Audre Lorde once wrote, possibly on Facebook, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” As a straight white woman who often fights a vague sense of doom while waiting in line at Starbucks, I use Lorde’s words to justify spending $8 on a latte. And it works! My devotion to self-care has enabled me to fight the patriarchy, be present for my family, and grow my life coaching business, which helps trapeze instructors develop their personal brands. Here’s how I do it.
Starting my day off right
When the alarm goes off at 7 AM, I’m already awake because I’ve been meditating — not because my toddler has been shouting the theme to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for the past hour and a half. As the golden morning light streams through the bedroom window, I offer up a silent prayer of gratitude for my family, my health, and for the home equity line of credit that allows Lucas to attend preschool.
Next, I climb out of bed, do some gentle stretches, and make myself a smoothie. This is my own special recipe, which you can easily follow by mixing a half a cup of Nutella with two tablespoons of past-their-sell-by-date Folgers Crystals. These can be found at the back of the shelf above the sink, right next to the canned corn.
For an extra boost, add a shot of vanilla ice cream — one scoop contains essential calcium, as well as about fifteen grams of sugar.
After I drop Lucas off at school, it’s time for the following healing practice: At my local CVS, I devote a full five minutes to selecting my morning snack, a limited-edition box of Peeps (12 count package recommended). There is nothing like biting the ears off a stale, neon-yellow marshmallow bunny to help jumpstart your chi. And, as I often note to my Twitter followers (thanks, ladies of the OMG, Pass the Pinot Book Club), it’s not the way the sugar granules seem to sand a hole in my molars, it’s the loving and deliberate act of shoving candy into my mouth that centers me. Namaste!
Mornings fly by as I petition my elected representatives about a cause that’s dear to my heart: increasing the number of woman-owned waffle trucks in my neighborhood. And after helping a client (my sister-in-law, Amber) select politically subversive Instagram filters, I like to stare soulfully out the window while wearing a chunky knit sweater and clutching a mug of tea, as one does in a stock photo.
Following a brief break for lunch — a hand-picked selection of Hostess snack cakes and three cans of Mountain Dew — I engage in what I call a Mindful Minute™. During my Mindful Minute™, I gaze longingly at the inspirational Pinterest board I’ve titled My Dream Walk-In Closet!!! Then I re-commit myself to honoring all that is artisanal, beautiful, and unusual in my life. I do this by opening a package of Pepperidge Farm’s Classic Cookie Collection and eating everything but the Milanos.
When the day is done and my loved ones have finally shut up, it’s time to relax. Some people like to unwind with a workout, a glass of biodynamic rosé, or the latest on the Mueller investigation. The mom of one of Lucas’s classmates swears by two squares of high quality, single-origin dark chocolate — that’s all she needs. (I hate that bitch. Ha, ha!)
Personally, I like to tuck ten sugar cubes into my cheeks and lay on my bed until the urge to sob hysterically passes. This is an old-fashioned remedy — your grandmother probably used it to fight rickets — but I’ve updated it by swapping the classic Domino Dots for imported brown sugar cubes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try demerara sugar; its earthy caramel notes will give your sugar coma an unexpected and exotic twist!
My healthy evening routine typically includes a nourishing face mask, followed by an invigorating scroll through my Twitter feed.
Once my blood pressure has returned to normal, I slather on a thick layer of lip balm. In a pinch, I use Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla frosting, but I prefer my own homemade buttercream. This moisturizing mix of real creamery butter and powdered sugar includes a dash of pure vanilla extract, which provides aromatherapy benefits. Try it — your lips will be satin-smooth, and your pillowcases will be indelibly scented (and stained) with the sweet remains!