holidays for one (ways to make the season merry and bright alone)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, many people will be spending the holidays alone this year. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for the rest of us), or some other wintry holiday, here are some ways you can make it feel festive inside to celebrate the wintertime.

  1. Warm beverages: I try to make this a daily ritual for myself and myself alone. A nice warm cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider, chai, or any other deliciousness can make you feel cozied up and festive. It’s cold outside, so warm up inside with something hot. It’s a lovely bit of self care that I think everyone should indulge in daily, but it’s up to you.
  2. Fire: One of the best ways to feel cozy during winter is to bring fire into your home (safely). A fireplace isn’t practical for everyone, but if you’ve got one, start it up! Otherwise, maybe you can have a bonfire outside with some blankets. Or, the easiest way to get fire (and my favorite way) is to light a candle or seven! Always make sure to monitor your candles and put them in safe places, but a hot cocoa and cream or peppermint bark scented candle makes me feel instantly more holiday.
  3. Scented things: Soap. Room sprays. Wallflowers. Potpourri. Incense. Anything that smells like those traditional wintertime scents, bring it on! Here are the best ones in my opinion: cinnamon, teakwood, clove, apple, peppermint, and cedar. You can pick what’s right for you (and be careful if you’re sensitive to certain fragrances).
  4. Lighting: Those harsh white lights that are almost blue? They hurt my eyes. It’s great for focus during the day, but at night, not so much. Switching your bedroom and living room lights to those warm yellow bulbs can make a big difference in the cozy feeling of your home. Adding lamps and a heavy dose of string lights to your space can also change the vibes instantly, along with candles (of course). Something about being surrounded by warm lighting makes me super joyful.
  5. Music: Just about any kind of music can be holiday-ed up. If you’re trying to get work done, YouTube has some 24/7 live feeds of lo-fi music in any scenario, be it lo-fi christmas, lo-fi coffee shop, lo-fi study… I bet you can find something. Not a lo-fi fan? Warm, festive classical music like cello or piano gives me a classy and cozy vibe. Some people like christmas rap, holiday blues, or even traditional celtic carols (my favorite). I even made a playlist of anti-Christmas songs. If you’d like to see that, follow me on my moodboard Instagram so you don’t miss when that post goes live. I’ve already posted some anti-Christmas* films.
  6. Movies: What’s the holiday season without holiday films? Maybe you’re super traditional with movies like Miracle on 34th Street or A Christmas Carol. Or, maybe you go for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Grinch. You might even be one of those “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” people — I’ve only just recently been convinced, so I still feel a little resistance to the idea, but knock yourself out. And again, go to my moodboard Instagram for some anti-Christmas films.
  7. Decorations: Don’t get me wrong, I know this is obvious. But the decoration process can be daunting, especially if you’re used to trimming the tree and the mantelpiece and lighting the candles with your family and friends. Turn on some jams, light a candle or two, or put on a movie, and get decorating! Whatever decorations you like. You could even craft some of your own with a family member or friend on Zoom! My sister and I made some sweet crafts out of socks, glue dots, buttons, ribbons, and all the fun crafty stuff. Try a DIY snowman or decorate a yule log.
  8. Reminisce: My mom suggested this one — look over old holiday photos! You can use Google Photos to piece together a memory book that you can mail out to loved ones later. Or, you can pull out the old photo books, scan images, and post them on Facebook for a good time in the comments. Even if you can’t have a gathering now, you can remember the old times. Maybe call some family and ask them for their favorite holiday memories… write them all down and share the document.
  9. Get festive in the kitchen: Who doesn’t love a warm soup and hearty homemade bread? Ask your great aunt if she’d be willing to part with a recipe or two. As with Thanksgiving, you might not be able to enjoy the recipes your relatives always bring, but you can recreate the same flavors at home! Hop on a live and ask for instructions in real time (just make sure you do your shopping beforehand). Maybe try something new. Plus, making some festive dishes and putting them in Tupperware for later is a great way to meal prep without feeling like it’s too much work!
  10. Cozy up: Invest in nice sweats, thick blankets, a heavy coat and boots for winter walks, knit socks/hats/scarves/gloves, and maybe a rug or some wool sweaters. Flannel is also an excellent choice. You’re going to be home anyway, so why not make yourself as comfortable as possible?
  11. Try handmade gifts: This year, your gifts might not be so traditional. I read on the news that hand sanitizer and masks are popular presents! If you’re going to order gifts online, try to get them from Etsy shops or your favorite small businesses. Or, pick up tins for homemade candies, wrap handmade ornaments in craft paper and twine, and get painting on cardstock to send to loved ones. Become a subscriber to get a list of 10 gift ideas for a pandemic.

Well, there are 11 holiday hacks for one! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and remember, you’re never alone. ❤

*Note, I don’t have anything against Christmas. I just know that it’s not the only holiday people celebrate this time of year, and it’s nice to include those people in festive posts!

—ellynn ❤

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media consumption and health

For those who’ve been following me for a while, you might know that I’m mid-way through my first semester of university. My primary area of study is in mass media and communication, and lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking on the kind of media I consume and how it affects me.

Every part of my education is completely online. Yes, I’m living on campus, but I’m going through posted video lectures, PDF readings, zoom discussions, and countless links every single day. I never realized how much of my education up to this point had been through face-to-face interaction.

I’m an independent learner. I like to take home information, sit with it, analyze it, and come back having understood it. From there, I can work with it and answer questions about it. I find it strange, though, that I’m struggling to do that same thing when all of my work is online. I feel that now, the only way I learn is by internalizing all of the media my professors and instructors throw at me. When you’re taking 15-17 credit hours, that can be quite a lot dumped on you.

Some of the positives, though, outweigh the negatives. Because my courses are loosely related, I’m able to link topics like identity to leadership practices and media studies. A documentary I watched for my American Identities class helped me communicate in a discussion led on sexual assault awareness. Online/synchronous learning allows you to do something we don’t have time for in physical classes: I can absorb the information, reflect on it, and apply it to the rest of my knowledge.

Every day, we’re spinning a web of the media we consume. How we feel about the information in our minds shapes how we perceive the world. If I only read my Twitter feed, my world will be all about Donald Trump (if you looked at Twitter right now). If I only watch Ratched on Netflix, my world will be spooky and badass.

But something I haven’t been doing, and something a lot of my fellow students aren’t doing, is stepping back from the media. How much can you consume before it becomes your whole world? Am I going to return for winter break, only to lecture everyone on how to diagnose a conflict and conjugate French verbs in imparfait?

There’s something to be said for academic immersion. I cannot relay how grateful I am to be in an environment where everyone’s priority is on learning and becoming better versions of themselves. My friends have big dreams, and they want to make the universe better, and I have so much respect for nearly every person I meet here. But we are not just our studies.

Social media targets mental health in such a positive way right now. It’s great! You can find any number of resources for hotlines, or how to practice non-fluffy self care, or mindfulness activities. What’s missing from the conversation is how the best course of action regarding mental, emotional, and dare I say physical needs is to rest. It might sound silly, but resting is the one thing we overlook when we ask, “how do I feel better?”

Current society (in broad terms, yes) prioritizes doing. Doing anything. So when faced with an issue regarding our health, our first reaction is probably, “what can I do?”

Listen well: there is nothing you have to do. Humans are so bad at intuitive healing these days. Honestly, sit down, feel your body, listen to your mind, let your emotions sit. Slow down. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is my body saying I need? How can I manage that right now?
  2. Are there thoughts in my head? Is there a way I can organize them?
  3. What am I feeling?
  4. Why am I feeling this way?
  5. Is there something wrong?
  6. Am I just fine, and this is a check-in?
  7. Have my habits changed lately? Is this positive or negative change?

If you don’t think you’ll answer these questions without biased, consult someone close to you. Often, the people who love us are the people who notice the most minor changes in demeanor. Maybe they’ll have something to offer about concerns or triumphs in your life.

Give yourself respect and love in trying times. Remember that it’s okay to feel kinda crappy. It’s okay to have things to celebrate, too. Allow yourself to feel and just exist, because you are human, and that’s all you can do sometimes. Much love.

-ellynn ❤

what 2019 taught me about time.

As my first post of the year, it’s a raw one. It’s honest. I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart, and I’m excited to show you what I have planned for 2020.

This has been a year of lessons, and I’ve decided that the most important one I learned was how little time we truly have with the ones we love.

Before I elaborate, I did not lose a loved one — that’s not what I mean, although you could see it in that sense. Time slips through our fingers, and there are periods in our lives where we have good relationships with people, and sometimes, those relationships have to be taken from us. The universe does that sometimes. I know, it sucks, right?

I’ve been writing a lot about college, and one of the super hard things about leaving my hometown is saying “see you later,” when I know I probably won’t see a lot of those people ever again. I’m being forced to choose what relationships I truly value. If I decide that I want to keep ties with every single friend from my life right now, I will never keep up. I can’t remember them all. It’s hard. How do you decide who to let go of?

That’s one of my issues with life. Priorities. They’re something I’ve never been able to set, and I think that’s something I’m slowly learning how to do. I realized what my burnout point is as far as commitments to activities/clubs. I realized what I need in my social life. What’s hard is, after realizing what those limits are, I actually have to pare down now. I have to sit and ask myself, “what really matters? who do I really care about? what’s going to be important to me five years from now?”

It’s a process, but by choosing my path of study, I’ve already narrowed down my career priorities. Writing and foreign language. Those choices are leading me to become more active with my blog and start working on relations on social media related to writing. I also just took a test to obtain the Seal of Biliteracy, which sounds super fancy but really isn’t. Underneath that layer is the desire to travel, to interact with other writers, to understand other worlds. So that’s settled: I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. Right? Let me bookmark this post and revisit that in a few years.

But with relationships, it’s much more difficult. Yoga can handle it if I decide to make it less important than my other interests. Fashion can deal. But a companion actually has feelings. I can’t dismiss a person as easily. Not to say that prioritizing people you love has to mean dismissing other people. It’s not that at all. We need to choose first and foremost the people who deserve our attention, letters, facebook messages, emails, texts, coffee dates. We only have so much time, so we have to choose between visiting a childhood best friend or some girl with whom you cracked jokes in Chemistry class two years ago. Who matters? Who affects your daily life, emotional well-being, and your health?

Deciding what (and who) you want to stay isn’t selfish. On the contrary: it’s a kindness to the people around you. There’s no sense in spending time with people who you don’t feel are terribly important to your own happiness. And in my opinion, if someone isn’t dying to spend time with me or show that I’m valuable to them often, then I would rather they simply move on. Our time on Earth is way too short to have half-assed relationships. If you care, let them in. If you don’t, be honest and let them go.

One more thing, though. Don’t just randomly delete people and things from your life. It’s not like taking out the trash. This reflection, this change? It’s going to take some time, and it’s going to have repercussions. You can’t suddenly tell a friend you don’t want to speak to them ever again. You have to handle it gracefully, honestly. And even if you think you’re ready to let go, be prepared to feel a loss. Even if you’re the one cutting ties, you may still feel a pull at something that used to be there. It won’t be easy, but shedding what no longer serves you, like a snake in its old skin, is better for everyone and everything.

Much love, and happy new year.

-ellynn ❤

reflection of self . . . and its ripples.

Make this assumption:

We see ourselves in many ways, but the method by which we see ourselves is that of a pool of water. Nothing else: it’s a pool of clear, pristine, pure water.

In purity:

On a perfect day, how does the pool appear? On a hypothetically perfect afternoon, the pool appears undisturbed. It is peaceful, and not even the tiniest wind shifts its liquid. This is the ultimate utopia in regards to the reflection of self.

In distress:

How does the pool appear when distressed? There are creatures there, wandering and playing rowdily. An ill-willed ivy or bacterium may find itself creeping into the waters. Gusts from all sides bluster against the surface, causing waves to jump around. This is the definition of our often unclear state or the unbalanced reflection of self.


What is different between a pool and a human being? One would say many things, but the main importance here is that a pool can do nothing for itself. A human being has the power to affect physical change. You and I can move or not move, think or not think, smile or not smile. We have energy. And we decide how we use it or not use it.

What can be done:

How does one achieve a perfectly smooth reflection? Let us examine the disturbances I described earlier.

  • Creatures are comparable to people or activities in our lives. They take our time and use our precious energy. Well, imagine that instead of a pool, you are a garden. Some creatures are helpful: they fertilize your soil, eat the weeds around you, and simply enjoy your oxygen. Those are the people and activities that should stay. Some creatures, however, are unhelpful: they eat your new buds, tear up the fencing, and eat the fruit of your labors. Those are the people and activities that should be sent away.
  • Ivy or bacteria are considered the thoughts which we feed ourselves. They could be positive or negative, but the thoughts we carry are the kind of energy  we use on a daily basis. The energy that feeds or weeds the gardens we grow within ourselves. And that energy is passed on into the creatures around us. The creatures drink from the water at our pools. You see: it is all a cycle. We are the water, the ivy grows in us, and the creatures drink us up because we are infused with nutrients. Whether this helps us to grow or not is up to us. Whether the water is healthy or not is up to us.
  • The wind or waves are what I like to call the outside forces. These are things we cannot control. We cannot control how it affects the water, the creatures, the ivy, the bacteria of our minds. We cannot control the way it sends our surfaces rippling outward. This is what rocks us; this is what changes us permanently. Wind blows things away, brings things in, and alters the feel of things.

What to do:

Build your ivy and plants within yourself by allowing the right creatures to fertilize your garden. Choose to grow and hold only plants that are peacemakers, lovers, and protectors. Choose to invite only creatures who will not disturb those growing things, but rather, help them flourish. Be sure those living things are in harmony in your personal pool. Feed yourself positive thoughts and welcome positive people so that when the winds come in, you are properly equipped to handle the rippling effects. Let your thoughts be firmly rooted; let your company be supportive.

Create within yourself a nurturing, loving ecosystem.

giving yourself a fresh start.

I’ve noticed recently that there are signs around me. Signs that tell me to restart, renew, refresh. This might be a sudden urge to decorate my room differently (i. e. Shifting furniture, making a vision board, changing the lighting) or a theme I repetitively see in the media (such as meditation). I think that we as people, in a great big world with lots of messages from everywhere at once, need to become excellent at deciphering which ideas are hodgepodge and which are really destined for us.

So, if you feel that the universe is calling you to change things up, I have a couple decent ways to do that. That’s right, it’s Sunday, and we’re getting into the juicy stuff.

Changing your space.

You might feel cramped, cluttered, uninspired, or just downright depressed about your space right now. Or perhaps you haven’t associated any of those feelings with a certain issue, but you’ve just been noticing them. Take a moment to think about if this is your issue. Is your space too dark? Is it dirty or messy? Does it have a certain smell, a certain feel that you don’t particularly like? Or is it uncomfortable? Maybe it’s not your whole living space, but just a part of it, such as the office. Is the desk by a window, and if not, could that change? If any of these questions strike you, your stress might be coming from a place in your home. My space is most definitely the way I get my energy. I have a couple ways you can fix this.

  • Play with lighting. A new lamp, moving, the main furniture to a window, softening the lights (string lights or salt lamps), or brightening the lights (new ceiling bulbs perhaps?) can all change your environment. I put a disco ball in my bedroom and I’ve never looked back.
  • Aromatherapy. Scent can spark a lot of energy in the human body. Today there are hundreds of ways to scent your space, including candles, incense, diffusers (oil or reed), mists, wax warmers… Pick one or more that you like and use it when you need a pick-me-up! *side note, if you have pets, always check that the things you are using are suitable for them! essential oils and incense especially.
  • Hygge. This is seriously an umbrella term, but it’s sweeping the nation! It’s the Danish word for that feeling of cozy and comfortable. Hanging out by the fire with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and a book on Christmas Eve. On a hot day, chilling in a hammock with a cold drink under the shade. Laughing with friends and family on a road trip, getting fresh flowers from the city… You get it. Find ways to import this into your daily life. Have fresh foods and plants in your apartment, keep the windows open, have friends over more often, dim the lights a bit, play jazz music while you soak in a bath… Aaahhhhh.

Trying something new.

Really! Our souls are just dying to explore and learn. I don’t care what your age is. There must be something you haven’t done. Even if it’s not your idea of fun. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe finding out the answer to that question will be fun! Get some real good adventure in your life.

  • Move your body. Anything from cross fit and surfing to low-impact stuff like Pilates (check Blogilates) and yoga.
  • Study a new topic. Always wanted to know about minimalism? Do your research. Really interested in environmental science? Hit up a library. Want to explore some religions around the world? You know what to do.
  • Eat a new meal. Some people go head-first into a new eating habit, while others prefer to try a new food (maybe a simple vegetable or spice) with the already-familiar. I’d suggest that to start slow, you should try a new meal every three days. Rotate the time of day you try one. Your taste buds would like change too.

Go back to the basics.

After a hard few weeks, what better way to cheer up and get inspired than revisiting an old, timeless thing? It’s homey, it has good memories… Priceless.

  • Mom’s (or other guardian’s) cooking. When I think comfort, I think of those super amazingly fluffy dumplings my mom makes in her soup. What do you think of? If you can’t have the comfort of a relative’s cooking, try to recreate the classic the best way you know how. Grilled cheese that’s not quite how aunt Suzie used to make it is still grilled cheese, right?
  • A movie you loved. Disney princesses are still awesome, you still know all the words, you still love the heroes. Enough said.
  • The place you always used to go. This could be anywhere. Maybe it’s as grand as a family road trip every year to a specific spot, or it could be as small as a weekly date with your older sister to that diner. Did you always order the same thing? For me, I loved playing in this creek in our backyard, and a specific corner of the library always felt like home. Books and nature. Go there, you guys. Even if just to remember.

If you’re still feeling unmotivated or uninspired, I totally get it. And it sucks! But I hope a new breath of fresh air gets inside your creative lungs soon. Good luck.

-rachel ‹3

making your dreams appear.

Everyone has a dream, and I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty hippie stuff (although I can if you want me too), but I’m gonna guess you want that dream to come true. I know I do. But you know what? Sitting here and wishing on that dream doesn’t make it any more real. It actually makes it less real. Because we’re wasting precious time. We could be running our business right now! Writing that book! Campaigning for president! I mean seriously, there are a lot better things to do with time than sit and wish.

So let’s find somebody else’s dreams.

Legit. Go on Pinterest or Tumblr or Instagram or whatever you use and print out the dreams others have that are similar to yours. Except the difference? Those photos are real. (I think.) The people who took those photos made it to that dream. So don’t sit here and tell me, as you scroll hopelessly in the feed, that YOU can’t make the dream happen. They did, right? And they aren’t you; only you are you. So you’re the only one who can make your dream a reality.

Now cut the crap. And cut out the photos too. Stick them somewhere you’ll see them every freaking day. Great. How does this help you? Eh, I haven’t figured it out either. U n t i l.

Sitting, waiting. Staring at an empty wall. Wait, no, that’s a wall with pictures on it. To be totally authentic it’s a cork board against a wall, but whatever. Those pictures are things I want! Seriously, I want that stuff. Those people have it. Why don’t I? I could have that. But I’m sitting here on my butt, staring at the board of someone else’s dreams. Why’d I make that? So dumb. I need to go do something to achieve that.

Oh yeah! That’s why I made it. So don’t give me excuses, and have fun with your dream board.

-rachel ‹3

summer self care.

It’s now the time of year where, at  least in the states, summer is in full swing. Time for adventures and holidays and hanging out with friends! (If you’re not, you’re still on break soon enough). I like to use this lovely break to really get my life together. You know, really buckle down and do some hard-core self love.

The first thing that I do is catch up on YouTube videos! I mean seriously. During the course of my studies, the creators I love to watch often get put on hold. I feel guilty! I support them whole-heartedly, so I can take time to watch their content and leave feedback. It feels good to get back into the community.

–This is also when I try to catch up on things like blog posts (hey, I take a hiatus every once in a while) and taking photos for Instagram. I’ve also gotten into filming my own videos… but we’ll get to that some other time.

So once I get the internet work out of the way, I like to read up! Another thing I don’t always have a chance to do in the flow of school is read a lot of books. Especially because I’m reading other material, it’s hard to keep reading another unrelated novel.

Exploring new lifestyle ideas (if you can’t tell) is a part of how my brain works. I take advantage of the  two-and-a-half month break to do some research! This could be about minimalism, fitness and health, journaling techniques, meditation… Whatever I’m feeling that day. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll be into tiny houses and owning a plant family. It’s all about the flow!

Of course, self care wouldn’t be complete without a little spa treatment. Simple things like shaving and moisturizing can be neglected. I also try to enjoy the luxury of a face mask, whether homemade or store-bought. Other things like homemade scrubs, bath bombs, and hair masks can really make a difference in how your summer glow-up manifests. Take time for your body.

–This being said, remember to work your body as well. Summer isn’t only a time to lounge around and mindlessly ingest media; you should also be sure to go out and play! Even if you’re an adult, especially if you’re an adult, you should still play. Go swimming, try hiking, dive into a new sport, take a Pilates class. Just have fun with it and take care of your body along the way. I’m doing a post about my yoga progress soon. I’ll link it here as soon as it’s up.

Take care of your mental state. If you’ve kept yourself from de-stressing, try to get back into the habit (or create a habit) of relaxing your mind. This might be through meditating, journaling, or making art/music. Any of these can work. I know that Kalyn Nicholson (you know I was gonna mention her) does her own Tarot readings as meditation, and if you’re into that, try that! It’s all about tuning into your thoughts and feelings.

So of course I listed mostly the ways I take care of myself, but I’d love to know how you do your self care! Leave a comment below. (P. S. I’ve been known to check out your content if you leave feedback… getting involved with my readers is fun. I want to get to know you guys!)

love you, and take care.

-rachel ❤

maintaining a positive environment.

I’m delving into my inner Kalyn Nicholson and creating the most zen spaces possible. Hi everyone! I hope we’re all feeling okay. I’m feeling rather at peace today. Some windows open, birds chirping, and a candle going. As I’m typing this, I’m on a live Instagram video. So let me know if you saw that video, and I’ll make sure to do more of them! I try to motivate others with studying and/or work, so please tell me if you’d like some more of that sort of thing. I feel that it’s more practical than YouTube and less time-consuming.

Ah. The topic of today’s post. So I noticed that the spaces I occupy got very…busy. Crowded. I would walk into a room and feel absolutely overwhelmed with everything in it. There was too much stuff, the lighting was too heavy on the eyes, and I couldn’t find exactly what I needed to do my work or feel at home. It felt like my room carried so much negative energy, so I decided to change that; I’m going to give you a few guidelines I kept in order to do so.

  • Lighting is your best friend
    • Before I made any huge changes, I decided to soften the light in my space. Pinkish-yellow light and warmer glows help me focus more. I feel happiest and the most productive with clean and warm light. I changed my clear bulbs for frosted ones, put up string lights instead of sharp lamps, and opened the curtains more often. I have two windows open at this moment, string lights draped over each, and on top of my desk, I have a Himalayan pink salt lamp. The last one is a new addition, and I think it suits my study vibes perfectly. It has warm light; it’s also very pretty to look at. I have looked at the health benefits of it, and I’m not exactly sure if the claims are true, but for now, it’s nice to have.
  • Smells, y’all
    • At any given time, I will have some sort of scent in my room. I mean, I’ve got a lot of candles and tea lights. I have essential oils and a diffuser. I have incense. I mean jeez, sometimes I’ll spray some perfume on my surfaces to make the place fresher. The key to this, though, is making sure that your space doesn’t smell like Bath and Body Works. Not necessary. At the same time that you release a smell, also de-scent your space, meaning: open the windows, turn on a fan. Let the scent be there, but let it be subtle.
  • Hygge
    • Okay guys. You may not have heard this word before. Don’t let it scare you! The word translates directly from Dutch to mean fun. But that’s really not what hygge is. Hygge means cozy or comfortable, and it’s that feeling you get when you finally plop down on the couch with a steaming cup of tea and a blanket to watch a classic film. It’s how you feel under the sun with friends. It’s that thing you can’t quite describe. What does that mean in a room? Well, you essentially want to have comfortable aspects of your spaces. So at my desk, that would be a soft lamp. I also have a comfortable chair. My side table contains self-care items. I have a reading space with some blankets and pillows. The windows have string lights. It’s another word for aesthetic that carries a deeper meaning.
  • Art
    • I don’t think my room would be complete with some tasteful art. Being minimalist, the idea of hanging art is so appealing to me. It’s transportable, doesn’t take up floor space, and it’s easier than painting or investing in large, bulky decorative pieces. I have some sketches and prints up, as well as paintings and a tapestry. Wall stickers are nice as well. My favorite type of wall art is those metal workings! The ones that are shaped like suns or flowers that you see outside on porches? Bring those babies inside. They add character and make the room feel more…hygge. 🙂
  • Sound
    • It sounds strange, but the way a room sounds can really affect every other aspect of the room. I live in an area where there are always birds chirping. If that’s something you have, I’d recommend opening the windows and letting nature be your soundtrack. I pair this with soft music, like Deep Focus on Spotify or some acoustic songs. White noise, of course, is another option that is less involved if you get distracted easily. Rain sounds are my favorite, but there are other sounds you can find all over the place!
  • Declutter
    • I can see you just rolling your eyes right now. “Duh.” Yes, I’m a minimalist and YES, I would tell you that decreasing the amount of clutter in your home increases the amount of positive energy there is. Trust me on this one. It’s very simple, and it’s the tip I would most recommend. If you can do nothing else, declutter your space and watch your productivity soar.

I’m feeling inspired and so ready to get final exams finished… How about you guys? Let me know in the comments below, or let me know on my Instagram page! Love ya.

-rachel ❤

creating a self-care station.

Self-care. We know it’s important. So why don’t we do it? Well, I think the better question is: why do we do it? Here’s the deal. We take care of ourselves when it’s convenient. I’ll be honest with you! Brushing your teeth and washing your face is a chore when it’s not easy to reach your products, or when you have to take your makeup off first, and even sometimes when you just want to sleep the day off. But then the next morning you wake up feeling gross, not wanting to move, not wanting to take care of yourself. I know that cycle, especially during the winter months. Now that it’s March, we’re all ready to get into spring cleaning and enlightenment. But where you should start is within yourself. That’s why I’ve decided to write this post about creating a special and accessible self-care station for your needs. I use this every day, and I can promise you that having an easily-seen station will make it frequently used.

What is a self-care station?

Simple. It’s a place for you to chill out. Take a load off. In my example, my station is a small bin with a few items that calm me down. For you, it might be an entire room that feels comfortable and safe. It could be your car. It can even be the outdoors if you’d like. The heart of this idea is that whatever your station is, that you visit it often and use the area to de-stress and feel more whole. Easier said than done, yeah? Let me help you with a couple steps.

  1. Evaluate what calms you. Planning your self-care space can be tricky if you don’t know what will make you feel cared for. Think about when you’re the most at peace. Is it a certain kind of music? A scent that relaxes your mind? Reading that self-help book you adore? Make a list of everything that calms you. It can be as long or as short as you’d like.
  2. Decide where your station will be. Mine is on my bedside table. I’d recommend anywhere you are frequently located. I sleep in my bed, therefore that’s where most of my time is spent. That’s where I wake up, where I decide how I feel for the day before getting up. Other good options are near your desk, the kitchen, in front of the TV if you have one (perhaps on the coffee table or under the couch), or in the console of your car.
  3. Choose your items. Most of these things should be things that you don’t need to replace. A good face mask, lotion, or candles are a decent exception to this. Otherwise, consider things you’ll keep there and only there. That way, these objects are linked with only happiness and self-love. In my bin, I keep a notebook and pen, some peppermint/orange essential oils, a sleep mask, and a small mp3 player that makes me feel nostalgic, headphones included. For your station, I’ve got a list of things.
  • blanket
  • small soft toy (we all like to cuddle)
  • cozy sweatshirt/sweater
  • a luxury snack (dark chocolate, special granola bar, favorite candy)
  • a bottle of water (try to make it a reusable one)
  • an old electronic (GameBoy or DS anyone?)
  • inspirational or happy ending book
  • a nice note from someone you love
  • a memorable photograph
  • adult coloring book & pencils
  • cozy or refreshing candle
  • lavender spray
  • coffee beans (they help you focus!)
  • tiny music player
  • a CD from a band you love
  • instrument (I play the ukulele to relax)
  • a list of numbers you can always call
  • heating pad
  • bath bomb
  • fuzzy socks
  • anything else you can think of!

Self-care can be tricky if we don’t make it intentional, but hopefully, these tips helped you a little. Trying to find your center through material items isn’t something we should completely rely on, but these little things that add value to us can truly allow us to feel more focused and ready for the next minute, hour, day, and so forth. Remember, take time to love yourself.


-wednesday ❤