For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to be kinder to myself, to be as gentle, understanding, and loving to me as I am to the people I love.
I’m notoriously hard on myself, and hold myself to higher standards than anybody else in my life does. In fact, in reality, no one even comes close to putting the same amount of pressure on me than the kind of pressure I put on myself.
If I’m feeling lazy, I much more often than not force myself up and at ’em on a beautiful Sunday morning, hustling off to the grocery store, to the trail for a run, cleaning my apartment, or writing instead of just basking in the glory of lounging in bed, staying in my PJs and doing nothing all day, which is usually what I truly want.
While I consider myself a non-conformist, I fail miserably when it comes to rejecting the American ideology of “keeping busy” at all times.
But while I still have quite a ways to go in my quest for self-compassion and kindness, I have made a few strides when it comes to taking the time to treat myself like the beautiful, badass, divine, and mysterious goddess I am inside. I believe this goddess is trapped inside all women, desperate to be let out.
So, ladies, here is how I rub the lamp that releases my inner genie (sorry for the innuendo, mwahah).
1. Take a bath. I am a bath addict. Always have been, always will be. When I say take a bath, I don’t just mean throw some shampoo in the tub and pretend it’s bubble bath while you sit and stare at the wall. I’m talking pouring your favorite essential oil in a steamy tub of water, having a glass of wine or cup of tea by your side, and a book in your hand. I’m talking lying flat on the bottom of the tub with your eyes closed, breathing in and out as the water fills, listening to that incomparably soothing sound it makes as it trickles out of the faucet and onto your pruning toes. Whatever suits your fancy, whether it’s scrubbing every inch of your body with your favorite loofa or writing in your journal, make your bath your time, and experience the unparalleled benefits of indulging in you.
2. Do Solo Yoga. I’ve just started cultivating my own yoga practice, away from the studio, away from youtube videos, away from anything other than myself, my mat, and my breath. I’ve always found solace in my solo runs, but have just begun to unlock the self-discovery that comes with creating my own yoga practice. Don’t just plop your mat in the middle of your living room and repeat all the poses you can remember from your last class. Clear out a space for yourself, light every candle you can find, play your favorite tunes, or practice in silence. Put on your favorite pair of spandex and your strappiest (is that a word?? Eh, who cares) sports bra and just listen to your body, let her dictate how you will begin your practice, and how your time on the mat unfolds. I’ll admit, it’s tricky at first and the group classes at your studio may look enticing during your first go, but if you’re patient and open to listening to your body, solo yoga is pure bonding with yourself.
3. Have a spa day. Melt some coconut oil and comb it through your hair, find a homemade face mask on pinterest and slather it on, listen to Debbie Harry or the Pretenders or whatever awesome chica you’re feeling while you paint your nails in your undies and favorite tshirt. Shave your legs and apply your favorite lotion from head to toe, pluck your eyebrows, clip your toenails. Treat yourself to a day of primping and connecting with the inner teenage girl you’ve been neglecting. You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and relaxed.
4. Write a list of things you love. I do this often and it puts a smile on my face every time. Just grab a pen and paper and go crazy. Don’t categorize, don’t plan, just scribble down what you hold dear in your life at this very moment, whether it be chapstick, snow, or your mom. This is such an awesome way of having tangible evidence that life is good, while stirring up positive feelings that last for hours!
5. Create a sacred space that’s all yours. Though technically your room counts, I’m talking a space even more your own. I know this one has been hard for me, and is something I crave more than anything. While I love living with my boyfriend, it’s hard sharing a room and not having a space to go to that’s purely mine. Create a sacred space in your closet, at a desk, under your stairs, wherever, and fill it with everything that represents you and what you love like pictures, your notebook, your yoga mat, candles, the book you’re reading, etc. Go to this space when you need time to yourself to create, think, relax, or just get away from it all. Your sacred space should be free from distractions and should only be equipped with things you love.
These are my go-to’s when my inner goddess is calling, and they never fail to reconnect me with the part of myself I love most: the sexy, badass, universe loving, passionate, and creative woman within.
All of us women should regularly slow down and let our divine goddess out to play. We all deserve it!