self-care / part 1: taking the time

self-care series
((part one of eight))

hello soft soul.

i hope this message finds you feeling warm and content.

this post is the first of an eight part series i will be doing over the next two months.

i've been finding myself busier than usual lately, which typically means that i'm putting my needs on the back-burner. and this becomes a domino effect of feeling unhealthy, beating myself up for it, and leaning into self-destructive behaviors because of this.

i typically notice this from a distance and let it run its course until my life eventually quiets down. but i recently decided that this is something i want to work on. i want to recognize the things that my body and soul need, and do everything in my power to give myself these things, in an attempt to battle the demons telling me that i don't deserve to feel healthy and strong.

the first and most difficult step is accepting that you deserve self-care.

you may not necessarily feel this acceptance deeply when you begin your self-care journey. and to be completely honest, this is where i find myself currently. this is a huge challenge for me right now. you know that depression & anxiety combo we've talked about here? that gets in the way of so many things in life. but starting now, i'm going to stand up against it. and even though i don't always feel like i even *want* to take care of myself, i have to believe that it'll be worth it. that i'll come out stronger and wiser.

one difficult thing about my life currently is that i have almost no structure whatsoever. i am self-employed (secret midnight press has my heart), so my schedule varies each day. this can lead to fluctuating emotions of feeling incredibly productive and proud of myself some days, and feel like a total failure other days.

having structure and schedules in life is a super healthy thing i think (even though it feels like a drag sometimes). it can helps you prioritize and appreciate the 'free' time you're allotted.

i'm definitely a to-do list person. i'm so scatter-brained so often that i can easily forget plans i've made or small things that need done. and it is so rewarding checking off items on a list.

so as you're planning out each day, my encouragement is to schedule in time for yourself. even if it's only ten minutes to start. give yourself time to take a bath, clean up your workspace to give you a clear mind, lay and do nothing (guilt-free), or whatever you feel would lift your spirit that day.

i'm beginning this practice by scheduling my posts each wednesday during this series:
i'll be posting each week at 5:00pm Eastern Time.
i'll be following this by going live on the Vertigo app at 8:00pm Eastern Time (information at the bottom of the page).

my hope is that taking this small step will give me a little bit more structure and mental clarity. along with this, i'll schedule in twenty minutes each day to unplug, breathe, and meditate. it's amazing how good it can feel to put your phone on airplane mode even if just for a little while.

will you do this thing with me? i'm nervous, quite honestly. i'm sure that i'll stumble occasionally, but if we're in this together, maybe it won't feel quite so daunting.

i'd love to hear ways that you have or plan to treat yourself to a little bit of love in the coming days and weeks.



Listening to:

listen to my playlist with me tonight (wednesday 4/5) at 8pm Eastern Time on the Vertigo app :) we can chat while i livestream and it'll be lovely.

you can dowload the free app for iphone here. spotify premium or an apple music subscription are needed to listen along. if you don't have either, you can still hop in and chat with us and see what songs we're listening to.


as promised, if you weren't able to make the vertigo livestream, here was my playlist:

1. CHVRCHES - Lungs
2. Marina & the Diamonds - Numb
3. Vesperteen - Drinking from an Empty Glass
4. The Japanese House - Leon
5. Zella Day - Wonderwall
6. Lorde - Liability
7. Sylvan Esso - Coffee
8. The xx - Together
9. Vesperteen - Obsess Possess

talk to you soon


  1. Your words are so comforting and inspiring xx

  2. hey ashley,
    any advice on not getting overwhelmed with to-do lists? i, too, have very little structure in my life so such lists/plans are a must. however lately i've been slipping pretty badly and my work has suffered bc of it.

  3. I absolutely love that you're doing this. Lately, I have been well aware that my mental and physical health are spiraling fully downward yet I've just let it all slip through my fingers. I'm in this with you 100%. Some ways that I feel like I need to treat myself better: eating cleaner, writingwritingwriting (fear of not writing well enough has eaten me so I haven't written in the longest) and giving myself the time I need each morning and evening to focus on winding down and cleaning myself up and preparing for the next day. I admire you so much for this. Thank you.

  4. yes! I'm so like you. the cycle of depression and anxiety is such a block to many things. and when school isn't taking up all my time, my life is so unstructured and i often sink into feeling like a failure. and i find that making little lists of things i need to accomplish each day is so helpful! taking time for myself, to take a hot bath (so comfortable), or honestly just to lay on my bed for a minute and do nothing. pop in the earbuds and turn up the music. i need it.

  5. What if you have a samsung? Vertigo is not an app on this phone:(

  6. funny how life works, right now I'm struggling with a crazy schedule, working from 9 to 5 and clollege from 6 to 11pm, monday to friday, Ive been doing this for only three weeks and I already feel I'm going crazy, I'm desperately craving some me time but on the other hand I know I have to make sacrifices, I'm so tangled right now.

  7. I find that to-do lists in my bullet journal are a massive help. I always write down my day in there, and make time to do it every day which is a moment to try and relax. And hot showers are good too, and reading and music for me. I always make some time to read each day, even if I'm super busy and it's only like 5/10 minutes. I have music on just about all the time too which helps me out a lot.

    Okay right keep calm girl lmao
    Since I've been diagnosed witdh ADHD now I understand the importance of having a schedule even for the tiniest thing. I tried a lot of systems but the only that seems work for me is a normal schedule and then a bullet journal. SO CLICHE but it works for me so fair enough haha. I write even the shower time, or when I should write a book review, send mails to some publishers, contact with the models I want to take photos to schedule the photoshoot, to take my meds or eat. Yes, I often forget that kind of things. And I don't even have a fast life right now, I just finished my studies and I'm searching for job, these are just hobbies or normal stuff (like yes, the shower thing lmao) and when I was studying my life was a living hell of mess and often the feeling of beeing a loser was too big too.. overwhelming ugh. Just ugh.

    Take care <3

    Aida O. Ribadulla.

  9. This article is worthy of attention.

  10. Interesting situation, recently noticed that I have a similar problem and somehow managed to solve it, thanks!

  11. It looks very tasty, I have to do it today for dinner.


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