Editor’s Note: When I picked up Wes and Anna’s article on self-love I knew they were sending it to me personally. Anna has been aware of some upending events in my personal life recently and she sent this unsolicited piece to remind me that sometimes you need to check out of the chaos and just be kind to yourself. Thanks Anna and Wes for knowing how to support a friend. Sending hugs your way.
Hug Yourself….We All Need Some Self-Love
By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel
You Only Have One You
In tumultuous times, self care, self love, and choosing to be comfortable in our own skin are as important as ever. Here are some ways to stay positive and upbeat in a negative world:
- Remember that Joe Biden, not Donald Trump, is President.
- Reading relaxes – curl up with a good book, the Good Book perhaps; read a newspaper or magazine, read blogs (especially this one).
- Comfort foods are comforting in moderation and fruits and veggies will keep you healthy.
- Exercise: it gives you endorphins, and endorphins sure do make you happy.
- That glass of wine, margarita, martini, or Kahlua can be a comfort but do not over do.
- Prayers and meditation are a healing balm to a weary soul.
- Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or body wrap – think of it as an investment in yourself.
- Use a facemask, take a bubble bath, or a hot shower.
- Look at art, it is calming and thought provoking – in a gallery or museum can add to the impact.
- Cook or bake a new or old favorite recipe, and then actually eat it, or share it with others.
Let It Out
- Light some scented candles, just not so many that you burn the place down, because only a fire in a fireplace or grill is comforting. Opt to meet your fire department at their next open house, not before.
- Smile – it takes less muscles to grin versus frowning.
- Realize it’s okay to not be okay. God gave us emotions for a reason – controlling them is not always for the best.
- Embrace the sadness as you work through the pain – God has your back.
- Take a dip in a pool – as long as it’s actually open.
- Enjoy a sauna or whirlpool – ditto.
- Contact a friend; real friends don’t judge – they encourage, commiserate, and help you to see humor, if there is any, in a given situation.
- Call clergy or a help line if things get too difficult for you to deal with on your own.
- Scream loud, it actually helps – just do it in an appropriate place; in line at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, a church, theater, or at the department of motor vehicles (tempting though it may be) are not on the list of appropriate places.
- Listen to music, it soothes the soul and the savage beast – or is that breast?
You’re Worth It
- Hear children’s laughter.
- Laugh at something funny or silly – laughter really is the best medicine, after all.
- Binge watch favorite shows, take in a movie, find new favorite shows, or watch your favorite film (mine is Legally Blonde but there are many more movies that I love). Give me a chick flick anyday.
- Take a break from social media drama – yes, this means you, Facebook.
- Do an act of kindness for someone, because being nice never goes out of style.
- Compliment someone.
- Clean out that closet, and donate what you don’t need – one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Let’s not fill up those landfills.
- Dance and don’t care who is watching.
- Sing your favorite song loud, even if it is off key.
- Take a class – it shows you have some.
- Go for a walk or a drive, nature can comfort even the most frazzled nerves, but always on designated paths or roads, unless you’re the off-road type.
- Turn everything off.
- Talk to Alexa – her and I have had some wonderful conversations.
- Have a date night – if you don’t have a significant other, date yourself.
- Pet an animal – ‘fur-babies’ are an uplifting lot.
- Play a board game with friends, but don’t argue over what Free Parking is for, or who gets the dog or the top hat.
- Get dressed up, wear a silly hat, or some Betsey Johnson boots.
- Play in the snow or the sand.
- Redecorate – do something different to spice up your decor. I, however, do not recommend painting multiple color stripes on the walls.
- Deep clean the whole house – spring cleaning isn’t just for spring.
Get Out And Get Going…
- Window shop, and maybe even stop in to buy something special.
- Go to the grocery store on free sample day. Costco has samples everyday.
- Volunteer – it helps you and someone else.
- Watch a Little League baseball, or pee wee football game, go to your local high school musical, or attend a dance or piano recital, just not as one of those parents.
- Drink a glass of champagne while wearing your best outfit – celebrate you.
- Stomp your feet, it’s fun – just make sure the surface you’re doing it on can withstand it.
- Ride a bike, motorcycle, or snowmobile. How about a Qubi?
- Go horseback riding.
- Do yoga, water aerobics, barre, spin class, Pilates, or another group exercise – twitch those hips (not twerk)
- Take a dance class – ballet, ballroom, and belly dancing are always fun and great exercise; work those endorphins as per Elle Woods.
Prescribe Yourself a Chill Pill
- Take a deep breath and exhale.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset. How about both?
- Stretch – physically or emotionally.
- Do something out of your comfort zone but keep it within reason. Getting arrested is not what I’m suggesting here; but maybe try a Karaoke night out.
- Visit your place of worship, local library, or neighborhood park.
- Attend an online or live event, such as a concert, lecture, or play.
- Challenge someone to a short race. It doesn’t matter who wins – you’re in the running.
- Walk, dance, or sing in the rain – umbrella or rain slicker optional.
- Clear out the kitchen cabinets and donate to a food pantry.
- Visit an elderly person – it will make their day and they may just share their wisdom with you.
It’s The Little Things
- Count your blessings, even when things are rough – sadness and difficult circumstances will not last forever; this too shall pass.
- Thank heaven for being alive.
- Smell a bouquet of flowers or your favorite fragrance.
- Laugh at yourself, that’s okay to do.
- Go to a planetarium, zoo, or aquarium – kiss a dolphin.
- HUG! If no one else is available, just wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze – you deserve it.
- Write a letter, article, or essay.
- Paint something but make sure you own what you chose to paint.
- A walk around the block can cure the blues, especially with a dog, friend, or significant other. I don’t recommend walking the cat – just give them a pat on the way out the door.
- Wash and wax the car – maybe vacuum it, too.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
- Watch cats stretch.
- Watch puppies or kittens play.
- Order take out, wear your jammies, and watch a black and white show or film.
- Look at your high school yearbook and smile at your hair style, then recreate that do. Try on your high school cheerleading outfit, letter jacket, bell-bottom jeans, or other apparel of years gone by. I certainly don’t mean to boast but the earrings I wore to prom I can still fit in.
- Prepare something from a basket of strange ingredients and pretend you are a “Chopped” competitor.
- Be silly, not stupid.
- Stand up to someone that irritates you, but do so with dignity and class.
- Get naked but not in public.
- Check out some fun vintage things – a trip down memory lane is good for the spirit.
- Do your old high school or college cheer, even if the uniform no longer fits (see # 74).
Do For You And Others
- Throw your bathroom scale in the dumpster.
- Donate clothes or personal care items to a shelter, clothing closet, or pantry.
- Adopt a senior pet.
- Become a foster family.
- Walk barefoot in the grass or on the beach; you’ve never seen a “Do not walk on the sand sign”, right?
- See live theater and enjoy the magic from the stage.
- Eat the cookie.
- Try a new hairstyle, a different shade of lipstick, or tie a pretty scarf around your neck.
- Remember we have a female Vice President – be very cautious where you walk, because that ceiling has been shattered, and there’s glass everywhere. I just have to recall Kamala Harris stating, “So help me, God”, on inauguration day when I need a boost of confidence.
- Collect items for Ukrainian refugees, donate to the cause, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
- Invite your in-laws to lunch, you’re in a bad mood anyway.
- Go out to brunch with your besties, and drink mimosas or morning glows (mimosas made with wine, my signature cocktail)
- Visit your local park district or recreation department, and sign up for classes or events.
- Go to a farmers market – spend some time browsing and shopping.
- Go boutique hopping with a group of friends – it’s much more productive than bar hopping.
- Check into a hotel and be a guest.
- Jump in the pile of leaves or snow.
- Build a snowman or a sandcastle, or make a snow angel.
- Play with dolls, balls, or jump ropes – be a kid again.
- Hop on one foot – brush yourself off and start all over again when you fall down.
- Just breathe and feel the energy of God’s universe.
- Put up a Donald Trump dartboard, and get that pitching arm ready…