I spent Mother’s Day relaxing as much as possible, but Sundays aren’t really rest days around my house. I’m usually cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, or fitting in some other project that I want to finish before the school week starts up. This year, though, I made it a point to TREAT MYSELF.
I don’t usually treat myself. Sometimes it makes me feel guilty, like I should be doing something for someone else instead. Mom guilt? Societal pressure? But you know what…treating myself felt really, REALLY good. Like, I could get used to it.
I’m a scotch girl, so I went out and bought myself a bottle of Dalwhinnie (a scotch I’ve been wanting to try for a while). Then, I took my mom and sister to get manicures. Can you believe I’d never had a manicure before?? I can’t stop staring at my nails.
And to top it off, I bought myself a pair of cashmere joggers. OMG. I cannot wait for them to show up at the post office. Though, I’m going to have to aggressively protect them from my twelve- and fourteen-year-old daughters who like to steal my clothes.
Self-care is something I’ve had to think more about this past year. Most authors will identify with just how easy it is to NOT employ self-care. We work from home, usually, and sometimes have other part-time or even full time jobs. Whether you have a family or not, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do, and then add on top of that the toxic online world that we absolutely have to take part in, in order to stay visible and relevant and “accessible.” It’s difficult, and sometimes it downright sucks. Especially if you haven’t been able to sell a beloved project, or you’re struggling with a WIP, or feeling Imposter Syndrome. (If you have a minute, check out this great new post from romance author Peggy Jaeger on Imposter Syndrome)
Pulling yourself out of that spiraling funk is not easy. I’ve been having a great time writing historical romances with my co-author and friend Amalie Howard, and Entangled Publishing has been awesome to us, but there are other projects I love that haven’t sold. Not just one or two, but a handful, and it often leaves me wondering, What now?
More and more, I think of the term ‘self-care’ and what it means. It doesn’t necessarily mean buying good scotch or cashmere or getting your nails done (though let’s be honest, those things can’t hurt!). Take time to be offline, to block out the toxic chatter, to just sit outside in the sun or read a book in your TBR pile. It could be as quick as brewing a pot of coffee or tea. Self-care looks different to everyone, and all choices apply.
I’ve had a lot of people assume that being a full time writer is a cushy and easy job. There are definite perks—not having to go into an office every day, making my own hours, being able to do what I love, etc.—but there are pit falls too. I’m not even going to list them, because honestly, I don’t have to in order to make them real for me. I’ve come to the realization that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I need to do what I need to do, and that means taking care of my mental health with some self-care every now and then. And maybe some more cashmere. So go be you, do you, take care of you, whatever you need. I’ll be over here doing the same thing!