Tag Archives: self care

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week, darlings? While January seemed to drag on forever, February is already flying by. #ShortMonthProblems It will be Valentine’s Day before we know it! Are you planning anything special? I’m trying to do little Valentine’s-inspired things throughout the month to make each day feel special (with some Mardi Gras themed things, too!). Fresh flowers, photo projects, baking treats, and sending out cards have all found their way onto my February calendar. 🙂 Hope your week is extra sweet, and here are some links I scouted just for you…

12 months of self-care in a helpful month-to-month guide.

Related: 10 Ways to Take a Time Out and Practice Self Care

Here’s how Ed Sheeran made 2017’s biggest track.

Iranians asked #Where_Is_She? Suddenly, it seems she’s everywhere.

Jaclyn Friedman sparks a culture-wide rethink about sex, power and what we accept.

How to not die in America.

Wouldn’t it be a delight to grow up in this colorful Dutch farmhouse?

Anatomy of a wild & crazy Saturday night aka breakfast burritos for two.

Related: Breakfast for Dinner

DIY: Wool ball diffuser for the car.

Have you ever tried a yoga wheel? I’m obsessed with mine.

Related: How to Make Your Own Fitness Challenge

Who invented the microwave oven?

A real “very stable genius” doesn’t call himself one.

Packing for 10 days away at a meditation retreat in a Tom Bihn backpack.

Related: What’s in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — The 5-4-3-2-1 Packing Method and 5 Blogs I Love.

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My Weekly Ritual: Mask Mondays (+why I think you should set & forget self-care)

Every Monday evening I hole up in my bathroom and do a face mask. It’s something to look forward to at the end of a long day of not wanting to be back at work. Mondays, am I right?

My current favorites are this honey facial mask from Bee Friendly and this mermaid mask from Leahlani. And my mom tucked this spirulina mask from The Granola Goat in my stocking this year and I’m excited to give it a try.

If there are things you like doing for yourself – whether it be painting your nails, taking bubble baths, zoning out while you roll around on your foam roller, WHATEVER – I encourage you try out this set it and forget it approach.

It’s really easy to love the idea of self-care but actually doing it…like on the regs…is a little more difficult. There’s never a time when you couldn’t be doing “something else.” So we set those moments for our self aside and relegate them to next weekend or when the to-do list gets done or we’re on vacation. But y’all. All told my Mask Mondays take me about 20 minutes. 20 minutes a week of a lil luxurious me-time. I can spare it. And so can you.

But you don’t have to waste the brain space figuring out when to take that 20 minutes each week. Pick a day, pick a time. Repeat. Every week.

…And then if you’re feeling really wild, maybe you can try a monthly ritual too. Think: trips to your gym where you don’t work out but instead hit up the hot tub and sauna. Getting a massage or a blow out. Hikes in a state park. Taking yourself out to eat or to a movie.

When I turned 28 I decided on the 28th of every month for the whole year I would buy myself a new magazine. Whatever looked interesting and appealing. It was such an amazing birthday gift to myself because I love magazines but I always talk myself out of them. Essentially I gifted myself with the reassurance that it was ok to spend money on something that brought me joy. And setting a date that was easy to remember meant I actually followed through.

If you want to up your self-care game and do more that brings you joy — set it and forget it, sistah!

Anyways, what self care rituals are you into lately? 

A 30 Day Mantra Challenge (+ FREE activity guide)

Now that you know how to incorporate mantras in your daily life and have read up on the mantras folks love and use, let’s get action oriented! The benefits of mantras are no joke and committing to a 30 day practice is a wonderful first step to start reaping the rewards. So, I’ve created a 30 Day Mantra Challenge!

There’s a new mantra for every day of the 30 day challenge. Each day, focus your thoughts on the words. Repeat them to yourself as you get ready in the morning and during your work-outs. Let them wash over you as you take breaks, feel over-whelmed, or sit in traffic. Consider their power as you turn in for the night. Let’s get started…

Day 1. Today I let go of all that does not serve me.
Day 2. I choose to nourish my heart and mind.
Day 3. I choose compassion and kindness.
Day 4. I am loved.
Day 5. I feel abundance all around me.
Day 6. I feel abundance within me.
Day 7. Everything is working in my favor.
Day 8. The Universe is powerful and I exist within it.
Day 9. I trust in the power of the Universe.
Day 10. I am strong.
Day 11. I am grounded.
Day 12. I am connected.
Day 13. I send healing light to those in need.
Day 14. I align myself with my highest truth.
Day 15. I communicate with love and understanding.
Day 16. I open myself to the fullness of my power.
Day 17. I am enough.
Day 18. My mind is clear.
Day 19. This is my path towards a higher purpose.
Day 20. I connect and ask for guidance.
Day 21. I am grateful for this day.
Day 22. I am grateful for my body.
Day 23. I am grateful for my mind.
Day 24. I feel gratitude for the abundance all around me.
Day 25. I am graceful.
Day 26. I have the tools to overcome any obstacle.
Day 27. Practice and all is coming.
Day 28. I love and honor where I’m at today.
Day 29. Be brave.
Day 30. Find delight!

If you want to take your journey one step further, I’ve also prepared a FREE activity guide to augment each day’s mantra. Every day includes 3 action items – 1 to promote positivity, 1 to help with productivity, and 1 for focusing on self-care. If you’d like to nab a PDF of your very own activity guide – CLICK HERE.


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m laying the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what we’ve covered:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)

(em)POWER(ment) WALKING

My current fitness line-up involves a healthy mix of yoga, body-weight strength and flexibility training, ballet, and pilates. But my favorite way to get in a little movement has, and will always be, a good ol’ fashioned walk.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my walks as EMPOWERMENT sessions. Here’s how:

For about the first two-thirds of my outing I listen to a podcast that gets me fired up. It could be about politics, business, or holistic health. (Call Your Girlfriend is one of my faves and I totally recommend it as an empowering walking companion!) Then, for the last third, I pump up the jams and my pace and just STRUT. IT. OUT. Think: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Fergie feat. Nicki Minaj. (Go wild, do you, etc.)

What streams through your earbuds when you go for a walk (or jog)? Do you like to get in a little learning with a podcast or do you prefer carefully curated playlists? Leave some recommendations of favorites below!! 

P.S. How to ditch your gym membership and how to make your own fitness challenge (for totally free).

How to… (one dozen super rad things I think you should do!)

how to do one dozen things

Y’all!

We’re in the dog days of Summer down here in South Florida. Heat index over 100 and daily afternoon thunderstorms that arrive out of nowhere and leave just as quick. It’s pretty bananas. So, Chet and I are escaping to Delray Beach for a few days. I’m going to sit my butt on the beach (with a couple good books + an iPhone full of podcasts), eat conch fritters, drink rosĂ©, and soak in some #saltlife vibes.

I’ll get back to posting ’round these parts next week. But since you’re already here, why not stick around and check out some posts I pulled from the archives! Here’s how to do ONE DOZEN super rad things…

How to start a fascinating conversation with a friend (or stranger).

How to use stickers to stick to your goals. 

How to make a super cute calendar from burlap.

How to use jars for DIY wedding decor.

How to create the perfect care package. 

How to take meaningful breaks during long projects. 

How to give your office a style upgrade.

How to tap into the power of self-care.

How to work on your female friendships.

How to practice styling photos.

How to dance more.

How to pack for a weekend away in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week and I’ll see you back here soon! 🙂

P.S. If you have any posts (how-to’s or otherwise) you think I should tackle when I get back, LEAVE  YOUR IDEAS BELOW! Thanks. 

14 Ways to Take Meaningful Breaks

how to take meaningful breaks during long projects

As the queen of leaving projects to the last minute, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to settle in for the long haul without losing my mind. I think we’ve all been there. (Especially if you’re someone who enjoys working under pressure.) The rest of life got in the way in the weeks leading up to a deadline, and you find yourself chained to your laptop with a marathon’s worth of work to tackle.

My secret to making it out unscathed? Meaningful breaks.

Choose an amount of time (like 45 minutes to an hour), set a timer, and start ticking things off the to-do list without stopping. Then, when the time is up TAKE A BREAK (like for 15-30 minutes).

[ Related: A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17 ]

Below, I’ve listed 14 meaningful breaks that I find helpful to cycle through as I hammer away on a project.

Take a shower.

This is especially helpful if you didn’t get a lot of great rest. Showers are like liquid sleep! Use a body wash like this one and breathe in deep. Massage your scalp as you lather up your hair. Get that blood flowing to your brain!

Fill up your water bottle.

Gotta stay hydrated! Fill up your favorite vessel and take time to drink as much as you like as you stare into space. Feelin’ fancy? Add some fruit or cucumbers or herbs and get a lil infusion action going.

Watch a YouTube video.

Sometimes you just need to switch your brain off for a few minutes. But turning on the TV or firing up Netflix may distract to the point of disaster. YouTube to the rescue! There’s a zillion different kinds of content to choose from (Cats! Makeup tutorials! Hydraulic press! Cooking miniature meals!) and most are a reasonable length. Go nuts for 10-15 minutes and then switch that brain back on.

Make a list of the day’s accomplishments.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a “shit I’ve already done list” can sometimes quell the panic of a seemingly insurmountable “shit I still need to do list.”

Eat a snack.

Go fix yourself something healthy to eat!

Love on your pet.

Taking care of someone else for a few minutes is a great way to snap out of it if you’re feeling like EVERYTHING IS THE WORST. So if you have a pet, go make sure they have food and fresh water. Take them outside to run or toss around a toy. Get out their brush for a lil grooming sesh. Give them lots of pets.

Head to your closet for a costume change.

I like to capitalize on the surge of productivity I feel as soon as I wake up…which usually means I’m in pj’s and then *whoops* several hours have gone by. So a simple costume change if you’re in my boat is to just go get dressed. But you can also change from your everyday clothes to workout clothes if you plan on working out later. Change from uncomfortable clothes to comfy ones. Or switch it up for a change of pace in the aesthetics department.

Handle a “personal admin” task.

You can’t press pause on life because you’re under a deadline. Reply to an email. Pay your phone bill. Grab groceries. Schedule that dentist appointment. You get the drift.

Work up a sweat.

One time, during a looooong (and boring) day of work-from-home projects, I did 10 push-ups/10 sit-ups/10 squats during every break. Not only did the time FLY by…but I was sore as heck the next day. Ha! For a less crazy approach, go for a jog outside or queue up a 30 min HIIT workout on YouTube. Roll out your yoga mat and stretch out.

Have a solo dance party.

Put on your favorite song and jam like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. Repeat until you’re sufficiently pumped.

Tidy up a little.

Just like with the “personal admin” tasks, tackling a quick chore or two will feel like you’re accomplishing something…even when your BIG accomplishment for the day is hours away. I like to do the dishes or make my bed. (Which also helps to make your space feel more productive.)

Chat with another human being.

Working on a project solo can start to feel really isolating. Pick up the phone and catch up with a friend or meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee.

Switch up your surroundings.

Usually if I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, it’s time to pack up and head somewhere new. It’s amazing the second wind you can achieve just by heading to a second location!

Go for a walk.

Fresh air! Natural light! Even if you only circle the block, you might just have that break-through “A-HA!” moment once your legs are pumping and your mind is allowed to wander a little.

Over to you! What are your favorite ways to take meaningful breaks in the midst of a marathon work sesh? Share below!! xoxo 

P.S. 4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired and Let’s Talk Personality (Tests).

mid-week round-up

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we ended up spending last week at home instead of in Louisiana. Boo! However, I did manage to get in some solid beach-time, do a little retail therapy, and devour the book Big Little Lies. (Have you watched the HBO adaptation yet? So good!!!) I’ve also been a busy little craftin’ bee! I made a few wreaths for a friend’s upcoming wedding, along with some Easter decor for the apartment. So I guess our cancelled trip wasn’t a total wash! What have y’all been up to? I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and here are some links for you to enjoy today (or bookmark for later)…

Equal pay is widely understood to be a feminist issue. So why isn’t the Fight for $15?

Related: The 78 Cents Project is a pro-bono resume consultancy
aimed at eradicating the gender wage gap.

The Pope Francis Laundry for homeless opens at the Vatican.

Stories from the almshouse records — women’s lives in in 1790’s NYC.

Stickers for every season. #obsessed

The place of food security in the battle over healthcare.

Budget freezer meals for the slow-cooker and oven!

Solid April line-up from Book of the Month.

Face massages are like pilates for your cheeks. (I’ve gotta start doing this! I feel like I carry a lot of tension in my face. Is that a thing?)

Related: How to make a baking soda face mask.

17 Spring looks with 12 clothing items you probably already have in your closet.

9 podcast episodes worth discussing.

Related: 8 podcasts to check out on your next road trip.

Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in Iceland.

P.S. 2 Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 True-Crime Documentaries for Your Inner Detective and For the love of DOWNTON!

mid-week round-up

Good morning my delightful friends! How are you today? We started watching Big Little Lies last night. What an all-star cast! The characters are super compelling but I’m not sure if I’m in love with the format just yet. I’m certainly hooked enough to keep watching though! Tomorrow we’re headed to the aquarium and I CAN’T WAIT! Hope you all have beautiful days, and here are a few things you may enjoy reading…

The politics of conspicuous displays of self-care.

50 things you need to eat in Miami before you die.

I NEED this In Omnia Paratus poster in my life!

The true story of the American work force as told by nine folks in the trenches.

How to become an adult. 
“Suddenly realize that you are now older than your parents when they got married, older than your parents when they had a kid, maybe older than your parents when they had you, even. Notice the ages come and go at which you had always told yourself you would have various little boxes checked, see them fading behind you like road signs, and feel a mix of disappointment and empowerment: “No, I am not the person I promised myself. Yes, I actually like this person better.”

French cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu has taken a unique opportunity to correct public misperceptions about the life of Mama Cass.

Related: Adding California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas and The Papas by PĂ©nĂ©lope Bagieu to my Amazon Wishlist.

Also Related: Five Great Graphic Novels!

To the women of America — A warning and a rallying cry from Poland.

Betsy DeVos and the history of homeschooling. 

Never been to Tokyo? Here’s a crib sheet of stuff that is useful for your first trip. #goals

The baby in the plastic bag. #longform

A call to travel abroad…in your own country.
“I was a foreign correspondent for many years, work that involves the shedding of assumptions and absorption in place. To see what’s over here, you have to let go of what’s over there. Scott County, for coastal metropolitan Americans, is a foreign land. In a fissured nation, there are fewer and fewer moments of genuine encounter between rival tribes, each confined in its ideological canyon. So what could bring the country together, usher Brooklyn closer to Scottsburg?”

Working while female. 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Carol Rossetti’s Colorful Illustrations of Female Empowerment and Winter Wardrobe Pieces.

mid-week round-up

closeup on flowers

What are you up to this week? My very favorite guilty pleasure, MTV’s The Challenge, started up again with a new season! I don’t have cable but I’m super stoked to watch it online today. I’m probably the last person in the world of my advanced age who still watches this show. (BUT I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE!) This weekend we have plans to check out a new brunch spot and maybe take the drone out for a flight. Hope you have a great day, and here’s some reading material…

I’ll be making these chocolate crescent rolls as soon as humanly possible. (Although I may cheat and use this.)

A checklist for staying in vs. going out on Valentine’s Day.

Would you wear navy pants with tiny dinosaurs on them?

A young Wikipedia editor withstood a decade of online abuse. Now she’s fighting back. “When people get forced off the web, their voices disappear from the internet’s public squares. The ideas and memes that dominate skew even further toward a white male perspective. The web becomes less interesting, less representative, less valuable. We all lose.

A shortage of incubators and a hunch about marsupials inspired a Colombian doctor to try something radical to save premature babies’ lives.

Mysteriously, a large number of Americans believe that the inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, was black. (Could this be an example of the Mandela effect?)

Mystery of deadly outbreaks in India is solved.

The real Bowling Green Massacre wasn’t even in Kentucky.

I can’t get over how cute these classroom valentines are. Which would you choose?

Modern Etiquette: Handling difficult conversations online.

What is Steve Bannon reading?
“Mr. Bannon was carrying a book, and when an incoming president’s guru is reading a book, you should find out what it is. I walked by and peeked. It was “The Best and the Brightest,” David Halberstam’s 1972 history of the strategic errors and human foibles that birthed the disastrous American involvement in the Vietnam War. It begins with John F. Kennedy’s transition to the White House, in December 1960. Now I really knew it was him.”

How to avoid being psychologically destroyed by your newsfeed.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 Ways to Find More Free Time and Reading Nostalgia.

10 Ways to Take a Time Out and Practice Self-Care

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Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s all well and good to have an arsenal of self-care strats that involve spa-level bubble baths, vacations with your best pals, or trips to the manicurist. But what happens when you need to take care of yourself at the office with a looming deadline or when your very full house is driving you crazy? How can you take time out from the responsibilities of your super busy day-to-day life without getting totally sidetracked? (Or take a time out FROM your time out when you end up in an internet spiral of news stories that kinda freak you out?)

These ten ideas can be accomplished in 15 minute intervals. And they’re perfect for those times you’re feeling frustrated or near giving up. The reality is, those moments can pop up at any time. You can’t always pour a glass of wine and settle in to watch 4 straight hours of Grey’s Anatomy. But you can do SOMETHING.

Call a time out. Take care of yourself. You’ve got this!

READ A BOOK

Diving into a good book is OG escapism and I hate to see it fall by the wayside because folks feel like they don’t have “time” to read. I get it. Maybe you don’t have time to chill at a coffee house for hours on end as you blaze through the pages of your favorite sci-fi series. But you’d be amazed how much you can read in 15 minute intervals. And you’d also be amazed how much more nourished your mind will feel than if you’d spent that same time reading Buzzfeed listicles.

Case in point – I just finished this book (highly, HIGHLY recommend) which I devoured over the course of a few days in 10-20 minute chunks. Mostly during breaks while working.

FOCUS ON THE GOOD

When you’re freaking out about what needs to get done, it can be incredibly calming to focus a few moments of time on what already has. (Related: I like this approach for life, too. Check out my REVERSE Bucket List.)

Reflect on your accomplishments from the day so far. How did they make you feel? You could even start a notebook that’s totally reserved for your REVERSE To-Do list. Call it your Shit I Got Done book, if you like.

Feeling extra proud of something? Post on the internet and let the people know! Those “likes” will feel good. However, it will also force you to re-contextualize your accomplishment for an outside audience which I think is a worthwhile exercise in “here’s why what I do is cool.” (See also: Don’t Hide Your Hustle.)

GO OUTSIDE

Even if you don’t plan on racking up steps for your FitBit, popping out for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery can do a world of good. Of course, if you can squeeze in a walk around the block, go for it!

TAKE A REST

If you’ve ever felt next-level exhausted, with a mountain of tasks still barricading you from peaceful slumber, you know that getting anything done can feel like you’re slamming up against that mountain over and over with no hope of summitting.

So quit slamming and take a second to chill. Give your body a minute to rest. Let your eyes relax (especially if they’ve been glued to a computer screen). If you’re someone who has been blessed with the ability to power nap, take one. If not, simply set your head down for a few minutes. Find a comfy spot away from your tasks and just cuddle up. Or lay on the floor, reach your hands over your head, and take the biggest breath you’ve taken all day.

Warning: You might want to set a timer for this one. Just in case ya actually do knock out.

CHAT WITH A FRIEND

Don’t just fire off a text or hop on What’s App. G-Chat and Facebook messenger don’t count either. Dial that telephone and get a friend on the horn! See what they’ve been up to that day. Maybe they can commiserate with whatever’s going on in your world or maybe you’ll find something they say wildly inspiring. (You probably have one friend who is perfect for the former and one that’s perfect for the latter. You’re probably picturing them right now.)

Maybe your self-love honorin’ self craves a more face-to-face interaction. Snag a friend to run an errand with you or grab a cup of coffee. Pop into someone’s office to run an idea by them instead of shooting them an email. Sometimes it takes being around another human to get back to the best version of ourselves.

MEDITATE

Ok remember when I said books were the OG escapism…well, meditation is even more so. (The OG-est OG!) Lucky for us, there’s literally an app for everything these days, even OG escapism. So if you don’t have a meditation practice or are completely new to the idea, you get a little guidance.

This list of The Best Meditation Apps of 2016 is a fine place to start. Try a few and pick your favorite. Ommmmm.

TAKE A SHOWER

So, unlike all the others on this list, this one may not always be possible. But I thought I’d include it anyways. Here’s why:

  1. Showers are literally liquid sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter and then felt strangely refreshed after a shower then YOU KNOW.
  2. You’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous. 
  3. There are tons of fun products to try (like this one or this one)! Treat yo’self!
  4. Sometimes you start working as soon as you wake up without taking a sec to actually get ready for the day. Shout out to my work-from-home hustlers! You deserve a morning routine…even if it happens at 2 pm.

FEEL CREATIVE

Doodle, color, decorate your planner, write a poem! If you’re feeling uncreative (at work, in your home, regarding a problem), remind yourself that you ARE creative. Activate the parts of your brain you want to tap into by FLEXIN’ ’em!

GET THE BLOOD FLOWING

If you’ve been sitting for hours – Stand up and move around to get the blood flowing in your legs and feet. Do a forward fold to get the blood flowing to your brain! I used to have a co-worker who took breaks to forward fold all the time and no one ever thought anything of it. In fact, she started converting people to the powers of hanging out upside down!

If you wanna really go for it, do a handstand!

If you’ve been standing for hours – Put your feet up for a few minutes. If you have the option, get your legs up the wall. You want the blood flowing in the opposite direction. Rotating your feet/ankles, small squats/plies, and hamstring stretches will also feel amazing.

PLAY MUSIC

Solo dance party, anyone? Yes please!

(Need inspiration? The Best Songs For A Solo Dance Party. With categories like “When you wanna get your diva on” and “when you’re feeling down and you need a reminder that you kick ass.” Obsessed.)

Do you call a time out to love on yourself when you’re feeling over-whelmed or frustrated? How do you practice self care? Let me know! 

P.S. How to invest in yourself and how I practiced self care after the election.