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Self Love

5 Acts of Kindness for the Digital Age

Self LoveHannah DrakeComment

Earlier this year, I wrote a post called 25 Ways to Give Kindness. The post lists--you guessed it--25 things you can do to enrich the lives of people around you. And spoiler alert, doing something for someone else makes you feel pretty darn good. Today, I'm back with a couple more ideas, but this time with a digital twist. With our phones pretty much always in hand, we can put the apps we probably already have installed to good use and do something nice and unexpected for people we love.

SEND "TREAT YO SELF" MONEY ON VENMO

Credit where credit is due: I got this idea from my younger sister. One morning, she randomly Venmoed me $5 with nothing more but "Treat Yo Self 2011" added for comment. I knew what it meant and I was incredibly thankful. On Venmo, it's easy to sneak a gift straight into someone's pocket. And it doesn't even need to be much. $5 is good for a morning treat at a coffee shop, but if you know they're interested in buying something specific (that you can afford), send them the cost of what they're eyeing. Or if you know they're raising money for something or could use money for an upcoming trip, Venmo is a good place to contribute. (Just keep in mind if they are raising money for something, Venmo isn't tax deductible, whereas the site or app where they are fundraising may offer tax deductiblity.) You can also send gift cards on iMessage.

CREATE A POSTMATES FOOD TREE

One of my Facebook friends shared this idea for new parents who were also juggling their own careers and their own health issues. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, even though I’ve never used Postmates and it’s not available in the UK. They way it was set up, the couple listed restaurants available through Postmates that they like (presumably with what their order would be) and like a food tree, people would sign up to buy them dinner from places like Chipotle and Wahoo’s and have it delivered directly to their house. You don’t have to cook, you don’t even have to leave your house, but you still get to have the same impact of a classic food tree. And in case you want to do something smaller, you can send e-gift cards from some restaurants’ websites, like Chipotle, but they’ll have to go in to the restaurant themselves to spend it.

SHARE ENCOURAGEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I firmly believe that you never truly know how impactful kind words can be. You never know when someone needs some encouragement. You never know how long they carry it with them, taking encouragement from those same words whenever they need it. While doing it in person is great, it’s not always possible when you’re friends are on the other side of the country or the world, or maybe it’s a stranger on the internet. In a time where online trolls roam rampant on social media, it doesn’t hurt to counter some of the hate people spew towards public figures with something positive. Or take a page from your grandma on Facebook’s book and just send a kind comment to your friends on their own social media channels.

SUPPORT A CHARITY ON FACEBOOK

Facebook is garbage for a lot of reasons, let’s be honest. But one of the newer features allows for you to create a fundraiser on your page that you and your friends can contribute to. You may have seen people fundraising for their birthdays this year, which is a fantastic idea in lieu of gifts, but did you know that Facebook also recognises seemingly social conscious posts and helps you find a related charity to create a fundraiser for if you so choose.

BE VULNERABLE & HONEST

I believe one of the most meaningful ways you can be kind to someone is to be vulnerable and honest on social media. I’ve talked about how to make social media healthier for you, but being vulnerable and honest to whatever degree you’re comfortable with makes social media healthier for all of us. Instead of posting just the highlights, share some of your mess or some of your struggles. It can mean so much to someone to know they’re not alone in what they’re going with. Or that actually your life isn’t perfect, just because you share pretty images. Through my vulnerability on social media and on this blog, I’ve made real connections with people across the world who can relate to what I’ve gone through or am going through, and that’s just as beneficial for me as it is for them.

So here’s your challenge for the week: How can you do one thing for someone this week? With your phone currently in your hand, you’re halfway there.

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Guest Post: 5 Easy Ways to Feel Grateful Every Day

Self LoveHannah DrakeComment

The last few weeks, I've be sharing guest posts from some of my favourite bloggers & photographers and people I'm lucky enough to call friends. And today is no different!

Today, I'm happy to introduce you to my friend Blythe from The Honey Print! (If you don't already know her, that is.) Blythe is an elementary school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, but so much more than that. She's a fellow tea-drinker, like myself, a beautiful creative writer, a world traveler, and a talented blogger. This last summer, she took the most incredible trip to Spain and France, making me and all of her followers green with envy with ever photo she posted. On her lifestyle blog, she documents her travels, shows off her hometown, shares vulnerably about anxiety and gives tangible ways to practice self care. Check out her blog for all of the above and more! Blythe is the only one of the four guest post authors who I haven't met, but--um--can we change that soon? I need to visit Nashville anyway!


In the day-to-day of life, it can be so easy to mindlessly follow your routine, not really noticing the little details or bright spots that are there. Lately, I have been trying to be mindful of how I spend my time so that I do not fall into a rut or feel that each day is just a grind. I want so much to stay present and appreciate the everyday, and I am sharing some simple tools that I have been using to achieve just that:

START THE DAY WITHOUT A SCREEN

I used to wake up and instantly turn to my phone, scrolling through emails and social media. Starting your day with a screen does not make for a very mindful day. Instead, I now just lie there, feeling comforted by the sheets and the soft light that creeps in between the blinds. I do not look at my phone until I am out of bed.

SIT IN SILENCE

In the mornings, particularly, I never turn on the TV. Silence is calming and grounding. I like to sit and sip my tea and just chill before starting my day. This keeps my headspace clear and alert.

TALK TO PEOPLE

Whenever possible, I ask my colleagues how their days are going when I see them. More often than not, something is happening that they need to discuss. We usually end up having a good discussion, maybe problem solving together, and strengthening our relationship. When shopping at a bookstore, I try to ask someone who works there for recommendations. If I am in public, and something funny happens, I turn to someone nearby and laugh with them. Simply interacting with other people is what we are meant to do. We are social creatures, and I always gain something from these small, pleasant interactions.

GET FRESH AIR

Every day, I get outside, whether that is eating lunch at a picnic table or taking a walk in the park after work (and often, both!). To get the most of your time al fresco, leave your phone alone. Let yourself just be in nature. Feel the wind on your face and the sun on your back.

READ BEFORE BEDTIME

Let the last thing you see before going to sleep be a book. Reading is just so good for you. It reduces stress, improves your memory and focus, stimulates your mind, and calms you down. What better way to ensure a quality night of sleep and a great next day?

By doing these 5 things daily, I feel far more balanced and grounded. I have become more grateful for my life and the small joys that exist in it every single day. They are there; you just have to let yourself see them.

You should follow Blythe on Instagram, too.

DIY At Home Spa Night

Self LoveHannah Drake4 Comments

I'm not really the spa type. I used to get massages every three months in Colorado and of course the occasional pedicure, and less frequent manicure, but that was about the extent of my self pampering. This year, though, I've been trying to focus on taking care of myself and loving myself. Self care can look like a lot of different things, but one thing that's become a weekly treat has been DIY at home spa nights.

Sunday evenings have become sacred in our house. Outside of travelling, I can't remember the last time we made plans for a Sunday night. Over the last few months, that time has become a block of time for us to hang out at home and to reset before the week begins, which has made it possibly my favourite time of the week. I actually look forward to Sunday evenings for the first time in my life. We set up a little at home spa while watching a movie or whatever show we're watching, occasionally have a glass of wine or a cocktail, and we always make it to bed by 9:30 on Sundays.

So how can you do it too? It's easier than it looks and you probably already have enough of what you need to treat yourself to a DIY spa night tonight!

There's two parts to making your spa night a success: feet and face. It's the easiest way to literally do it yourself if you're not trading massages with your significant other.

WHAT YOU NEED

Feet:

Face:

WHAT YOU DO

Feet:

  • Set up somewhere you're comfortable sitting for 30-60 minutes. Put a towel down on the floor to put the basin on. Grab another towel to use later.

  • Fill the basin with hot water. We fill ours up from the hot water tap, but top up with some boiling water so it's hotter than room temperature.

  • Dissolve 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt into the water. Add drops of whatever essential oil you want to use. I use Purification (deodoriser, cleanser), Stress Away (stress reducer, relaxant), and Lavender (relaxant) from Young Living. Stir with your hand to mix the oils and dissolve the salt.

  • Soak your feet for 30-60 minutes. Epsom salt baths (or foot soaks, in this case) are great for relaxing your muscles and loosening your joints. If you're sore or achy, a nice long soak in an Epsom salt bath is probably going to work wonders.

  • Pumice your feet to remove dead skin and callouses. Doing this once a week has made my feet so much prettier! If you're feet are like mine, you're probably not going to see that much of a difference after just one time, but if you do it regularly, it should start to make a noticeable different.

  • I sometimes clip my toenails too. But I usually file my fingernails while my feet are soaking at the beginning.

  • Use the foot scrub and foot butter according to the directions on the product you have. If it says to ensure your feet are dried, make sure they are! This is why you have the other towel.

  • Of course end with a fresh coat of nail polish if that's your style!

Face:

  • Start by cleaning your face according to the cleanser you have. For Ultrabland, this means coating my face with the cleanser to remove dirt and removing with a warm, damp wash cloth. Of course if you’re wearing make up and your make up remover requires another step, don’t forget it!

  • Apply your face mask according to the directions. Rinse your face at the end, if needed.

  • Spritz your face with toner water to refresh and rehydrate. Let your skin dry completely.

  • Apply your serum according to directions. Why a serum? They provide a high concentration of active ingredients, and penetrate further, effectively delivering beneficial nutrients and hydration actives to the deepest layers of the skin where moisturisers won’t penetrate, according to Bare Alchemy.

  • Use your rose quartz or jade roller by rolling up from the neck toward the forehead. According to Byrdie, skin cells are shaped like roof shingles on your face, which is why they'll absorb more product from that upward motion. (Read more about the benefits of rolling and the differences between rose quartz and jade rollers.)

Please note that I'm in no way a professional in any of this. We've developed this regimen around the products I have and use regularly, which I purchased and been gifted after doing lots of research. I love LUSH and The Body Shop because they're ethical, environmentally friendly companies that don't test on animals. I use Young Living Essential Oils because of their quality and purity, transparency in production (Seed to Seal promise), and environmentally-friendly practices. (Did you know that due to the lack of regulations for products like essential oils, companies can claim 100% purity when in actuality, their products only contain 5% oil.) I don't sell Young Living, but if you want to know more, I'll point you toward my friend Stephy, who knows a lot more than I do. I highly encourage you to do your own research to find products that work best with you skin type and a routine that works for you.

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This post contains affiliate links, so I may make a commission off any purchase you make through the link. Thank you to The Body Shop for gifting me with these beautiful products.