I Don’t Think That Means What You Think it Means.

Last week I went a little overboard and bought all of the skin creams, face masks, foot masks, nail polish, and discount Valentine’s chocolate that Walgreens had to offer. Then, I went home and watched the better part of the entire season of Queer Eye on Netflix. And then, because I am a good Millennial (albeit an old one), I uploaded a photo of my haul onto Instagram. It didn’t take long for the comments to start rolling in congratulating me on my self-care day and how “oh my gosh, I really need to work on my self-care game as well.” Self-care. Self-care. Self-care. Self-care is the buzziest of Buzzwords these days and I’m starting to cringe every single time I hear it. Because self-care is not what we keep saying it is.


Self-care is not the act of slathering your face in expensive clay. It’s not making sure that you’re using the right serums in the right order at the end of the day. And most importantly, it’s not the kind of thing you should feel guilty about if you’re not doing it right. Guilt has no room in self-care. Guilt is the opposite of self-care.

Capitalism has this way of infiltrating every single movement towards human betterment and making us think that we need to buy things in order to take part. That’s not true at all. No. It’s infiltrating the Bopo community right now… kind of. Brands are coming out with clothes that claim to fit a size 24 (which in reality fits more like an 18) and they’re patting themselves on the back for how great they are. But even if their sizing was accurate, I still can’t wear any of it. And I’m not the biggest person I know by any means. But regardless, in the same way that Self-Care isn’t about laser hair treatments, Body Positivity isn’t about making overalls for fat people. Yeah, it’s part of it. It can help some people get what they are wanting out of life. But that’s not all it’s about.

Self care is about taking care of yourself. Self care is and should be accessable to everyone regardless of their body or ability or financial status. Self care is free and important and oftentimes difficult work. It’s not always relaxing and bubble baths and french terry bath robes. A lot of times it’s doing, today, that from which Future You will benefit.  And maybe a small part of that involves expensive beauty products for you but self care is something so much more.

Self-care is making sure you’re hydrated and ending toxic relationships. It’s not skipping a shower when you really should take one. It’s letting that call go to voice mail. It’s trusting other people to be in charge of their own emotions and taking that burden off of yourself. It’s about not avoiding the mail box because you’re afraid of what’s inside of it. It’s about taking the medications that have been prescribed to you. It’s about busting yourself out of destructive funks and preventing destructive funks. It’s about washing the windows to let some more light in. It’s about taking out the garbage because that smell is coming from somewhere. Sometimes it’s about locking yourself in the bathroom with a magazine and an expensive clay mask–but the self care isn’t in the mask, it’s in the taking the time to listen to what you need. And if what you need in that moment is stillness, you’re choosing stillness. That is the self-care part of doing a face mask.

I was recently asked in an interview what my favorite “self-care routines” are. And, look, don’t get me wrong. I actually love hearing about people’s morning and night beauty routines. I can talk about this stuff all day long–that’s why I listen to the Forever 35 podcast. But I was uncomfortable with this question. So rather than focusing on the products that I use during my routine, I talked more about how it’s the routine itself that serves me. I don’t get sleepy and ready for a well-rested bed time because I use this brand of makeup remover or this particular gel-based moisturizer rather than an oil-based one. I get ready for a well-rested bed time because I’ve trained my body to use this time to go into shut down mode. These products aren’t magic, I’m magic. I create my own magic. The routine is the self-care.

Sometimes when I feel myself getting irritable and unable to bust out of a particular mood, I have some fall-back plans in place. I watch my favorite YouTubers, I listen to old episodes of my favorite podcasts, I tell my friends that I’m having a rough day and could use a check in every few hours. I try to eat something healthy or I eat something decidedly unhealthy depending on what my intuition tells me I should reach for. I put out a call on Facebook for everyone to tell me what their favorite cheer-up song is. That’s always fun.

I wanted to post this piece about twelve hours ago and it was really stressing me out that it wasn’t happening. But it felt pretty false to write a post about self-care while I was feeling rushed and unhappy so I gave myself space and took the time I needed. I walked the dog. I watched this video on YouTube about four times (Ryan showed it to me last night and it’s been stuck in my head ever since). I ate a salad and I might even make a smoothie for an afternoon snack.

Anyway, friends. I hope you’re able to come up with some self-care techniques to keep in your back pocket. Maybe keep a literal list in your phone. Number one on that list: hydrate. It’s amazing what chugging a glass of water will do for you. Or, do what I do, and keep this tab open on your phone at all times. Any time I feel like crap, I pull it out and it really, really does help me.

I love you. Take care of yourself, please.


Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Meet Me Monday: Meg

I met Meg almost exactly a year ago when I held the last Selfie Challenge on Instagram. I’m so glad that she joined in on that because her posts have become a regular part of my self-care routine. A lot of people stay off of Instagram as a means of self-care but with people like Meg in my feed, it’s the opposite for me.  Whether she’s sharing her poetry, a throwback photo, or showing off her impressive pin collection, what she has to say is almost always exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it. I’m grateful for her and others like her on the internet who make that world a wholly better place.

And Meg will meet you wherever you are. If your primary social media is Instagram, great. Go follow her there. If you like to read blogs primarily? Neat, here’s her link. Only ever get on Facebook? Here you go, you’re welcome. Just get some regular Meg in your life. She doesn’t shy away from the hurt–she uses it in beautiful and creative ways to keep going.

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How do you want to introduce yourself to these readers?

Hi everyone! First of all, I’m super honored that Libby chose me for this (she’s amazing, seriously).
I’m Meg, and I write a blog called Meg Colt, where I talk about my life experiences. It is centered on my mental health and the many branches concerning it: my eating disorder history, self-love, grief, and mental illnesses.
On Instagram I also share my experiences with depression, anxiety, and OCD through poetry.

What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Literally speaking, my children.
But in a more spiritual sense, the dawn of a new day.
There is just something about the feeling of planting my feet on the ground in the morning and knowing I’m on Earth for another day.

What word/ phrase resonates the most in your life?

I often write about the traumatic parts of my life, and for many years I felt that I had been dealt more than my fair share. But my therapist once mentioned to me that it was pretty amazing that I was still here despite everything I had been through, and I cling to that now.

What does your ideal day look like?

It begins with coffee, silence, and natural light, preferably.
I have three children under the age of five, so my mornings definitely don’t always start that way, but I at least make the coffee a priority for myself.
The more organized I am for the day the better. I love planners and lists. I own an embarrassing number of pens and am obsessed with stickers.
So planning my days is crucial to my routine as well.
Beyond that, my highest hopes are keeping everyone (three kids, three cats, two dogs) and everything under control and having a low anxiety day.
I don’t have a real writing process either, which is something that irritated my high school English teacher and now annoys me as well.
I write randomly, and usually inspiration comes at the most inopportune moment.
But sometimes I have really inspirational days, where I can just churn it all out, and that kind of productivity would be the end to my ideal day.
IMG_1984Meg–thank you so much for bringing yourself to this space. I love getting to know you more and I hope some people reading this have found a connection with you, as well. Thank you for all that you do and for using all the energy that it takes to be who you are so fully and without apology for all of us to see. I know from experience, that isn’t always easy–regardless of how naturally it can sometimes come to us.

If you have any questions for Meg, leave them in the comments and I’ll do what I can to connect you.


Let’s Check In

Written while streaming the Black History Salute playlist on Spotify.

I parked at the coffee shop, got out of my car, and saw my dear friend, Addy, and his mom  walking to the same place. Now, that’s how you start a week off right. Impromptu coffee with best buddies.

That reflection, tho.

Here are a few unrelated things on my mind, today:

This weekend my friend Darcie and I went to see a play at McPherson College. It was powerful. It was one of those things where it feels very abrupt to just turn the lights on and get released back into your real life. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow is Enuf “consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem. for colored girls… tells the stories of seven women who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society.” I just decided to copy from the Wikipedia entry on it because I couldn’t find the right words to describe it, myself.
This play was written back in 1975 and still felt so utterly relevant. There wasn’t a solid plot line to the play as it was a series of monologues and between monologues, music was played. Some of it was older music–like Strange Fruit by Nina Simone but most of the music was current. The majority of it was taken from Beyonce’s Lemonade. I think that was a brilliant choice to help point out the fact that these situations discussed in the piece are not old. I mean–they are. But they’re not over. They also had Lemonade playing in the lobby with an explanation of the relevance of it. There was so much thematic overlap between the play and the album.

I don’t actually know if I was allowed to take a photo but I couldn’t help myself.

I also loved the way they put the stage in the middle of the room and the audience all around. To me, it was a powerful statement that said, “we are here, living among you and for at least an hour, you can’t turn away”. Also, these women were incredible actors. During the last scene, I could hear so many people in the audience sobbing. They laid it all out there and didn’t hold back. I can’t imagine the vulnerability needed to be a great actor.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called Don’t Keep Your Day Job. As someone who didn’t keep her day-job and is trying to figure out how to make that a smart move, this hit me at the right time. It’s hosted by Cathy Heller who has made a happy living by writing music. One of the pieces of advice that she’s constantly dishing out is the concept of the Three Things Approach. That is when you think about your big, ultimate goal, what are three things that you can do, today, to move in that direction. I think it’s a brilliant and practical approach to tackling big projects because doing a big thing is really just what happens when you’ve done lots of little things.
I’ve been applying this to my home life, too. Like, I have a big goal of downsizing… everything. That’s a big task. But today I wrote down three things I can do today to work towards that goal: 1. Make a list of every area that needs to be addressed. 2. Collect boxes. 3. Get all the laundry cleaned (because I’m going to start with cleaning the closets).

The #xoxoselfiechallenge is in full effect on Instagram! For the month of February we’re focusing on different areas of self-care. The hope is that we’ll try out all these different areas and find a way that clicks with us and feeds our soul. It’s different for everyone! It’s not always bubble baths and chocolate. Also, we just announced our first giveaway, today!

Speaking of self-care, have you read this blog post yet?  A Gentle Warrior’s Guide to Navigating the New World: I feel like it has been instrumental in keeping me happy and healthy the past few weeks.


What kinds of things are singing to your soul these days?


Announcing the 2017 #xoxoselfiechallenge!

I have heard the cries of my people and I’m here to give you what you asked for! This time last year we were gearing up for a Selfie Challenge. I’d conceived of it a night or two before the launch and it was very thrown together. But it was a lot of fun! I think most of the joy came from injecting fun and community into, arguably, one of the coldest and most desolate months of winter. Also it’s so exciting to see your face on the regular!

Last February, our selfie challenge focused on self acceptance and love. On our hashtag, #xoxoselfiechallenge we got over 700 tagged photos and dozens and dozens of participants. I heard back from many of you who said that you had learned so much about yourself along the way. That kind of feedback makes my heart swell! I love you all so much. You know that, right?


This time the challenge is different. It’s bigger and better than ever. For starters—we have a few sponsors! That means that at the end of each week, we have stuff to giveaway! This excites me because I’ve wanted to lavish you with gifts for so long.

Another way that this challenge is different is our focus. Self Care is the name of the game this go-round. Now, I know what you’re thinking but there’s so much more to self-care than taking bubble baths and letting yourself eat more chocolate than you normally would. Through the course of February, we’re going to explore 28 different methods of self-care. Some of them are of the treat-yo-self variety, sure. Other prompts focus on stretching your creativity, caring for others, or setting Future You up for success! I had so much fun doing research and selecting prompts that gave you room to use your imagination.

So because this isn’t necessarily about “selfies”, you certainly don’t have to find creative ways to get your face into every single one of these photos (although I do want to see your face because that ish just lights me up). Think of it more as a Caring For Your Self(ie) Challenge. At the end of the month, we’ll re-group and talk about the different self-care techniques that you felt like really fed you and some others that were more difficult to get through. This is all about self-exploration, getting to know what works for you, and what it looks like when things are really clicking.

What do you think? Are you in? Cool. Do you want to invite a friend along on the journey? That’s awesome. The more, the merrier!

How to participate:

The entire challenge and all giveaways will take place on Instagram. Make sure that you’re following @realxoxolib to ensure that you won’t miss anything. I’ll give you updates as time draws closer and that’s where you’ll find out about how to participate in giveaways as well.

Every day (or as often as is reasonable), you’ll take a photo that correlates with that day’s prompt and hashtag it with #xoxoselfiechallenge. Then make sure you surf through the hashtag, meet everyone else, and see what they’re up to!

My hope is that this shared experience helps to foster an even deeper sense of community among XOXO readers. You’re all so loyal and wonderful and I’m lucky to have you—I just want you all to know one another, too!


So if you’re seeing this now, post ^^this graphic^^ to your Instagram account, tag it with #xoxoselfie challenge and let your friends know that you’ll be participating! Invite them along with us! I think we’ll have a blast.

If you have questions, leave them in the comments and I promise to get back with you!

Thank you for being awesome!

The Divorce and Remarriage: Mind Body and Soul

Hi. I wanted to tell you about something that’s been brewing in my heart-place lately.

Recently I was privvy to a conversation between Glennon Doyle Melton and Elizabeth Gilbert. If you’re thrilled by just the idea of these two in one space—let me link you to the Big Magic Podcast wherein they both talk about creativity and making space for the process.

There’s a point where Glennon talks about a revelation that she had which resonated so much with me that I immediately emailed my thoughts and ideas to myself so that I could write them to you semi coherently.
Continue reading “The Divorce and Remarriage: Mind Body and Soul”