If you’ve ever read a blog or magazine intended for ladies, you’ve surely encountered the words ‘self-love.’
There was probably a list with bullet points and all sorts of sweet, well-intentioned suggestions like:
“Draw a bath, pour a cold glass of pinot, and turn up Drake’s new album!”
“Make an elaborately descriptive list of your best qualities!”
“Call your best friend and ask her what she loves about you!”
Now. I’m not hatin’.
2) It’s pretty hard to go wrong with a glass of wine and a bathtub
But for a long time, I felt like I was missing the proverbial ‘self-love’ train because how I take care of myself? It’s not particularly luxurious or sexy or the things that popular blog posts are made of.
How do I show self-love?
I leave parties after two or three hours, when I feel the light inside me turn off.
I opt out of huge, incredibly popular street festivals (that all my friends are attending) because I just cannot even with parking and crowds and standing in line for fried food.
I don’t go to amusement parks, state fairs, or scary movies.
I run (read: trudge) up and down the same flight of stairs every morning in lieu of the gym.
I let a few friendships die on the vine because my tolerance level for whining and/or drama is very, very low.
I spend $80 dollars getting a pair of beloved, decrepit boots resoled and $114 for the honor of sleeping in a chair on a 23-hour train ride.
See? Don’t those all seem sort of …. not uplifting? Like, you’re probably not pinning this post and thinking “Yeah, that’s a great idea! I should leave parties earlier and sleep on more trains!”
But that’s the important thing to realize about self-love and self-care – you’re the only one who gets to decide how you do it. If you don’t want to stick personal mantra post-its all over your bathroom mirror, you don’t have to. If green juice, setting intentions, gratitude journals, and weekly massages just aren’t your jam? That is totally, 100% okay.
(It’s better than okay, really.)
If your self-care looks like pizza and Netflix with your best friend – awesome.
If self-love looks like a slick of blue eyeliner and a night out at a dirty bar – good on you.
If you take care of yourself by spending Friday night writing Harry Potter fanfic and dressing your cat in Hufflepuff gear – you’re an amazing human.
There’s nothing wrong with crystals and personal altars and glitter and daily affirmations about your intrinsic value. Those methods are wonderful and lovely and work for heaps of people. But know, that if you’d really rather not write things on your mirror in lipstick, your methods of self-love and self-care are perfectly valid.
You can create a self-love, self-care practice that involves camping in the Boundary Waters, giving up on high heels for good, and really leaning into your love for craft beer. You can take care of yourself by reading all the YA lit you want, taking water aerobics with octogenarians, and making yourself a gorgeous (gluten and dairy filled) meal every night.
The only thing that’s important is that you really, actually make the time to show yourself + your mind + your body the love and care it deserves. Even if that comes in an un-sexy, non-Pinterest-sanctioned package.