Self Care Is An Act of Freedom

Friday, March 19, 2021

 


I recently experienced what I have started calling "Freedom Day." Freedom Day has now replaced a traditional self-care day for me. I'm not even sure if I will be able to capture the joy from that day in this post, but I definitely want to try so that you can plan your own!


I use the word "plan" loosely, because for some reason, I wasn't able to create an "itinerary" for this day. And y'all know me, lol - if I don't do anything else, ima have a plan! I just couldn't do it. I knew I was going to be checking into Aloft Durham Downtown and I knew that I was going to get a massage, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't decide what else I wanted to do for this day.



 Here's what I learned in my inability to create a plan:

What I learned is that I am allowed to be free from the burden and pressures of structure. I don't have to be anxious in the absence of a plan. I can [and am allowed to] have joyful experiences - I can choose to explore rather than stick to an itinerary.



So! In the absence of a plan, here are some of the things I did and places I explored:

- Put my phone on DND and turned off all of my social notifications (they're still off).

- Received a 90 minute massage from Susan at Bull City Massage Therapy. Those 90 minutes felt much more like five, but my body needed every second!

- Checked into Aloft Durham Downtown! Yall. They gave me the BEST room with the BEST views of Downtown Durham. The sweet staff (special shoutout to Chelsea, Wesley and Ronnie!) made sure that I was taken care of - from the perfect room, to the strongest drinks and a late check-out time for extra relaxation time...I literally can't wait to go back! If you're planning your own freedom day, Aloft is a 10/10 recommendation.


- Took pictures of the most random and beautiful things so that I could look back and feel the peace from this incredible day!

- Had lunch at Dames, got my favorite salted butter caramel icecream from The Parlour and danced in the park as if no one was watching.

It was a beautiful day and you deserve to have that type of day too! You deserve a freedom day. I want you to be free from the pressure of "planning" for this day, so here are 3 tips to have the experience you deserve:

  1. Allow yourself to wander. Even if you create a plan for the day, don't be married to it. Give yourself the space to explore where you are.
  2. Disconnect. Turn off your social notifications, put your phone on DND, etc. Let this day be just for YOU. Don't feel obligated to answer phone calls or text back - everyone/thing will be okay. 
  3. Walk around. Park your car and walk everywhere! Eliminate the barrier between you and the beauty around you - be willing to take it in and capture it (whether through an actual picture or a mental photo).

The way I view self-care has changed as a result of experiencing this day. I now know that self-care is an act of freedom. It's almost other-worldly. It's radical. It's selfish and it ought to be.

Go enjoy your self. 



Creating a Space That Brings You Joy (No Matter the Season)

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


If anyone is wondering, we absolutely JUST took our Christmas decor down and honestlyyyy, I'm sad about it. 300 something days until they're back up..but who's counting (definitely me)? 

Obviously Christmas decor makes me happy; but whether it's holiday decorations, or everyday home decor, it's important to create a space that brings you joy no matter what season it is...especially now that living and working from home have become our norm. These are the walls you have to look at everyday, the bedroom you have to find peace in and the living room where you will binge watch your favorite show for the thousandth time, so you should love it! We may not be able to control the chaos that's going on in the world, but we can definitely control our home and the way it makes us feel.

Some questions to ask yourself: How does your current space make you feel? When you walk in, do you immediately experience peace? Do the rooms in your home make you feel inspired and creative? Do you feel more or less stressed when you spend time in your home? On your worst days, is there an item in your home that can instantly bring you joy?


Here are some tips for creating a space that will help you endure your toughest days and find the joy in your best ones:
1. Create designated areas for each part of your day. A joyful space isn't just about the decorations, it's also about the intention of the space. For example, if possible, separate the place you rest from the place you work. Try to avoid doing work from bed -- if you have a desk or dining room table, use it! If not, purchase a lap desk and create a WFH nook in your room or living room.

2. Invite color into your space! Color plays a really important role in how you feel while in your space. Red is a great accent color, but too much of it can radiate anger. Colors like yellow, orange and green encourage happiness and fresh energy. This is especially important for those of us who live with seasonal depression -- there may not be much color outside during certain seasons, so bring your favorite season into your home!

3. Declutter, clean and organize your space! Yall, I knooooow we get comfortable with the organized chaos of our homes; but there is something so peace inducing about a clean space. Pick one day each week to clean up your spaces and sit and feel the difference!

4. Find scents that embody the way you want to feel in your home. A joyful space engages every single one of our senses! It's something about burning my favorite candles while I'm cleaning, or working, or relaxing that makes me feel like I'm doing something right! If you want scents that last beyond the candle, buy some plug-ins and place them at the entrance of your space, the living room, the kitchen, your bedroom and bathroom - pick scents that match the emotional feeling of each room.

Let your home be your safe space and be intentional about creating that safety in a joyful way!


  

Dating Yourself in Your Single Season: 3 Date Night Ideas for Singles

Friday, February 12, 2021

 

Hey you! Hey hey...nah, we're not about to be bitter this Valentine's Day. We're not gonna be sad. You're gonna show love to your beautiful, single self and you're gonna like it...GOT IT?!

In case you were wondering, I was definitely talking to myself! I have been single for what seems like foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr and I'm not going to lie to you, a lot of times, I do not enjoy it at all. If I'm being honest, here lately I've had some feelings come up that I was so sure I'd dealt with. These feelings taunted me about the fact that I'm still single...these feelings tried to make me resent my friends who are receiving the love they deserve. These feelings told me that I will be single forever.

With some reframing, I acknowledged my feelings as lies that the enemy was using to convince me that I was not deserving of the love that I have always desired. I won't always be single; but, I will be single until God has completed His work in me in the season I am currently in. Let me tell yall somethin' (insert Cardi B lip smack), I AM IN MY BAG this season, okay?! The opportunities and ideas and partnerships and everything else that have been provided to me during this time have been more than I ever even fixed my mouth to ask for -- so yeah, I am willing to wait until the time is right and I am ready.


With that being said, that doesn't mean that I can't have fun dating myself in the meantime! Think about the intention behind dating, right? The purpose of dating is to get to know another person; what they like/dislike, their personality, their goals and values. So why wouldn't I want to learn all of these things about myself before consuming myself with that of another person? 

What I have learned in this season is the importance of enjoying ME. I am being intentional about spending time learning about myself and loving everything I discover. Imagine loving yourself on a deeper, less judgmental and more grace-giving way...yeah, I love it here! 

Enough about me, here are 3 date night ideas for you as you learn to enjoy your single season:

1. Go on a staycation and explore your city!
 For me personally, I know there are sooo many places in Durham (and Raleigh) that I have yet to visit and enjoy. Book a 'telly (a hotel room) for yourself and create your own weekend itinerary! Try new restaurants, visit museums, discover all of the murals downtown...be touristy and intentionally explore the place you call home.
  
2. Book a spa day!
That facial you've been wanting to get? That massage you desperately need? That pedicure you've been putting off? Yeah, all'at - YOU DESERVE. You don't have to or need to wait on a partner to pamper yourself, friend. 

3. Plan a solo dinner and a movie!
So obviously we're still in the middle of a parfait, so this will take some creativity. Look up a recipe you've been wanting to try, find a new movie (or your favorite movie you've seen fifty'leven times) on Netflix or HBOMax (this is where alot of the movies that would be going to theaters are being shown). Then get dressed up, pour a glass of wine or a cocktail, set your dining room table for 1 and enjoy yourself!

These are just a few ideas! The point is that I want you to love on yourself the way you'd want a partner to on Valentine's Day -- cause your love is quality, so show yaself some...or a lot!


 

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Affirmation of the Week

“You have always been a blessed thing, and goodness has no trouble finding you because goodness is what you deserve." – Upile Chisala