Soul Food How self-care can save you during a stressful season.

By Mary Adelle



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Hello, beauties—happy September! Here come those three crazy months filled with exhausting celebrations, quirky family and delicious food. It will be busy, and that’s okay. Take a second to relax: Breathe really, really deeply—there’s no air quite like autumn air—or let yourself stare off into the distance and daydream. Take a day off. If that’s not possible, daydream about a future day off—sometimes just the thought of relaxation releases all the right, juicy brain chemicals. Feeling better? Read on for even more seasonal self-care.

 

F E E D  Y O U R  B R A I N

Be an amateur. That’s right, I said it: Be an amateur and be proud. Is there a game, a craft, a sport you love but that you’re not quite good at? Maybe there’s a school of knowledge you don’t have the time/funds to get a degree in, but you love reading about. Maybe you want to learn a few notes on that ukulele you bought a few years ago. Maybe you want to knit a crooked scarf (guilty). Whatever it is you want to do, or play, or learn, I urge you to let go of perfectionism and do it/learn it because you love it.

 

F E E D  Y O U R  B O D Y

Feel that chill in the air? That’s Mother Nature whispering, “Bake something warm and spicy and fill your body with it.” I don’t care if your oven is stuffed with overflow books—take them out, preheat to 350 degrees and bake the first goodie that enters your mind. My go-to is this “quick-and-dirty” pumpkin bread recipe, handed over from a much-loved professor: 1 box of Pillsbury’s quick bread pumpkin mix, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 eggs, and as many choco chips (or nuts or both!) as you desire. Mix. Bake until toothpick comes out clean (45ish minutes). Snuggle up with your person or your animal or your book and tuck in.

 

F E E D  Y O U R  S W A G G E R

People, give your space some T.L.C. Whether you spend most of your time in an office, in a vehicle, or your bedroom, surround yourself with smells, sights and sounds that bring you peace. Start small and focus on one of your senses. (My friend messaged me recently to tell me she had just sprayed lavender essential oil in her office and felt tension just fall away.) Or maybe you need to make a new Spotify playlist to get the good vibes flowing—I’m grateful to my friend Mychael Zulauf who introduced me to Mates of State, an indie band that has given my September a soundtrack. Tack up your favorite poem. Make a homemade potpourri with cinnamon sticks. Love your space.

 

F E E D  O T H E R S

I was touched and inspired by a fellow driver in the city recently. A person in need approached the driver’s car at a stoplight and instead of a wave away or a dollar bill, the driver pulled out a plastic Ziploc bag filled with a Gatorade, a pair of socks, a packet of peanut butter crackers and a toothbrush with toothpaste. I realize for many of us our own finances are tight, particularly during the holiday season. But jumping on Amazon and buying a few of these items to package up and hand out during your commute could change a homeless person’s week. And I promise to practice what I preach—clicking my Amazon app open right now! Imagine if we each handed out 5 of these bags this fall.

 

I end my column on these wise words from Amy E. Smith, host of the Joy Junkie podcast: “Your reception is not your responsibility.” I am guilty of getting caught up in what others think and feel about me, when ultimately, what matters is what I think and feel about myself. Are you proud of your actions and words? If your answer is yes, feel that warmth rise up inside of you. It’s really a rush.

Trust your gut and take good (self) care,

Mary Adelle

P.S. Don’t forget: Email me freely with questions, concerns, or ideas at selfcarestyle@gmail.com!

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