SELF Day + Day 1 of the November Challenge

I’m an avid reader of SELF magazine (seriously: if I were to be stranded on a desert island, I’d want a huge stack of SELF and InStyle magazines…well, that and some sunscreen), and I love editor Lucy Danzinger’s letter in the November issue:

April may be the cruelest month, but November is the busiest! To remind you to be good to yourself and stress less, we call the first of this month SELF Day – a day to do something that replenishes you.  For me, it’s usually having fun outside, bit can also be feet-up time…Now go treat yourself.
The idea of taking time out of a day to treat yourself — whether the indulgence is big or small — is an awesome idea.  Treat Yo’self, indeed!
I decided to give myself one small treat and one big one (hey, I take indulgence seriously!).  My small treat du jour involved my all-time favorite perfume: Chanel Coco Madmeoiselle.  I adore that stuff, but it’s expensive like woah — and in fact, I’ve been oh-so-carefully rationing my use of the bottle I’ve had for over 10 years now.  
My brother, wise man that he is, bought me a bottle as a wedding gift (and this without knowing that it’s my favorite perfume – the kid is a genius!), so I realized today that I didn’t have to ration it quite so carefully.

I’ve only used it on special occasions, but today I decided to wear it on just a regular old Thursday.  It’s amazing how something as simple as perfume can really make a difference, but there’s just something about my beloved Chanel perfume that makes me feel strong, powerful, and beautiful.
Sporting my fave scent on my wedding day.
I think I’m going to wear it all month in order to honor the November Challenge. πŸ™‚
While the perfume was my small indulgence du jour, my big way of celebrating SELF Day ties in with day 1 of my November Challenge. I know, I know: indulgence and facing fear don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but hey – I’m taking baby steps!  (Progress is progress, right?)
For ages, I’ve wanted to visit the Corcoran Gallery — and yet, in the four years since I moved back to DC, I’ve never gone once.  I’ve always felt that there’s too much other stuff on my to do list, too little time, or my schedule is just too tightly packed.  
I live and die by my routines and my to-do lists, and if my routine is disrupted, I tend to get slightly totally wigged out.  
I’ve been known to become completely discombobulated and aggravated whenever my routine is thrown off, which in turn often makes me feel overwhelmed and frantic.  That, then, convinces me that I don’t have time to do anything fun.
So today, I set off to prove to myself that a) my routines really aren’t a matter of life and death, and b) that I can disrupt my usual routine in order to do something fun.
I got up early to put dinner in the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking in the evening, and instead of heading home at the end of the day, I walked over to the Corcoran. 
I should admit here that I spent the day second-guessing myself.  “I don’t have time for this,” I thought to myself at least eleventy bajillion times since waking up this morning.  “I’m not going to be able to do the things I need to do tonight!  This was a ridiculous idea – who in their right mind goes to art museums after work?”  
But lo and behold, once I got there, I found that I was really excited to be there.  After all, I’ve been wanting to see this place for years!  I spent a little over an hour perusing the collection, and I loved it.  
So, as it turns out, I was able to disrupt my routine without my entire life being thrown into chaos.  Yes, there are some things I’d hoped to get done tonight that I wasn’t able to do, but I was able to remind myself that that’s okay.  I deviated from my normal schedule in order to do something fun, and those other tasks can wait until the weekend.
In honor of both my first November Challenge and SELF day, I decided to get myself a little momento — I have a weakness for big coffee/tea mugs, and the blue one was calling my name:
 Corcoran Pastel Mug

I was incredibly glad that I decided to break from the routine, as much as such things freak me out, and take an hour to indulge myself.  It was totally and completely worth it, and not surprisingly, I found it incredibly restorative to walk around see my boys Monet and Renoir.  (I have an undying love of French impressionists.)

Taking time out from hectic schedules and normal routines in order to do something restorative, whether it’s for 5 minutes or an hour, is a tremendous act of love for oneself — and hopefully it’s something we can all do more often!  Because, as the good folks at L’Oreal say, you’re worth it.

3 thoughts on “SELF Day + Day 1 of the November Challenge

  1. Caitlin Helsel November 3, 2012 / 3:22 am

    I absolutely love this post! I feel the exact same way whenever I contemplate changing up my schedule a bit (especially after work), and I think it's awesome that you challenged yourself to do so and then followed through on it πŸ™‚ And I love French Impressionists too! Degas and Monet are my favs πŸ™‚

  2. Lillian November 3, 2012 / 10:49 am

    Thanks, Caitlin! And yay for the French Impressionists – Degas is awesome! πŸ™‚

  3. Claire Lewis November 5, 2012 / 10:44 pm

    Yay for routine disruptions, self-care, impressionists, and mugs!Oh, and mine is Chanel No. 5, which, in this year from the devil, I've taken to wearing every day, because anything that makes things better is just lovely by me. πŸ™‚

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