Life's a Holiday When You Love Yourself.

I met Caroline through our mutual friend Xandra when I took the photos for their podcast, Fabulositea. We instantly hit it off and became fast friends. Caz's love of Old Hollywood, sunshine, and sparkle infuses everything she does. I really admire her dedication to fun and her ability to make every day feel like a holiday. Keep an eye out for her new project, The Girl With the Sunshine Tattoo, launching in just over a week. She'll be sharing all about her adventures in London and how to add a little extra sunshine to your life. Are you a fan of the TV show ‘Parks and Rec?’ (If not, you certainly should be! Chris Pratt, Amy Poehler and a tiny horse called Lil’ Sebastian… what’s not to love?) If so, you’ll probably remember one of my favourite episodes: once a year, two of the characters celebrate ‘Treat Yoself’ Day. They spend 24 hours treating themselves to “clothes! Fragrances! Massages! Mimosas! Fine leather goods!” It’s “the best day of the year!”

I believe that the “Treat Yoself” philosophy is one we can all use a little bit more of in our lives – and not just for one day. There are literally hundreds of voices every day telling us that we’re not good enough; that we haven’tearned a treat. That we’re not thin enough to eat that mouth-watering chocolate cake, not beautiful enough to buy – and pull off - a bright red lipstick, not hard-working enough to spend an afternoon lazing in the sunshine.

I say, to heck with it! Yes, I agree with Louis C.K: “Self-love is a good thing but self-awareness is more important. You need to once in a while go ‘Uh, I’m kind of an asshole.’” We’re all flawed, fallible creatures who frequently screw up, for sure. But I also believe that life is way too short to waste precious time on self-deprivation or punishment.

For me, self-love means light-heartedness. It means moving on from mistakes and refusing to feel guilty about indulging in frivolity, fun, and things that make you feel good: whether that’s as simple as a post-work glass of prosecco with a friend, or as spontaneous as a last-minute flight somewhere sunny for the weekend. It means taking a break from taking life, its demands and yourself too seriously. It means acknowledging the occasional cloudy day, but whole-heartedly embracing the sunshine when it comes.

As always, Frank Sinatra said it best, when he gently reprimanded George Michael for complaining about howhard life as a pop megastar could be: “Come on, George. Loosen up. Swing, man. Dust off those gossamer wings and fly yourself to the moon of your choice.” Let’s drink to that, darlings!

And here are a few ways to add some extra sunshine to your everyday:

  • Affirmations are wonderful, but lots of people feel a bit silly locking eyes with themselves in the mirror and chanting ego-boosting mantras! Instead, pick an upbeat song with some super-confident lyrics and sing along at the top of your lungs - self-love without self-consciousness! My pick at the moment? Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk': "I'm too hot, hot damn - call the police and the fireman!"
  • It's so easy to fret over negative feedback and forget some of the lovely things people say about you: I fight this by jotting down kind compliments I receive from workmates, friends and strangers in my journal. It makes me smile to flick back through the pages and remember people's positive words, especially when I'm feeling not-quite-good-enough!
  • Sign up for Sarah's 'Romance Yourself' e-course: there's nothing like a daily delivery of positivity and praise to kick off your morning!

Caroline is launching The Girl With The Sunshine Tattoo on 20th June. This sparkly corner of the Internet will document her attempts to seek out sunshine-y experiences in London. She spends too much time at bottomless boozy Sunday brunches and rooftop bars. 

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