Everyday Style: Essential Self Love Edition

It’s been a rough week.  I don’t really want to get into the down-and-dirty details, but suffice to say I need a little extra kindness this week.  At times like these (and I have a lot of times like these, in between those wonderful times where I can conquer anything and everything) I always slow down, prioritize taking care of myself.  I get my work responsibilities taken care of, and then I relax.  I read a book.  I cook food I love.  I watch movies.  Sometimes I set a date that I will snap out of it by—this time November 1st.  Sometimes it works.

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Here are some of the ways I’ve been extra kind to myself today:
I bought a tray for the French press and coffee mugs to sit on, so that our glass table would stop getting coffee-stained.  I dressed in an outfit that was both very cute and extremely comfortable.  Afterwards, I took it off and put on a favorite sweater.  I made myself lemon tea, which I’m sipping right now.  I read the rest of a book I’d gotten too busy to finish.  I did yoga.  I went for a long walk with my husband.  After I woke up this morning, I lay in bed for another half hour, cuddling and allowing myself to ease into the day.  I listened to the latest episode of the Mustard on Movies podcast while I cooked dinner.

I don’t always have time to be so gentle with myself.  Next month I’ll have precious few days to devote to myself, as my students turn in assignments and I try to finish my novel while grading them.  When I have the opportunity, and when I feel the need, it’s important to allow myself these little luxuries.

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I’m a big proponent of the power of positive self-talk, too—which frankly hasn’t gotten enough play with me this week.  So here are some of the nice things I have to say about myself right now:

I’m comfortable in my body, even confident in it sometimes.  (A big and ever-evolving feat.)  I’m getting pretty damn good at cooking, even with no recipe, even with no plan.  I’ve been doing really well in Chinese class these past few weeks, impressing my teacher with my reading, writing, and pronunciation.  I taught a very good lesson in Academic Writing this week—both of the teachers I’m cooperating with praised it, and the students improved quite noticeably from the beginning to the end of the class.  I looked hella cute today.

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I’m the type of person who will work myself to the bone, drive myself insane just to get the results I want.  I have to be careful not to burn out.  I know from experience the importance of taking a step back, being kind and compassionate with yourself, because I’ve been harsh and strict with myself for much, much longer.

It’s all about balance, really.  I’m always learning and re-learning these things.  I’m not naturally a very balanced person—but I believe you can be most things if you cultivate them.  So be kind to yourself, but also be strict with yourself.  Be compassionate, but don’t give yourself excuses.  Be loving with yourself, but be honest about the ways you need to improve.  Be forgiving of yourself, but hold yourself to high standards.  Be the best you can be, and do it with love.

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The Look:
Denim dress – thrifted (G.A.S. Co.), white shirt – thrifted (Decree), black faces shirt – thrifted (The Big Shirt), green thigh-high socks – Sock Dreams, booties – Target

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