What is self love on a gloomy spring afternoon?


Do you ever feel like life just got a little gloomy out of nowhere?

(Or like, a lot gloomy, and it’s everywhere?)

I get this feeling a lot in the spring- when the rainy days take over and it’s hard to believe 80+ degrees and non-stop sun are just around the corner. Add the frustration and doubt of a flopped launch in my business, and I’m pacing around the apartment wondering what I can possibly do with myself.

Should I just keep poking my failure with a stick? Or do I drown the discomfort in coffee and plow through old computer tasks (or scroll through Instagram hoping for inspiration, and subconsciously comparing myself to every smiling face I see)? What does self care look like when there’s a cloud hanging over you and nothing you can do about it?

Honestly? Spring isn’t really my jam.

My favorite brand of self love is autumn vibes… and on days like today that’s just not possible. There’s a reason there are more seasons though, and true self love is about learning to grow and dance with the seasons- to let in the uncomfortable feelings and play with the flow of life.

So on a gloomy spring day, here’s what I learned about self love:

Sometimes, self love is about nipping that aimless wandering worrying around the house right in the bud. I made myself a deal:

Listen brain, you can worry for 7 minutes later today- worry as much as you want at 5:30p.m. But until then? We’re gonna love this body. So, what would help me feel pleasantly open right now?

The first thing that came to my mind was throwing on some country girl tunes. Weird, considering that’s not what I listen to outside of road trips to visit my best friend off-grid… but it’s what came to mind so I took a hint from Mel Robbins and acted on the idea before I could talk myself out of it.

Kelsea Ballerini lifted the mood instantly, thanks Spotify shuffle!

The funny thing about self care is that once you start, it tends to have a domino effect. It’s not like I could play music and not wind up doing some sort of little dance… and dancing led to grabbing my favorite juice from the fridge and making myself an amazing salad (no, seriously. Not a pile of lettuce and ranch, I’m talking about that french dressing, baby spinach, avocados, sunflower seeds, all kinds of GOOD stuff!).

Freshly motivated, I decided to tidy up the house so I could feel as good in my space as I did in my body after dancing and salad (and put together the makings of an awesome soup in the crock pot- because I love my self in 3 hours too and deserve to continue this delicious food trend)!

With the house tidy and my heart and mood starting to lift, I decided it would feel amazing to move my body some more before taking a barely-warm shower (I’m team LAVA WATER FOR LIFE in the shower, but these barely warm showers feel amazing when I’ve been in my head a little too long, like on the 3rd rainy day in a row during a DEAD launch for my latest coaching program). So I dive into a YouTube yoga session, hit the shower, and finish off the day with a face mask. (I get mine from LUSH or, in this case, my Ipsy bag- but you can make one using ingredients in your kitchen too, search on Pinterest for ideas!)

By the time Worry-o’Clock rolls around, I don’t feel like it. I pull out my journal instead and let the thoughts flow- the surprising source of my worries comes out, and I’m able to soothe my fragile lil ego before diving into some fantastic soup and an episode of my favorite show. Boom.

And that is what self-love looks like on a gloomy spring day.

I know it’s hard to figure out what to do next…

…when you see all these picture-perfect Instagram shots of people indulging in luxurious self-care, seeming to know exactly what they wanted and happening to have it all laying around or the resources to get it easily… but honestly?

Self love is a journey. Nobody knows what they’re doing. It’s about the intention- the intention to show yourself kindness, to express gratitude to your mind, body, soul, and the universe holding you. Every cell in your body is doing the best it knows how to do to keep you alive. I say this as someone with a genetic disease that will probably kill me someday, so I’m not saying it lightly. It’s the truth, your body is doing the very best it knows how to do- and as someone who has often struggled with anxiety and depression, I know the same to be true of our minds. They’re trying to protect us and keep us safe from harm. The worries are a crutch, something our brain learned as a coping mechanism to help us survive through old situations. It’s our job to relearn those old habits, and love is the way to do it… That’s what makes self-love so important, no matter who you are or what you do.

Self-love isn’t a how-to kinda thing. It’s intuitive. It’s an openness to ideas, and having the heart to grant yourself those silly little desires that don’t seem to make sense.

Forget perfection, release the need to know exactly what you’re going to do before you start. What would help you feel pleasantly open right now?

Go do it!

Jessica PenaComment