self-care, two ways.

February 6, 2017


It’s February in the year 2017 and if ever there was a time for acknowledging that we need to be gentle with ourselves, it seems this is it. Self-care is having a moment, you might say, but trendy verbiage aside, what we all really need is a moment for self-care. It’s cold out. It’s dark out. For lots of folks, spinning around on this green and blue planet feels a little more uncertain than ever. We need a holiday devoted to love and chocolate, stat. Thank goodness we don’t have to wait too long.

In a nod to Valentine’s Day and treating yourself (or your lover), here’s a list of things to do to distract yourself, to restore a bit of energy, to encourage a bit of repose, to nourish body and spirit, in the coming week and always.

Unplug, Two Ways:
+ Let your phone charge somewhere far from your nightstand. (No middle of the night Twitter catch-ups allowed.)
+ Meditate (for even just five minutes).

Take a Bath, Two Ways:
+ Get a $5 bag of epsom salts at the nearest pharmacy and soak yourself.
+ Up your game a bit with a nourishing blend of arnica-infused salts.

Read, Two Ways:
+ Curl up with a good book. I’m reading this one right now.
+ Curl up with a brand new read about good books.

Get a Massage, Two Ways:
+ Convince a loved one to rub you.
+ Book an appointment somewhere nearby and let the professionals do the work. 

Exfoliate, Two Ways:
+ Whip up a simple sugar or salt scrub in your kitchen. 
+ Familiarize yourself with a little something called body polish.

Change Your View, Two Ways:
+ Take a walk around the block. 
+ Go to a new exhibit.

Release Stress, Two Ways:
+ Do a three-minute lip-sync to whatever does it for you. (No judgement.)
+ Take a chance on a floral essence.

Fend Off Germs, Two Ways:
+ Wash your hands more often.
+ Swallow a spoonful or three of immunity syrup.

Get Cozy, Two Ways
+ Wash and dry your throw blankets. Snuggle under something fresh and clean.
+ Stock up on special socks.

Color, Two Ways
+ Noun.

Breathe Easy, Two Ways
+ Let some crystals work their magic.
+ Fill your room with a cool mist.

Flowers, Two Ways
+ $3 bodega daffs, style.
+ Zine style.

Hang Out With People, Two Ways
Invite friends over for pizza, everyone brings wine and stays too late.
+ Go to a workshop, or a book reading, or a conservatory, or a movie.

Plus, a brand-new self-care focused community.

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  • Reply Kim R February 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Woman, I am so down.

    • Reply Rita February 6, 2017 at 11:04 am

      My personal rescue remedy for really down moments are blessings. It doesn’t matter your religion (or even no religion). But a blessing is what we need. “Blessed be my work”, ” blessed be my day”, “blessed be my tears”, ” blessed be our moments of fight and our moments of rest.”

      • Reply Clio February 6, 2017 at 12:38 pm

        I love this Rita, thank you.
        And thank you Erin for having the loveliest comments section on the www.

      • Reply christine February 6, 2017 at 4:20 pm

        That is the most insightful, helpful thought. I love the idea of blessings. We talk a lot about it in church but I have never thought to extend it to hard moments.

      • Reply Kim R February 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm

        Funny, I meant that I am down to try all of these self-care tips. However, it is because I am feeling so down that I am in need of them in the first place. Comment interpretation two ways!

        • Reply Sasha February 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          That made me laugh outloud!!
          I am down too. Down with this post, at the state of the world, and down with holding each other up. A good time for being gentle to ourselves.

      • Reply Sara February 18, 2017 at 2:03 am

        Oh I love this. Yes, let us bless. It somehow softens, doesn’t it.

  • Reply Laurel February 6, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Erin, what type of plant is that? It’s so lovely!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 6, 2017 at 10:59 am


      • Reply Carmella February 7, 2017 at 11:03 am

        And the heavenly scent when it blooms!!!

  • Reply Sorcha February 6, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Yes. And yes again. <3

  • Reply Stephanie February 6, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I love the idea of the ‘two ways’ style for doing everything. I’ve seen so many posts celebrating Valentine’s Day recently and it’s so lovely. We all need a little bit more love in the world at the moment, so why not celebrate it?

    Steph –

  • Reply Nadia Kaplan February 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for the advise. I have to try the release stress and change my view 🙂

  • Reply veronika goisova February 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Love Sally Man,just few weeks a go I posted image of my nightstand with yours and hers book I have 🙂
    Have you seen documentary with her?I had to watch it over and over,just brilliant in so many ways

  • Reply Emily February 6, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Such a lovely post to remind us to take a break sometimes. We deserve it!

  • Reply Alix February 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Another lovely, and timely, post.

  • Reply Breanna Marie February 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I will be trying both the sugar and the salt scrub, as that is super necessary, and some of those warm socks to protect me from the cold morning floors.

  • Reply Laura February 6, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    one more: have an orgasm!!
    hehehehe love you sister!

  • Reply Jillian February 7, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Really loved this post. Again, you’re killing it in the good idea dept.!

  • Reply Amy February 7, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I just came across your blog and have bookmarked it. I really appreciate your writing style, which is simple and somehow gentle. Self-care is, for me, the foundation of everything else I want to do in life and of all the people I want to love. It’s not about massages and facials and opting out of my life, per se. It’s more about finding those quiet moments to give back a little to myself and refresh what I’ve given away. This post is such a great reminder of how to do this throughout the day, without a lot of fuss or money or time. My favorite mid-day break is to do a 5-minute Tara Stiles yoga video. I don’t know what it is about Tara’s style, but it always calms me. I can feel myself settling down and actually getting happier in those five minutes. Here’s to a lovely February and the rest of 2017. Amy

  • Reply Susannah February 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I love these wonderful ideas! It’s so importnat to take care of ourselves!

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