“5 Ways to Care for Yourself” by Natasha Lioe was originally published on capsulebooks.com on June 10, 2018
We started Capsule Books on June 1, 2017. It has been an amazing journey, and I have learned so much about business, about books, about our lovely supporters. It started as a little seed that has grown and will hopefully continue to grow more over the years. I talk a bit about my journey as the founder of Capsule Books on a podcast, Self-Care Sunday. You can listen here to our conversation about books, self-care, and the entrepreneurial life.
Self-Care Sunday is a weekly podcast hosted by Kayley Reed that explores the relationship between entrepreneurship, self-care, mental health, and social media. I love listening to Kayley’s podcasts on Sundays and find them so inspiring. She interviews real women with real achievements and real pasts, and they don’t sugarcoat any of it. It’s one of the realest podcasts I’ve ever listened to.
In honor of this podcast, which was honestly such a fun experience because Kayley is so easy to talk to, here are a few ways that I find most helpful for me when I try to care for myself.
1. Purge Your Social Media Accounts
This is one that stemmed from a toxic behavior that plagued me through all of high school and college, and even today: comparing myself to other people’s snapshots of their lives. Recently, I had been feeling down about my professional achievements. Capsule Books isn’t doing as well as I’d idealized in my head, I’m underpaid at my day job, and there are days when I just feel so insignificant. In spite of what I know to be good for myself, I’ll go through my old classmates’ profiles and wonder where they are now—is it better or worse than me? That’s the only benchmark that matters to me when I’m in a mood like that. So I find it’s important to unfollow people who you cannot genuinely be happy for when something good happens to them. Unfriend people who you only keep track of to see who’s further along in the rat race. Even if no words have been exchanged between you, and technically you are their “friend,” it is an unhealthy association to have with them.
2. Read a Meaningful Book
Books have always been a huge part of my life and how I take care of myself. Whenever I notice myself falling into a rut, or becoming irritable and judgmental and losing sight of what I find important, I know that I have to read a book. That overwhelming feeling is what pushed me to start Capsule Books. I was in need of a book that fit what I was going through at the time, searched for a service where someone else could choose books for me based on human experiences rather than genre, and didn’t find it.
I decided to start that company myself, and here we are. Our book boxes are curated based on how the books make you feel, and we aim to help you live your most minimalist, valuable, and meaningful life. Reading the right book at just the right time in our lives can be a truly moving experience.
Need something to read? Check out our latest edition of Capsule Stories.
3. Treat Yourself to a New Experience
Whether it be a concert ticket, a plane ticket to that place you’ve been wanting to visit, or planning a date with an old friend, experiences are what give us those small moments that we’ll look back at, years later, and reminisce about what we were like x years ago. Moving into adulthood, it’s important to hold on to those experiences because they made us who we are.
4. Declutter Your Life
This is something I’ve always done since I first read about minimalism. I used to have buckets and buckets of clothes that I would never wear, from cheap fast fashion stores, made of unsustainable fabric, manufactured in factories that knowingly break labor laws. Now I shop at places like Everlane and the Reformation, and while their clothes have a higher upfront cost for their customers, it’s clothes that you can feel good about wearing because of their lower cost to the environment. And I buy less—because I can’t afford to buy more than one or two pieces at a time, but also because I know that I don’t need to have so much excess. Every year, at least once, I’ll go through my clothes and donate what doesn’t give me joy—in true KonMari fashion. I’ll go through knickknacks and my books and donate what doesn’t bring me a good memory when I hold it.
5. Take Care of Your Future Self
This one I think is often neglected for other, more fashionable methods of self-care. While there is nothing wrong with those methods, I think it’s important to also remember that one week from now, one year from now, and five years from now, you’ll wish you tried hard at something instead of making excuses to not do it. I know I have many regrets from my past where I wish I tried harder because it would have paid off in the end—for example, at my college Photoshop class, hehe. I ended up dropping it because I was too lazy, but you should always try hard. Even if you end up not going in that direction, at least you tried and you’ll never wonder if you could’ve reaped the benefits years later.
A small example of this would also be doing laundry. I used to love doing laundry but now I find it just takes too much time and I’m too lazy. I always leave it to the last minute. But a week later, when I’m all out of clean socks and underwear, I’ll wish that I had done the laundry last weekend when I had a couple hours to spare. It’s the unglamorous, nitty-gritty aspects of living that are so often ignored in the pursuit of “self-care.” But clean those dishes that have been in the sink for a couple days. Make your bed. Put your clothes away instead of tossing them on the floor (or “that chair.” you know the one.) every night. Go to the gym. These small actions will help make your quality of life easier and better in the near or far future, and that is self-care, too.