take care

self care.


i don’t know why in my mind self care has a negative connotation. maybe because i associate it with other self words like self pity, self-centered and selfish.

when i went into the rape crisis center the woman there cheerfully chirped, “take care of yourself. have a bubble bath… get a pedicure!” and i wanted to hit her. hard. in the face. with a chair. (to be fair i’m sure she said more than that but i don’t remember.) i was scared and angry and my brain latched on to what seemed the most ludicrous statement and i vowed to never get a pedicure or take a bubble bath again. after the miscarriage i was told basically the same thing. “just relax. try taking a bubble bath.”  by that point my head was in such an awful, messed up place that the last thing i wanted was anything to do with myself. i wanted away from my self, out of my body, far away from this life.

the other day when i was at a very low point i shared some of the feelings i had about myself… and they weren’t the great. it was pointed out that if i said the things i say to myself to another person i’d be a bully and a kind of a jerk. ugh.

i feel like i see and hear the term self care all over the place lately. i’m working on finding the balance between self pity and self care.

“Self care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.”

i guess what i’m finally realizing is that i am still here. that life is stubborn. it goes on. it’s going to go on. it goes on whether i’m curled up on my bed hiding out or trying to put the pieces of my life back together and keeping enjoying life. if it’s going on go on it may as well be enjoyable. it’s worth trying, right?

things to start:

buy myself fresh flowers
prepare little meals, even if it’s just for me
wear a bright lipstick
keep my desk tidy so it’s a place i want to be
download some new music turn it up
be diligent with my personal prayer and scripture study
spend time with friends
use exercise to work out some of the nervous tension
get my eyebrows done every once and awhile
stop using the word fine – good or bad, be authentic
start a photo challenge: nature/self portrait/ whatever
go to the temple
take deep breaths

things to change:

take my prescriptions without calling myself weak
cry when i need to without calling myself a baby
say no when i’m overwhelmed without calling myself selfish
reach out when i need to without calling myself pathetic
search for a new job without calling myself a loser
spend time with people i love without questioning my worth
forgive myself when i slip without beating myself up

“Therefore, though ours is a time of conflict, quietly caring for the ‘life of the soul’ is still what matters most.” – Neal A Maxwell
what are some ways you care for yourself? how do you fight back against your own inner bully?
beautiful image by olga bennett

an ordinary weekend

this weekend i’m going to be doing very ordinary things:
getting that stack of prints off the floor and on the wall

unearthing my neglected camera

finalizing my fall capsule wardrobe

sorting through piles of old magazines

painting my nails
pulling some weeds
rearranging my bookshelves
squeezing in a nap

cleaning out my fridge

totally thrilling. i’m actually looking forward to this list. my approach will be very “zen and the art of…” post boring blog post ever? maybe!

what about you?

photo by annabellp on flickr

feels like fall

i love fall. i hate to hurry summer along because winter comes all too soon (and stays too long for my california blood) but i do love it.

some of my favorite things about fall:

i can layer on cardigans to my heart’s content

the world takes on so many beautiful colors

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (the only pumpkin thing i like – don’t hate)

watching harlow tromp around happily in the crunchy leaves

campfires… it’s been far too long

i guess i’m getting ahead of myself but the weather has been decidedly fall-ish and i’m going to enjoy it.

what are your favorite things about fall?

photo credit:  sacredlotus // nicole

ten things

1. lying under a pile of heavy blankets
2. cool breezes and crunchy autumn leaves
3. the puppy sighing in the next room
4. priesthood blessings
5. quiet mornings
6. warm cups of lavender mint tea
7. hot showers
8. twinkle lights
9. handwritten notes
10. precious, precious sleep

i was going to call this a happiness list but really it’s a list of ten things that have brought a few moments peace. i’m trying to find more of them.

most wanted

i just got back from a quick trip to utah to visit friends. the driving part wasn’t quick.. it was very, very long. just ask harlow. she’s currently passed out in the middle of the kitchen.

but on sunday after church i was hanging out with billie and brian and we were killing a little time before dinner with billie’s family and having some snacks and brian said something like he could just eat right now to which billie replied, “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”

i kept thinking about that all the way home. how often do i sacrifice what i want most for what i want right now?
but more importantly what do i want most?

i’ll have to take this list up with my journal but i’ll share a few that i thought about on the (long) drive home:

a husband
a family of my own
eternal life
good health
to be surrounded by good people
for my family to be well and happy

i don’t want to sacrifice anything on this list for anything in the world. not sacrificing takes courage, faith, and a lot of heart. thanks billie for always being a good friend and helping me to be a better person.

photo by nick burns

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happiness is…

.setting a goal
.chit chatting with friends about nothing in particular
.when harlow is feels like cuddling
.sleeping under lots of big, heavy blankets
.painting your nails red
.the smell of carnations


how to feel miserable


i found a list awhile ago called “how to feel miserable as an artist”… but i think it can apply to to any aspect of life. so here is an edited version of that list that i’m going to tape to my wall/mirror/forehead until it sinks in.

1. constantly compare yourself to others
2. talk to your family about what you do/want to do and expect them to cheer you on.
3. base the success of your life on one single aspect of life
4. stick with what you know
5. undervalue yourself
6. let money dictate what you do
7. give in to society’s pressures
8. only do things that you know other people will love
9. always do what other people expect of you
10. set unachievable goals that must be accomplished immediately.

photo by me