With 2020 bearing a remarkable resemblance to a dumpster, on fire, being swept away in a flood, and 2021 not looking much better. We thought… ‘who needs to be told how to work out more, or how to work harder?’ Fuck. That. Shit. It’s time to focus on that all-important self-love. Here are a few suggestions to get you started…
To be honest, picking up any book is an act of self-love if it gets you away from a screen. If you’re looking for something that makes you slow down, reflect, and remember how awesome you are, then there are a few recent releases we’d recommend.
The tagline of this book is ‘Stop pleasing, start living’, while the back cover asks ‘Who were you before the world told you who to be?’ The author draws on her personal experiences of being somewhat unhappy in her life, and speaks about how she was brave in letting go of the world’s expectations of her and allowing herself to fall in love with a woman. Apparently, ‘the braver we are, the luckier we get’.
In Speak Your Truth, Fearne reflects on her experiences of being a young woman in the entertainment industry and how she was made to silence her voice. She goes on to explore ‘all the ways we learn to stay quiet for the wrong reasons, and explores how to find your voice, assert yourself and speak out with confidence.’ This is just the tip of the iceberg of Fearne Cotton stuff. Make sure to check out her podcast, Happy Place, any of her earlier books, and look out for the annual Happy Place festival in summer.
We know what you’re thinking: what do I have in common with a multi-millionaire record-breaking, platinum-selling recording artist?! Probably a lot more than you think! Alicia reflects on the ups and downs of her life in a way that can make us all think more deeply about our own.
Lorelai Gilmore… sorry, Lauren Graham, says what everybody needs to hear: ‘If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough.’ The book talks about growing up, going after your dreams, and the lost art of living in the here and now.
We don’t know about you, but sometimes when our minds are going a million miles an hour, as much as we want to read a book, it can often feel pretty much impossible. A few things we’ve found that help includes reading poetry or plays (much more digestible than prose!), finding a book with really short chapters and getting through one at a time, and reading a few pages of something as soon as we wake up before the rest of life’s stresses can get in! It also helps with anxiety. Facts.
If you want to read books specifically for queer woman, why not have a read of 12 Books for Queer Women to Read in Lockdown?
If audio’s more your thing, or you’re looking for something you can combine with all all of those self-loving, long walks you’re going on, there are some great podcasts out there at the moment. Some of our top picks are:
- The Guilty Feminist – it’s funny, fast and feminist, but it also makes you reflect, on yourself and the world.
- Unlocking Us – looks at how we can be more vulnerable and real with each other, and what it really is to be human.
- Black Girl in Om – wellness from women of colour to women of colour around the world.
- How to Survive Your Life – looking at some of the challenges we all face, from relationships to face masks.
If podcasts aren’t your thing, turn your favourite playlist up, listen to a genre you’re not normally into or start the musicals playlist and pretend you’re living in a movie. Spotify has recently launched a Daily Wellness playlist which is a mixture of music and reflection, and you can skip bits you don’t like.
Sometimes it’s just about doing what feels good for you – whether that’s dedicating the whole of Saturday afternoon to a pamper session, doing some mindfulness practise or meditation, or staying warm and cosy in your bed all day binge-watching your favourite show.
Whatever it is that makes you feel good, do it and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve it.
What does self-love look like for you? Let us know in the comments! Team Nonchalant x