I practice self-care 11 simple ways every day, and it's not always pretty.

Practicing self-care is harder than it looks in this messy life.

The bathroom is my special place. When I sit on the toilet and read articles about 100 ways to change my life, I feel empowered and ready to shake my world upside down.

Then I lock my iPhone and leave the bathroom … and I fall right back into wishing I could just sulk in a corner.

Especially as the adult child of an alcoholic, a lot of people advise me to figure out how to put myself first. Family, friends, and professionals want me to learn to love myself in ways that I didn’t learn during all the years when caring for an addict took precedence.


"Close your eyes in the steam of hot lemon water. Sink into your warrior pose while reflecting on the ocean’s tide. Just take deeper breaths and count to 10 to conquer the world’s pain."

Photo via iStock.

I know the authors of these articles mean well, but sometimes I don’t think they understand how hard it is to make self-care a priority. Most days, grabbing hold of my "self" feels like trying to grab fistfuls of air, not breathing as calmly as an ocean tide.

Instead of drawing a bubble bath or lighting a candle or writing down my thoughts and dreams in a journal, I’m more focused on making baby steps in caring for myself. Here are a few:

1. Getting up on the right side of the bed is a big deal.

Most days, I don’t want to cuddle a kitten. On the days when it’s easier to smile, it’s a really good day. Sometimes my self-care is cherishing those days.

2. Instead of dreaming of all the things I'll get around to in my next life, I have to pick one small thing a day.

Waiting for the next cymbal to crash wipes me out. In my next life, I’ll color 50 shades of happiness in my adult coloring book. And then I’ll hang it on my fridge to show off to all my cheerful dinner guests.

But in this life, faking Pinterest-style perfection is exhausting. Instead, I’ve started getting to know my personal energy levels and choosing my daily activities based on how much "gas" is in my tank. I want to be a hustler and say yes to everything, but I have to know if today is a day where taking care of myself also means taking a nap.

3. I'm great at telling someone else, "Go love yourself." Now I need to take my own advice.

I could have written those articles about 100 ways to change your life. I might even inspire you to learn to love yourself because I’m a champ at doling out expert advice. But taking my own advice is an entirely different game.

Whenever I feel like stuffing my emotions away with dozens of Oreos, I remind myself that I’m committed to living out what I write.

Photo via iStock.

I want you to read who I am on the screen and then meet the same person in real life.

4. I'm addicted to someone else’s addiction. I probably need to implement my own recovery plan.

Honest moment: I’m afraid of what my life would look like without the rush of implementing great recovery plans for someone else, like my dad who struggles with addiction.

But truthfully, I know that self-care starts with putting my whole self first. I’m learning how to make my own recovery plans, including a rush of adrenaline while working out to the perfect pump-up playlist.

5. "It is what it is" helps me move forward.

I picked up on this phrase as a little girl, and for me, it became one of those sayings your kid repeats in the backseat so many times you wish they'd never heard it.

Believing in change requires a huge shift in my stale and stubborn mind, but remembering that "it is what it is" allows me to recognize what I can’t control and then focus on what I can.

6. I will learn to trust that good things can actually stick.

This is kind of the idea that every good book comes to an end. I always wonder: Why should I fall in love with these characters when they’re going to leave me on the last page anyways? I think this has a lot to do with my dad’s story and growing up with an alcoholic parent.

Instead, I have to work on trusting in chapters of goodness, like when joining a book club is fulfilling and reading a book gives me happiness in the moment — it’s not just a countdown until our relaxing times together end.

7. I’ll figure out how I like my eggs or other little things about my identity.

In the movie "Runaway Bride," Julia Roberts’ character has a father who drinks too much. She lost her identity in the process of trying to save him, so she always just likes whatever kind of eggs her boyfriend at the time liked.

Photo via iStock.

Self-care requires knowing what would help me. I can’t love myself if I’ve never taken the time to figure out who I am. It turns out I like my eggs over easy. Like my grandma always said, "Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it."

8. Life doesn’t have to feel so serious.

I picked up a briefcase around the age of 10, and the weight of the world felt comfortable in my little hands. I made myself grow up too quickly, mostly so I could stay out of the way and not make any more waves.

But I think I missed the step where you roll down the hill and get grass stains, so sometimes it’s hard as an adult to kick back and get a good belly laugh. I forget that life is more than filing my taxes while sitting up straight in my leather chair. When I know I need a deep laugh, I go out to dinner with a friend who knows me to my core and can pull out a memory that leaves me sculpting those six-pack abs.

9. I've made it a habit to expect the worst. And, you know what they say: Old habits die hard.

I’ve come to expect disappointment to walk through the door. Hearts have this crazy power to shape habits. And broken hearts have this bad habit of wanting to stay broken.

Sometimes I think that stories about miracles and people overcoming adversities are only written about other people, and quotes that tell me to OVERCOME just annoy me. That’s just not me. Making it a habit to expect good things to happen will start with believing with my whole heart that I actually deserve good things. For me, I go for a walk and listen to audiobooks that encourage me and keep my mind from wandering to self-destructing places.

10. I’ll stop waiting for someone else to bring me flowers.

This past year, I had a roommate who nurtured her plants every day. This felt completely foreign to me. But when someone told me to go buy flowers for myself and make it a habit to care for those flowers, I started thinking about it differently.

Image via iStock.

In fact, this is one of those cliches that actually kind of works for me. I never realized how much I was sitting back and waiting for someone to knock on my door and deliver beauty on a silver platter. Inviting beauty into my daily life takes effort and patience and persistence. But one day at a time, I’m learning how to water these flowers and watch them grow.

11. Learning to love myself will require repetition over time to make it a new daily habit.

Over time, I’ve caught this heart bug where I tell myself I’m not worthy of a life where I love myself and love my life. I want to check off every single item on the list of 101 ways to change my life instead of trying to make one new self-care habit that I can actually stick to.

So my advice? Just do one thing. Because one small thing — not 100 — can help change one day. And one day at a time, that’s enough.

I want to learn to love myself and make self-care a priority.

I want to be addicted to love, like the good kind of habits and the real kinds of love.

For today, though, I’ll reflect on taking one little step at a time while reading on the toilet. Realistically, that one step for me is probably dancing to a new Katy Perry song: "I won’t just survive. Oh, you will see me thrive."

Don’t judge :)

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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