I just came off of a few weeks that were both great, crazy, and soul searching all at once. Kind of amazing what happens when you unplug for a bit and spend some quality time in wide open spaces, with family, and in places you love. Anywho, it got me thinking, there’s something we all need to do, and perfect the art form of…
Taking a break.
Ok, I’m not talking “me time” or spending thousands of dollars on a vacation or a spa day. (Although those are awesome.) There’s just a few things I can think of/have tried that can break up the monotony of day to day life, and pressures of being a woman nowadays. A few things that get your spirits singing Hollaback gal, your brain focused on one delightful moment or feeling, and give you a little bit of a pep in you step.
So here’s a few ways to take a break, in a metaphorical sense.
Give yourself a mirror vacation.
I learned about this tool from Sensi Graves in an interview I did with her a while ago. Basically take a few days off of looking in the mirror. Yup. No mirror. At all. This gives you a (much needed) break from judging and scrutinizing yourself. I know, easier said than done, but it’s quite remarkable how great it can make you feel, and how much it frees up your brain to think about other things.
Plus, it’s a great stress reducer, and makes getting dressed that much easier.
Rock that red lip or winged eyeliner.
Ok, on the total opposite end of the spectrum, taking a few moments to embrace your glamorous side/put those impulse buys at Sephora to good use, is a good break from the just using coconut oil for everything beauty regime. Bust out that bright bold red, hot pink, or coral smooch enhancer (pick up one of these and thank me later). It looks good with everything, and tends to make you smile a bunch more too. And even if you haven’t perfected a winged eyeliner, I say rock it. Go for it, and be sure to put on an extra coat of mascara afterwards too.
Wear a dress
There is this weird mentality that dresses and good clothes are only for special occasions, which I just don’t have very many of. Hence being able to wear workout shorts or yoga pants and a baggy tee every day for a few months straight. So I say bust out that breezy maxi dress. Or any dress. Or romper. Even if it’s just to go get groceries. I did this one Sunday when I first moved to Seattle. I was feeling like crap, down in the dumps, and forced myself to wear one of my favorite beachy silk ikat maxi dresses…to go to a farmers market. It worked, I got a ton of compliments, and my day was off to a great start. I might have even worn a bikini underneath too. Which also is always a good call.
Bust a move. Sing a song.
When was the last time you danced, I mean really busted a move? Slightly intoxicated at a wedding? Thought so. Ok, bluetooth speakers are such a must have item, for this very reason, download your favorite jam, pump up the volume and dance. It feels soooooo good. Especially if Come get it Bae is on. (Fact: I have a secret dream of going back in time and being in that video. Pharrell, wherever you are, you need to do a version #2, and have yours truly in it.)
Also, you don’t have to be a contestant for the voice, or even sing that loud, but if there’s a song you love, sing it. Soft, loud, humming, just document it’s tune. There’s something about making a joyful noise (regardless of tone deaf propensity) that is so darn soothing. I do this when I walk Levi and Kili, and although I might look like a crazy lady singing Otis Redding to herself, it’s such a blissful mental break.
Pick a flower and put it in your hair.
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one. There’s magical properties to putting a flower in your hair. Instant good hair day. Best hair accessory. Makes your inner bohemian hippie happy. Oh yeah.
If it’s raining, go out and enjoy it.
A walk or run in the rain is like therapy, a workout, and a shower all at once. Also, if it’s raining at the beach, go for a swim…aka one of the most euphoric feelings on the planet. Don’t get me started on surfing in the rain. Oh the bliss…
Wear your best shoes
A friend of mine told me this when I told her I bought some Isabel Marant boots on clearance, and had yet to wear them. Because I didn’t have an occasion. She was shocked and said wear them as much as you can. Which I have ever since. (I just don’t document it.) Shoes have some crazy innate magical ability to give you a little extra pep in your step. Switch ‘em up, they are all meant to be worn.
Dream of some place tropical.
Slather on some coconut oil and tropical smelling perfume, turn on some island music, drink iced tea, and wear a bikini under your clothes. Even if you can’t go somewhere that can be deemed paradise-like, doesn’t mean you can’t take a mental break and make your own for a minute.
Pay yourself a compliment.
We are SO darn hard on ourselves. It’s crazy. We downplay our accomplishments, scrutinize everything and are constantly bombarded with impossible levels of perfection we are supposed to achieve. So I say pay yourself a compliment, give yourself a jumping fist pump, or high five yourself (even if it looks weird actually doing this) for something. ANYTHING. You don’t have to share it publicly, it’s just something for yourself. Do it, say thank you, give yourself a pat on the back, put your shoulders back, keep your head up, and know you rock.
Just take a break and grab a good coffee. Iced or hot, black or filled with stuff. Whatever makes you happy. They call it a hug in a mug for a reason. And I guess the coffee industry is full of bazillionaires as a result as well. This stuff is magical to me.
Especially when an extra shot of espresso is involved.
Which I might be off to get at some point today too.
There you go. Break your norm. Give yourself a break. However you want to call it, I promise doing any of these really does wonders, big and small, for the soul on any given day.
Off to get an iced coffee, wearing a dress with a bikini underneath, rocking a hot pink lip, flower in my hair, singing Otis Redding, and only looking in the mirror if it’s to give myself a compliment.
Or maybe I’ll just go bust a move to Pharrell.