Remember To Love Yourself, You Come First


Have you ever woken up and immediately wanted the day to be over? Just to crawl back into that warm, cozy bed tucked away in the corner and have a cloud of blankets grip your skin and devour your weary figure in the peaceful dark? You reach for your phone and silence that godawful alarm—seriously, what a shitty noise to off start your day. Who designed this?

Last night’s dinner (probably Cheetos) scolds you for the endless neglect. It sits and waits on the nightstand next to yesterday’s bowl of cereal and the other bowl and the other other bowl and that plate you think you used for lunch a couple days ago and the mug with the spoiled milk that you just keep forgetting to clean.

The clothes you slept in?—yeah, those’ll do. Remember when you used to straighten your hair? Wow, you cared way too much in high school. You walk out of your small room through your small apartment to make it to class or to work or to whenever you are going with just enough time.

You sit down in your usual spot and say hi to the usual classmates. The other girls in class, they are your friends—sweet, friendly, vibrant; but knowing them, they probably wake up by seven for some quick cardio followed by a morning rinse. Next they scramble up some eggs and maybe indulge in a fruit cup, exhibiting their cute, little gym clothes all across campus with their oversized (and overrated *cough*) designer planners tucked under their arms—because who doesn’t need a thirty five dollar plus shipping jumbo agenda these days? You “thanks, but no thanks” their coffee shop invitation, so instead they go for a run or host a study session or watch The Bachelorette with their girlfriends.

In this moment you realize it has been three, maybe even four days since you have last washed your hair. Pizza and cheesy fries are a stable in your diet. And although, yes, joggers are in style, they still are technically sweatpants. *sobs uncontrollably* “No, dad, I haven’t found a job. Yes, I’m working on it.” When’s the last time I talked to my brother? I really need to clean my room. Okay, tomorrow. How long is too long to watch Netflix that it becomes socially unacceptable?

It’s not that you are particularly lazy— this may be controversial—but you are just so overwhelmed and anxious and strained with thoughts flying through your head that you cannot stop or even slow down.

And although you have an exam tomorrow, you cannot help but to just lie flat on your back in distress, wondering when the day will be over so you can curl back into bed, thinking maybe you are officially going crazy…?

Now, don’t get me wrong. You like these girls. You used to be just like these girls—compassionate, social, lively. Although it is hard not to be envious, what you see in them is what you don’t see in yourself anymore. And no, this isn’t about self-esteem or confidence issues. It’s about forgetting to take care of yourself.

I let myself go.

I remember I was wearing jeans, just a simple pair of skinnies—you know, the ones that are like ten bucks from Forever21. My boyfriend stopped in my apartment, and by his reaction, you would have guessed that he walked in on me naked. “Where are you going?” he asked me, as if I couldn’t just wear jeans on a standard Wednesday. Rude. But honestly, it was a reasonable question. When was the last time I got ready for the day? Then I realized it wasn’t just the jeans; it was the fact that my room wasn’t a complete disaster, my afternoon was dedicated to my artwork, and I simply looked presentable.

I was gaining more control over my life, taking healthier steps to create vibrant days, and apparently, it made me seem much more attractive. You may be reading this and thinking “well, no shit?” but I’m telling you, for a couple months this past year, even the fundamental basics were difficult for me.

I wish I had the perfect solution, but honestly, I’m still taking this one day at a time.

I’m trying to find my happy balance between play and work, and I can already feel myself changing back into the fun, happy human I always have been.

Your inner happiness starts with yourself, so remember to take care of your body, mind, and soul—always.

Here are some pretty basic tips that I’ve been integrating (well, attempting to anyways) into my life that I have found to really help:

  • Wake up with tunes. Crank up Beyoncé’s new album and start your day with good vibes and motivating music.
  • Workout. It seriously does amazing things for both your body and psyche. Not only does a nice sweat session make for a glorious mood (thanks, endorphins!), but it also makes sleep much more peaceful. Nothing’s better than falling asleep the moment your head hits your pillow.
  • Call your mom more often—because there’s nothing like hearing your momma’s voice.
  • Make time every single day to do something you enjoy. With a busy schedule, it’s easy to put hobbies on the backburner, but those activities are what makes you, you. Whether it’s reading before bed, taking your bike for a spin, or watching an episode of your current television series, you need to have fun.
  • Don’t feel bad when you do binge watch Netflix with a box of donuts from the gas station, because that’s really fun too. I like to think of it as therapeutic.
  • As cliché as this sounds, I have actually been trying to incorporate yoga into my workout routine. I still haven’t decided how much it’s affecting me spiritually, but at least it gives me a moment to focus on my breathing and body. Yoga with Adriene is my go to.
  • Every day make to-do list of three responsibilities to complete. It helps with procrastination, and gives me positive accomplishments to reflect upon at the end of the day.
  • Get in good girl time. It is easy for me to get caught up in life chores and not always make time for my friends. After a day’s worth of school, cleaning, work, and (fingers crossed) making it to the gym, I don’t have the motivation to even leave my couch, let alone my house. Whether it’s a girls’ night in or a girls’ night out, an evening with your friends is the answer to happiness.
  • You’ve heard it before but it is true: spend more time outside and soak up some rays.
  • Reflect on your day before falling asleep. Praise yourself for mailing a handwritten letter, completing an assignment, or cooking a healthy dinner. Let go of all stress and anxiety, appreciate your bed, and sleep soundly for a happy tomorrow.