a very privileged position as a full-time blogger. I want to make the most of this gift by writing and working as often as I can without getting burned out. Writing has become not only a potentially future means of income, but also one of the best ways I take care of myself. The page is where I work through pain, elevate joy, or share intriguing information, which has been invaluable for my growth. I jump right into working in the morning, because my energy wanes as the day drags on.
11:30 – 12:00 : My little gym** is like an oasis. Only retirees use it, the front desk staff is very kind and relaxed, and I can move around without bumping into people who might judge my slower pace. I used to look at the gym as the enemy. It was the place I ached, groaned, and scrutinized a body I wasn’t proud of. Through therapy I was able to learn how to step back and look at myself as a unique and beautiful accumulation of parts and pieces taken from the brave people who came before me. Now, I go to the gym for the endorphins. I release the tension of sitting at a desk, run out the stress of digging into my feelings, then head home for the fun parts of the day.
** This is the only step I skip on Wednesday to avoid getting burned out or injured.
Body Care: My shower time would make conservationists scream. I could sit in there for an hour if it wasn’t so frowned upon, relishing the dragon-blooded heat and acoustics. Most of my skin care takes place in the shower to avoid a major mess. I exfoliate and scrub until I feel like I’ve got a good base to work with, then apply a mask and let it sit as I dry off and moisturize the rest of my body. My skin care game has jumped to new heights thanks to my girl Jesse. I love the skin care steps, because I feel the most luxurious as I sashay around in a robe with a mask on. Also, with clear skin I feel the most confident out in the world.
Lunch: This might be due to conditioning in my school years, but I go bananas for lunch. Maybe it’s because in school lunch signified the halfway point in the day? If I crack the code I’ll let you know! All I know for certain is lunch food always tastes just a little better to me than anything else. My lunch is usually big and loud, with lots of the things I like to eat. I’m really proud of the way I eat now – this is the first time in my life I’ve been able to have a meal without feeling like absolute trash after.
2:00 PM or so: I settle in for some mental rest. My thoughts usually bounce all over the place from waking up until this point, going over writing schedules, dinner prep, article ideas, etc. So, by the time I sit down on the couch I’m ready for a good book or some quiet mindfulness. I’ve created a few playlists on Youtube and in my music library that are designed to help me decompress without numbing. For me, the difference between the two is the feeling of being present in time. When I’m numbing myself I lose all track of time, where I am, what I need to do. When I decompress I am not retreating from reality, but allowing reality to slow down for me to catch back up on my own time. (I hope this makes sense!)
4:00 – 7:00 PM : My husband is usually home by 4:30 or 5, which jumps my energy back up. We make dinner together, with him doing the most as the better cook. I’ll either be taking photos for thechocolatemousse.com or Instagram to share with whoever wants to see his creations. We sit and eat together – ideally without phones – and like to watch a TV show together for a little laughter, or will just sit and talk over our meal. If the weather is nice enough we sit outside on the porch swing to eat popsicles or go for a walk around our neighborhood.
Bedtime: If you could get paid to sleep or lay in bed I would be first in line. I love bed, which is why it’s so hard for me to stay out of it throughout the day. I admit to being bad about bringing my phone to bed and obsessing over Twitter and Instagram! I’m still a work in progress, but for now, I will usually scroll until I’m really sleepy. Then, I’ll plug my phone in across the room before clonking out. In bed, my husband and I will lay together and talk over the day again, trying to arrive at peace for a more restful sleep. It’s been wonderful for my ability to get through the night without tossing and turning.
Saturday and Sunday
My routine for the weekend is identical, except I do it all outside! I walk for exercise, write on the porch or near an open window, meditate in the grass, and spend as much time annoying my husband as possible without creating a divorce situation. We usually try to do things together like the Farmer’s Market, or a trip to the museums in our area. My routine is much more reliant on need during the weekend. If I need a break from blogging, I take it. Need a break from exercise, no guilt. Everything is much more free-flowing.
There you have it! My typical day isn’t as rigid as a person with a regular 9-5 job would be, so take my life as what it is – my unique situation. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to infuse some care into your daily schedule. Whether it’s leaving your desk for a 10 minute walk, treating yourself with food you love for lunch to recharge yourself, or setting aside time at night for skincare or mindfulness, you deserve to be boosted up every day. Thanks for reading and stay strong out there!