Things like planning a wedding, juggling school and work, bundling up and surviving the Chicago winter, and paying my bills–all have piled UP and probably taken a solid two years off of my life due to the stress they’ve brought me.
With all things firing at all cylinders recently, I’ve had to fight to find things that ground me, bring me warmth and joy, and comfort me.
For the past month, I’ve tried to celebrate all of the simple joys that I surround myself with.
And I thought, maybe you, dear readers, needed a little reminder of the small joys we can sprinkle into our lives.
Before I shove myself into my winter boots, I take a moment to choose from the plethora of silly socks I have in my drawer. I have so many! Kyle and I give each other a pair of silly socks every year for Christmas (we even serendipitously got each other the EXACT same pair of socks this past Christmas), so I have accumulated quite the collection of novelty socks. AND I LOVE THEM. I have food socks, dinosaur socks, and of course plenty of kitty socks.
One small joy that I make for myself is choosing to wear silly socks on the days where I just can’t get the sleep out of my eyes, or it looks unbearably cold outside. It makes leaving the warmth of my cozy apartment a little bit better each morning. Plus, they’re kind of like a fun secret only I know about during the day. V cheesy, but I DON’T CARE, we’re talking JOY here people and ANYTHING counts!
While I have been stressed and overwhelmed in the past few months, I’ve also found myself reading more (for fun) than I have in years, as well as creating and finishing new crochet projects!
Both crocheting and reading offer me a break, or a breather. They help me relax and slow down. I haven’t even consciously thought of indulging in them, I just enjoy them so much I found that I made time in my day for me to enjoy these activities. (P.S. go read Circe by Madeline Miller)
I find different crochet projects on Pinterest and then try and find Youtube videos that demo certain stitches or patterns, because I’m still learning how to crochet! I’ve made a few projects that I think are v cute. There’s just something very rewarding about finishing a project and having something you’ve created come to life. I live for it, dudes.
Also, if you’re looking for dope new reads, I highly, highly suggest you download the app GoodReads because it’s literally helped me find the last 4 books I’ve read and I love it.
3. Stop and Smell the Roses
I have “accidentally” collected an assorted collection of rose smelling goodies that have literally CHANGED THE GAME for me. I LOVEEEE roses and rose scented things and WOW to my surprise and delight there are shampoos, conditioners, natural deodorants, masks, and hair treatments that smell like fresh roses.
Showering is a big part of my self-care. I take a shower to relax, to “re-set” my day, or to help myself wind down. It’s been a real treat during this br00tal Chicago winter to walk out of my bathroom smelling like a blooming garden. Trust me, that if you find a shampoo or body wash that you love, it’ll make your morning showers that much more delicious and enjoyable. Treat yo’ self!
4. Target’s Dollar Bin Section
Speaking of treating yourself, if you’re ever feeling sad or overwhelmed, take a trip to the Target dollar bin section. You’ll find fake succulents, oven mitts, banners for parties or holidays, and now, because spring is approaching, you’ll be #Blessed with planting kits and dinosaur planters. While I’ve already planted everything (the only thing that’s grown is the cactus lol), I’m excited to plant new things in the dinosaur planters this spring! The idea of growing and planting things when it gets warmer, brought me a lot of joy on a dreary, cold, February night. (and it cost me like $15)
Candles are also a HUGE part of my self-care/self-love routines. Lighting a candle immediately helps me feel cozy and relaxed. Sometimes lighting a candle can even help my apartment to feel cleaner, or more like “home”.
So I was SUPER PUMPED when my pal Paige messaged me to ask if she could send me two candles from her business, Rinse and Repeat.
Paige makes soy candles and puts them into repurposed containers (and donates $1 of each candle sale to a charity in Calgary, Alberta).
When Paige messaged me, she told me that she had two dinosaur mugs that she’s held on to for a while and kept thinking of me when she saw them. So, she wanted to make them into candles for me. I’m not only getting spoiled with handmade, CANDLES, but once I’m done burning them, I can use them as coffee mugs! (And y’all KNOW I LOVE coffee mugs!) OR, they offer a Refill program where I could send back my containers for 25% off of the original candle price. SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT AND GETTIN’ DOPE CANDLES? WOW. DREAMS COME TRUE!
I was sent two different candle “flavors”. The triceratops mug houses the “Home Town” scent. Hometown is composed of Salt, cypress and driftwood. And Paige describes it as “place that will forever be a part of me. It raised me. With it’s salty air, tall trees and powerful ocean.” I snagged that description off of the Rinse and Repeat website and WHOA it’s so accurate! This scent is definitely warming, but also clean and not too sweet (for my sensitive noses out there). The closest thing I could compare it to would be a candle at Anthropologie, like the quality so nice and the scent is grown up, if that makes sense? Like this is the kind of candle a boss lady burns in her office. I would literally wear this as a perfume if I could. V yummy. 10/10.
The second candle I received is Fairy garden. English rose, red cedar wood, jasmine and patchouli are used to create this scent and this candle is described as smelling like “Damp forest floors, blooming floral gardens and just a touch of magick.”
It’s all TRUE. This candle is what Tinkerbell smells like. It’s floral, but not in a “grandma” kind of way and it burns surprisingly bright and fresh. I’ve kept this one in my kitchen and you can smell it through the entire apartment.
I’m obsessed with both of these candles and even more obsessed with Paige and her business.
If you’re ever looking for handmade, women owned and operated, soy, environmentally friendly candles–go to her site and order one. You will be doing yourself a BIG ol’ favor. https://rinseandrepeatshop.com/
While I’m sure winter isn’t done quiiite yet, we’re almost there, Crickets. I always struggle each year around this time, because my energy dips tremendously and all I want to do is sleep and not leave my apartment. These little things, that yes, are very silly and small are the little flickers of light that keep my joy engine running.
And isn’t that something that’s powerful to know? That it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or energy to do something small for yourself that will end up helping you out so much in the long run of your day or month or year?
I hope you’re taking care of yourselves. I hope you’re daydreaming and laughing. I hope you’re wearing silly socks and learning how to crochet. I hope you’re burning your favorite scented candle.