How-To

How To: Take Care of Yourself

  1. Know yourself. Know what makes you happy, and what doesn’t. Know how to cheer yourself up, how to make yourself laugh. When I’m feeling down, I like to make happy lists: lists of happy memories, or lists of things that make me laugh, things I’m grateful for, things I’m looking forward to. I carry around a little pink journal, so whenever I’m sad or stressed (no matter where—even on the metro), I can whip it out and start writing.
  2. Be yourself. This one is pretty straight-forward: do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. And don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way.
  3. Spend time on yourself. This might mean budgeting twenty extra minutes in the morning to make and eat a nutritious breakfast. Or it could mean you spend thirty minutes at the gym on your way home. It could even just mean spending ten minutes reading or meditating at the end of the day. Whatever it is, make sure you do it. You need your you-time.
  4. Treat yourself. It’s important to pamper yourself every now and then. My favorite treats include lighting candles, reading poetry, and sipping tea. I also love bath bombs and face masks, and body care in general.
  5. Love yourself. And don’t forget to show yourself you love yourself. After every shower, I take the time to moisturize with body butter or a massage bar. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s an essential part of my self-care regimen. Every time I moisturize, I’m telling my body “I love you.”  I love you, I love you, I love you. And it feels good. I feel good. (Because I feel loved!)

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How To: Mother Your Mom

Moms are the best. They really, truly are. I love all my moms—biological and adopted. However, this post was inspired by my biological mom (the OG).

For the past week, I’ve been dying to attend a special seminar at the Smithsonian on Saturday. It’s called “Lessons From the Great Books of Science,” and it covers years of brilliance beginning with the Greeks and Copernicus and concluding with Einstein, Weinberg, and Gleick. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday—or a more expensive way. Tickets to the seminar range from $110-160, which is a lot for a half broke college kid.

Last night, I confided in my mom that I had decided not to go; I didn’t think I could afford such a pricy outing. This morning, I woke up to her texting me and offering to split the cost. I was so touched. Fifty bucks is a lot considering she won’t even spend half that on herself. But that’s what makes her my mom—her willingness to sacrifice her happiness for mine.

Of course, it’s my job as her loving daughter to make sure she doesn’t have to go that far. I decided that if she could afford to help me out, I could afford to pay the full price, and I bought the ticket myself.

Moms work so hard. They don’t just deserve a break— we owe them a break. A part of growing up is realizing how human our parents are. They need to be loved and appreciated too. In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I’ve come up with a list of ways to show your mom (or any special women in your life) that you love her as much as she loves you.

  1. Take her out dancing on a Friday night. Show her that she’s still cool enough to go out with. (She totally is!)
  2. Have a spa night. Do a face mask, paint your nails, and watch a movie. Maybe order some pizza and pop some popcorn to complete your girl’s night in.
  3. Surprise her with flowers or chocolates. Make her feel special (because she is!) Besides, who doesn’t love a sweet surprise?
  4. Go shopping! Whether that means having a spree at the mall or just a joint grocery trip, spending that time together really says you care.
  5. Indulge one of her hobbies. Maybe you’re not particularly fond of gardening or Scrabble, but it won’t hurt to try it for one afternoon. If it makes her happy, it’s worth it.

Most importantly, tell her you love her, and thank her for being the wonderful woman that she is. Over and over and over again.

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