Lately, there’s been a Self Care blog tag circulating the internet. It’s an extremely important topic, and I’m happy to have been tagged in it to be able to provide my responses and insights.

So often we get wrapped up in the speedy pace we tend to live our lives. We’re consumed by technology, work, or the needs of others and we forget to make time to truly tend to our own needs. How often have you forgotten to eat or even put off going to the bathroom to do other things? It’s ridiculous! But somehow we all do it.

Today I’m going to share my answers to the set of circulating questions that will hopefully give you some ideas for self-care/love, but you should definitely also check out Michelle’s site for Self-Care For Creatives. She’s got a lot of resources available for you to peruse (check out the sidebar!) and she even made a zine on the topic. It’s super inexpensive and you’re going to love it.

Self Care | Uncustomary Art

1. What piece of advice would you give a child about to grow up with the pressures of today’s media and its crushing expectations?

There’s going to be times where you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to dislike how you look in the mirror and compare yourself to your peers and celebrities. It’s natural to want to do this, but you have to fight that. You have to train your brain to think positively. Anytime you scrutinize your pores, elbows, or middle toe in your full-length mirror I want you to take a (literal) step back and say three things you like about yourself. As an adolescent, you’re more likely to experience self-doubt, but know that you have so much ahead of you. You’re beautiful, and so is your life.

2. What song puts you in a good mood every time?

“San Francisco” by The Mowgli’s
“Goshen 97” by Strand Of Oaks
“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn
“Summer Sun” by Jukebox The Ghost
“Escape Me” by DJ Tiesto
“Sounds Like Hallelujah” by The Head And The Heart
“At The Bottom Of Everything” by Bright Eyes
“21 And Invincible” by Something Corporate
“If Work Permits” by The Format

3. What is the best advice someone gave you or you realized about life?

I’ve been thinking really hard about this, and I don’t know that I’ve had one person say one thing to me that kind of changed the way I think about life. I’ve had a collection of experiences and relationships with people that have taught me a lot of things including these two lessons:

Firstly, everyone deserves love and freedom. You have to let people live their life the way they want, even if you don’t agree with it. You’re welcome to surround yourself with like-minded people, but you can’t spend your energy hating others. This goes for things like extroverted vs. introverted tendencies, sexual orientation, and political beliefs. Don’t discriminate against others.

Secondly, life is beautiful, and you have to have fun any way you know how. Go big or stay home.

[People that have contributed to these realizations include Louis CK, April Fowler Gomez, Katie Sokoler, LaShandra Oliver, Jaclyn Lockhart, and April Noga.]

Self Care | Uncustomary Art
love yourself, even if you have stains on your shirt

4. Who makes you giggle like a giggle monster?

Ashley, Cristen, Joe. Cooter.

5. What is something about society that bugs you that you wish didn’t?

The first thing that came to mind was sexism; I hate how women are secondary. The thing is that I’m obviously experiencing this directly, so it seems unfair for this to be the thing I complain about when there are “worse” things like poverty, war, and racism. Really any type of “ism” makes me angry, and I wish they didn’t exist. It doesn’t “bug” me that it bothers me, because I think we should all be angry about it.

6. What is one of your favorite things to do on the weekends?

Weekends range in activities and intensity. There are some weekends I go out to dinner with a group of friends and get drinks after. I might end up dancing on top of a bar and staying up till 6 am. There are some weekends I spend with myself, driving around looking for weird things and doing guerrilla art installations. And there are some weekends I snuggle with Joe under the covers and watch shitty TV. They’re all my favorite. I don’t do things I don’t like.

7. What is something you’re really proud of that you’ve done?

I’m extremely proud of myself for addressing my mental health issues head on. I’ve developed enough coping skills to go from the highest dose of four different medications to the lowest dose of just two, and I’m still weening off as we speak. It’s a very difficult journey, which is why I’m so proud of this accomplishment.

Self Care | Uncustomary Art
self love bible

8. What is one of your favorite memories with a friend?

I really loved the time that Ashley and I held a talk show in her living room for two hours, with no recording devices or audience. It was just for us.

9. What advice would you give to someone who needs a boost in confidence?

Hang out with people who are supportive, encouraging, and confident in themselves. A group of self-conscious pessimists is going to perpetuate negativity all day, every day. But you can’t rely on external forces for all of your confidence. You have to work on yourself, you have to love yourself first.

10. Lastly, how do you plan on investing in self-love?

Part of my self-love is writing in my happy journal, which reminds me how wonderful my life is. Other parts include wearing clothes that make me smile (regardless of what other people think of them), making time for myself, and doing amazing things with my circumstances. I want to take advantage of everything I can.

Don’t forget to check out Michelle’s Self-Care For Creatives site!

I tag Michelle, Marielle, and Bianca, and anyone else who wants to join in.