Be Cute To Yourself
Few weeks ago I wrote a post about my ongoing battle with anxiety and depression (which, by the way THANKS BABES for responding so well to it. You’re all really fit xxx) and WOAH MAMA my little anxiety goblin has been GOING OFF ON ONE recently. A few comments from folk about my seemingly never-ending single status, my body clock tick-tocking t’wards 30 and not having a ‘back-up’ career combined with a busy work schedule with no real time to myself has left me feeling shaky, panicky and a bit OUTTA CONTROL.
BUT NEVER FEAR! I’m working at reeling that ugly little goblin back in. Because I’m brave as fuck and also I am just far too busy and fabulous to let that bellend rule my life for long periods of time anymore. And since so many of you were like HEY BABE ME TOO about the goblin, I thought I’d share it with you.
When my pals and I are having a bit of a wobble or a rough time, we have a phrase that we use a lot- “Be cute to yourself”. This basically means treating yourself well and being kind and comforting to yourself in the same way you would to a chum if they were having a wobble. A lot of the time I find it really hard, because the goblin makes me feel like I don’t deserve kindness or nurture but you have to just twat him in the face and dive head-first into the cuteness. So here are my ways in which I am cute to myself in times of stress and anxiety. You should do them too and we can all be cute together.
- Make time for yourself
I’ve learned this year that I really need time alone to myself just to be alone. Not to like, wallow in my feelings but just to not have to be ‘on form’ all the time. When you’re always so busy that you’re constantly being chatty and interacting with people and ensuring you’re up to date with all your friends and giving advice and support to their problems, and giving your job 100% and being lovely to your family and being all witty and hilarious on twitter etc etc etc. Get me? Sometimes you just need to turn down the volume on everything and be with your own mind.
- Turn your phone off
The moment I do this, I can physically feel myself relax a bit. That’s when you know that you’re just with yourself and the only way the world can reach you is by carrier pigeon or smoke signal and you can just say SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH to everything. YES.
- Read and listen and watch your old favourites
Whenever I need to be cute to myself, I whack on my trusty old Harry Potter audiobooks. They’re stories I love and know so well and I love being read to and let’s face it, the voice of Stephen Fry is always a huge comfort. Indulge in your old chums and wrap yourself in their familiarity. Other old chums of mine include: The Wizard of Oz, Blackadder and Goodnight Mr Tom.
- Treat your skin well
I’ll admit, I’M TERRIBLE, only this year have I started actually looking after my skin. All the cleanse-tone-moisturise shit always seemed SO LONG when I could just smear a baby wipe over my face but I have changed my ways and HONEST IT FEELS SO BUFF. When I get in and I’m being cute to myself, I take off my bra (FRRREEEEDOOOOMMMMMM) and take my make-up off properly using Ponds Cold Cream (yes I am 80 years old) and a hot flannel and lemme tell ya, it feels like having a mini-facial. I then follow up with a serum and night cream and despite a few occasional Vesuvius eruptions on my chin and cheeks my skin looks pretty gosh darn good and that makes me feel good.
- Make yourself feel as good as possible
When you need to be cute and comforting to yourself, it is not about debuting a risky new fashion look (I am looking at you culottes) or experimenting with a bold make-up choice. Wear things that make you feel good about yourself, the things that make you as comfortable as possible in your own skin. For me, that’s usually trusty old floral tea dresses, lashings of mascara and glittery nail varnish.
- Make a list of things you like about yourself
This was a really hard one to do but I am SO GLAD I did it. In the back of my notebook, I wrote down a list of the things I like about myself, both appearance and personality wise, the things I have achieved in my life and the good things in it. OMG IT IS CRINGE AS FUCK and I would die if anyone but me ever read it, but when I am wobbling my head off, it serves as a good reminder to chill the hell out and that you actually aren’t the worst/ugliest/most awful person in the world-something which the goblin would have you believe.
- To Do List and a Remember List
Similarly, every week I write a to-do list, and underneath I write a little list of reminders. They normally consist of a few bullet points of me just going, “Be Cute To Yourself. Drink Water. Moisturise your hands.” but it helps to keep me grounded and look after myself in little ways.
- Nourish your brain a bit
Give your brain a little workout and treat yourself with a bit of new knowledge. Aim for something totally unrelated to your job or what you usually surround yourself with. Read some poetry you haven’t read before, listen to a beautiful piece of classical music, watch a documentary about something you know nothing about (thanks to this series I now know a FUCK TONNE about the Georgians) or explore a website like Brainpickings which is teeming with wonderful articles and information. Your brain will be all like HEY GIRL LOOK AT ME WORKING OUT! and you will feel like the Queen of Clever.
- Treat Yo’Self
In the words of Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation, just TREAT YO’SELF. Buy yourself a bunch of blooms, your favourite chocolate bar, a luxury wank with your favourite toy (p.s can we come up with a different word for female masturbation? Wank doesn’t seem to fit the bill somehow. Answers on a postcard.), a face mask, a massage, burning your favourite candle, a pair of shoes that are both impractical and that you definitely do not need, booking a city break, taking yourself to a new exhibition or to the theatre, a cold diet coke at 3pm or a huge gin and tonic when you get home- YOU NEED AND DESERVE THIS.
- Water and Good Grub
Having said that, also make sure you drink LOADS of water and eat as well as you can. Even if you want to just down espresso and go balls deep into a bag of Kettle Chips, being good will make you feel virtuous and also healthier. Without sounding too much like a kale-loving-nutribullet-wanker I’ve been experimenting recently with exciting and interesting low-fat, low-carb lunches which feel free to perve over on my Instagram!
- Early nights
Been treating myself to a few 9pm bedtimes after such a manic, hectic few months and my god it has been magnificent. I have put on clean bedding, I have arranged my cushions and pillows into a dreamy configuration which I call The Nest, I have sprayed Lavender Spray onto The Nest before reading read Roald Dahl short stories by the twinkle of fairy lights and woken up feeling rested as fuck. NOTE- This delicious bed situation and peaceful night’s sleep doesn’t work if you get into bed and start looking at your phone and scrolling through social media. TURN IT OFF.
- Say no
Again, something I find really difficult but I’m getting better at. If you really don’t want to go to that house party in Zone 6 on a Wednesday night, don’t. We’re all getting a bit older and realise that actual friends would rather you took some time out to relax and look after yourself. It doesn’t matter. Genuinely. Some of my best friends I don’t see for months on end, and the friendship works because we don’t guilt trip each other about being busy and having relentless schedules and needing to use the free time we have for ourselves. DAT FRIENDSHIP IS STRONGER THAN SPIDER SILK and nothing changes when we finally do see each other. Similarly, say no to work stuff if you genuinely don’t have time to do something. I was going to take on a full time job once this show I’m in goes up but realised NO I will utterly kill myself if I try and commute in and out of London, work 8.30-5.30 in an office AND do 8 shows a week. I was like, nahhhh would rather be poor than put myself under than mental strain and exhaustion again. (Fully aware I will probably regret this when I have no money for beer.)
- Give yourself a fucking break
We’re all trying our best. We’re nice people who work hard and are kind. You’re doing better than you think, I promise. Cut yourself a bit of slack and try to stop thinking of all the things you feel you should have achieved by now. BABE, WE HAVE SO GOT THIS.
Now go forth and be cute to yourself. But first listen to this, it’s the happiest song in the world.