Gentle

There is something about reaching the end of the workweek that excites me more and more, as it approaches every single week. On Fridays, my smile is much brighter; there is an extra pep in my step. I play my praise and worship music on my way into work a little bit louder. Ultimately, I feel most grateful for everything concerning my life on Fridays. I look forward to the weekend with a mind-racing full of the endless possibilities of the things I could do to be productive; how I can work towards making the upcoming week better than the last? With the happiness that accompanies my Fridays, I’ve begun a new Friday ritual that has made me even happier. Once the outdoor sunlight settles for the evening and the heat within my apartment rises, I feel charged to make my “me” time a full on experience. I deem this the “self-care” experience.

I will preface my “self-care” experience in saying that I have read my share of articles that discuss all of the things that self-care is not and lists an array of misconceptions about self-care. Something I’ve learned is that self-care has everything to do with self and what makes self feel good in every capacity of the word. With this, my experience begins with me lighting my momentary favorite candle. I, then, work towards making my home mimic the calmness that comes from the sun going down by either dimming the lights within my own home or completely shutting them off. Afterwards, I turn up the tune of whatever melody perpetuates the joy that I’m met with every Friday and continue this rhythm by running a shower.

This shower is incomplete without a trial run of lathering black soap, followed by gentle rubs of Trader Joe’s Lavender Sea Salt Scrub. The scent and sensation of the salt grains against my skin are well deserved and that is realized over and over again as I continue to scrub. The crystals work effortlessly to cleanse me of all that has been poured in over the course of, yet another, intense workweek. My shower is not concluded without Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Face Wash. One pump, simple lather, face feeling refreshed. Once out of the shower, I love on my skin some more by moisturizing with a combination of coconut oil and tea tree oil. This moment is sealed when I take the time to be still, even if for five minutes and concentrate on my thoughts. The weeks are so tough and overloaded with things to do that I never allow myself the mental space to think and simply be still. Once my moment of silence is complete, I either pour myself a glass of water or (if I’m feeling extra fancy) fill up my champagne flute with Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pink Lemonade. (I know, TJ’s should be paying me for the amount of times that I endorse them.)

Up until I started to do this without much thought, I never realized how much joy it brought me nor did I realize how much I need(ed) it. Although this Friday ritual has only recently begun, I have taken this year to tap into my self-care a little more. Some things I have done are making my manicures a priority by scheduling appointments that I have not deviated from (until I realized the chemicals were ruining my nails). I have also scheduled massages when I can and they have made a world of a difference. I work hard and am even harder on myself. It is always nice when I get the opportunity to do the smallest of things to appreciate myself …because we all know that NO ONE can love you like you! I’m learning to be gentler with myself and if you didn’t get anything else from this post, get that. Be gentle and kind to you.