Whenever someone says “prioritize self-care” I start feeling the same kind of anxiety I do when someone tells me to meal prep. I totally see what they’re saying. I get it. But at the same time, the amount of scheduling magic and babysitting fairy dust I would need to make chopping up celery on a Sunday for five hours a reality is not super reasonable. Same for cleaning out our bath and then having enough time in it to get to a place of zen. But who doesn't at least like to daydream about cozying up with some tea and reading a book by candlelight after the kids are asleep? Just make sure to dim the lights on the three day old dishes in the kitchen. So in case we're ever able to figure it out, here’s a list of self-care trends we are willing to contemplate/dabble in come 2018.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah)
Denmark has been on trend for a while now, especially for their culture of hygge. Basically, hygge is the idea that you don’t need much to transform yourself into a Yankee candle incarnate. Make your favorite drink, light a few candles, and snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a good book on the couch and voila! You’re Danish. Replace the book with Netflix for the American version.
Golden lattes are “health” lattes in that they are have turmeric in them instead of coffee. I don’t know how but turmeric is supposed to be very good for you, and you “activate” it’s power in by putting a tiny bit of pepper in the drink. I know it sounds bizarre but they’re actually really delicious. But for the love of all things holy, please start with dividing the suggested amount of turmeric by at least two unless you have been doing bikram yoga and drinking wheat-grass shots for the past five years.
Watch videos of Oprah and Brene Brown schmoozing
Oh my goodness if you haven’t heard of Brene Brown yet, it’s time! Put her together with Oprah and your soul may burst. Brene Brown talks about vulnerability, shame, and creativity. She explains why these things matter, as well as the hard stuff you need to go through in order to truly experience joy. Her famous TedTalk will make you hardcore laugh/cry. Do it to it.
Become a Parisian Woman
Take everybody’s advice and become French as an investment in your health and happiness.
Arianna Huffingtonify your sleep
Last year I read Huffington’s book on sleep and I loved it (…theoretically). She basically calls for a Sleep Revolution (also the name of the book) in our society. She wants workplaces, educational institutions, and families to finally value and highly prioritize good sleep. According to Huffington, “The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity, but in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived.” She also talks about sleep hygiene and things like turning your phone off at least a half hour before going to bed. Beware, however, that if you have small children waking up at night you may wish to defenestrate this book.
Public library and free reading
There is a really cute public library about 20 minutes from my house and when my oldest was a baby I loved going there while she napped in her stroller. I think they may also have books on tape at public libraries which I really should try. I once left there with Martha Stewart’s huge Entertaining book without paying for it of course and I felt like Martha had given it to me herself. I did not use a single recipe but for a few weeks I felt like we had dined and laughed and made marshmallows in her Bedford home together.
If you want a great introduction into meditation this app is amazing. You only need to invest a few minutes a day (or night) to feel like you’re actually looking forward to meditation. The man who guides you on the app has a British accent and sounds very “normal”, and it makes it all feel a bit more down to earth. This is definitely a good one for meditation skeptics who are secretly curious.