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!