How I Self-Cared In March

Good morning! With the closing of March comes another post about my personal self-care activities this month. I’m typically an introvert but this was my birthday month (woohoo!) so I felt like I had more going on socially. I think it’s nice for introverts to switch things up a bit sometimes and get out there…which can be weirdly challenging if you’re a lover of coffee-and-pajamas in bed (all day). Which, don't worry, I spent a lot of time doing too. 

READ

In the latter half of this month I really recommitted to spending more time reading (embarrassingly enough, likely inspired by Rory in all those Gilmore Girls episodes I’ve been watching). I’ve been really loving waking up an hour early before I get ready for work and just spending that time reading. It’s low-energy and relaxing – something I can do easily while my coffee seeps into my veins (yikes. The obsession is too real), and I find that it gives my brain a nice little boost to start the day off. 

I finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I bought and started reading long ago but finally really committed the time to it. The book is about creative living and tackling the roadblocks that inevitably come along with engaging in creative practices.

My review is mixed. I was honestly initially not very into it. It reads like a blog, almost – very colloquial, short sentences, tightly wrapped up into bite-sized 1-4 page sections that cover specific ideas or anecdotes. It makes the book a very easy read, and if you’re into the topic but don’t really consider yourself a “reader,” you’ll probably love the format. I think it’s just that, with nonfiction self-help-y books like this, I prefer more structure and support from outside quotes and academic research (similar to how Brene Brown writes in Daring Greatly). The first half of the book also goes into Elizabeth’s belief that ideas come to us and we have to catch them, or else they leave us and find someone else. Sometimes ideas need to be found by someone else and it’s okay if we let them escape, but other times we must hold onto them firmly and commit to manifesting them.

Guys, I’m not above new age thoughts. I love creative visualization, affirmations, and I even own a crystal or two. But something about that concept just didn’t do it for me. I just can't pretend I believe that ideas bounce around from one consciousness to another in some weird supernatural dimension. To me, creativity is thrilling and igniting, but framing it as “mystical” or “magical” doesn’t inspire me much. I ultimately enjoyed the second half of the book much more, because I felt it was more practical. It touched on persisting through rejection, avoiding the “tortured artist” archetype, and trusting the creative process. The book was a fun read and I’d be curious to hear what you thought in the comments if you read it – but for me, I don’t think it’s one that I’d recommend for those who are really looking to dig deep into a practical guide on creativity. 

EXPLORE

My friend came into town for my birthday weekend and we spent a wonderful few days exploring around Los Angeles!  My favorite parts of her visit were going to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and hiking a tough trail in Burbank. 

I am always so inspired when I visit museums. I’m not an artist, but I wish I was – and even though I’m not, I find paintings and prints insanely inspiring. My favorite part of looking at old paintings is imagining the artist’s life. The things that inspired him, what her studio must have looked like, the people he must have known, the things she must have seen. I romanticize artists, which may be dangerous because they’re human and imperfect like us all. But I give in to the dreaminess and the stories I make up about them in my mind. And I’m glad I do. 

 

NOURISH

My favorite way to get my fruits and veggies is absolutely through juices and smoothies. I don’t have a juicer so when I’m at home I’m all about that smoothie life. It’s a great way to get some nutrition, and half the time it tastes more like a dessert than a healthy snack. These two recipes have been on rotation – a Mixed Berries and Banana smoothie from The Food Network and an Almond Butter Spinach smoothie from What’s Gaby Cooking. Both fast, easy, and delicious! 

I hope you all had a wonderful March and are looking forward to April! My April goal is to journal at least once a week and to engage more fully in books and articles that support my professional growth. 

And PS: I am sending an apology to anyone who had previously signed up for post updates through Bloglovin'! A little birdie told me that the site sends a ton of extra emails to your inbox, which I don't want happening. Now if you sign up for email updates, you'll get them through Mail Chimp, which seems to be working well so far. If you previously signed up for emails through Bloglovin' and have been getting unwanted emails, feel free to cancel and then resubscribe using Mail Chimp, at the bottom of this page. Thank you!!