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When I stay out till 4am, eat too much cheese, and use tissues as toilet paper

The other night, I was leading a group call for my MYL Alumni Group (people who have gone through the MYL course now get to do an Alumni Course!), and a really important topic came up that I want to talk about today…

Living a life in which we are practicing exceptional self-care doesn’t mean that we are living this cookie cutter, in-bed-every-night-by-11pm-after-a-perfect-bedtime-ritual, matcha drinking, calm and centered 24/7, hit-the-yoga-mat-daily life.

I think sometimes it’s easy for us to assume that people who teach self-care are living this way.

That we are always snuggled in bed at 11pm, getting 8 hours of sleep.

That we effortlessly crave bowls of root vegetables, brown rice and avocado, and never want to scarf down three slices of pie.

That we flow through our day feeling calm, centered, and graceful, without much emotional disturbance.

It’s important for you to know that this just isn’t the case!

Just like your life, my life is also quite crazy over here, and maybe I don’t share that enough, so I just want to shine a light on that today.

Here are some ways I haven’t been “perfect” in my self-care game lately:

STAYING OUT LATE: I have had a couple of really late nights lately, like 4am nights, and although this doesn’t scream “self-care”, sometimes we need to let go and just be in the moment. I was really enjoying myself, and chose to stay out even though my next day would be rough. There is a time for boundaries to preserve sleep and what we want to get done in the world, and a time for letting all that go and just being with whatever is in front of you. Only you know that balance.

EATING SO MUCH CHEESE: When I was in France a couple of weeks ago with my family, I could have gone the uber “self-care” route and made sure that I didn’t ever overdo it on the endless bread, cheese, and wine, but I didn’t necessarily want to. I ate until I was stuffed at some meals, I drank more than I needed sometimes, and I left several meals not feeling my best. If I wanted to ensure that I felt 100% my best, it would have required me to go way out of my way to request certain kinds of food, forego the unique and special food in front of me, and just feel rigid about it the entire time. Because I can ALLOW my body to change overtime and ebb and flow, this allows me the flexibility to not be on top of my self-care game all the time, and to just go with the flow with food.

MY MESSY APARTMENT: Okay so my apartment isn’t THAT messy, but it sure isn’t THAT clean right now either. I really do value a clean space, but sometimes life just gets busy, and we have to roll with it. The truth? Currently, I am using mini travel packs of tissues as toilet paper, haha, because I keep forgetting to buy new toilet paper. Hey, it happens! I still haven’t finished unpacking from my vacation, I have a stack of unopened packages that I just haven’t had a chance to go through, and a giant stack of mail that I keep pretending isn’t there.

Those are just a few examples of true life over here, and the next question that I usually get is, how do I get “back on track” after letting things get messy.

Well, here’s some of what I do:

  • If I am out till 4am, I rest a lot the next day! I won’t go out like that the next night, and I take it really easy. I just do whatever I need to do to give my body lots of rest and recalibrate.
  • When I eat tons of bread and cheese and don’t feel my best, I do whatever I can in the moment. For instance, one day during my trip I felt like I really needed to get some energy OUT, so I went to the gym they had there and did a short workout. Note that I didn’t freak out and go everyday, I went ONCE. It’s about moments of giving yourself love, not punishment.
  • I trust that my body will guide me back to balance. Toward the end of the trip, I really stopped craving bread and cheese as much. I was just overloaded, and my body started naturally craving lighter foods on the French menu. So I just listened. This continued as I came home and got back into the swing of being able to cook my own food, etc.
  • In regards to my apartment, I ask myself what REALLY needs to get done. For instance, dirty dishes makes me feel kind of gross, so I am usually really on top of that, but having extra packages, stacks of mail, or some things I still need to unpack, these are things I can live with. I know that when I get a chunk of time, I will get through these things.

The point of this is twofold:

  1. I want you to see a real picture of life over here. It DEFINITELY isn’t a polished, ritualistic, cookie-cutter vision of self-care!
  2. I also want to drive home that that isn’t the point of self-care! Self-care IS choosing to stay out till 4am sometimes because it makes you happy, or eating lots of bread and cheese because you feel like it, or not putting pressure on yourself to have a clean house at all times. Self-care is ALSO balancing these things out and recalibrating, bringing yourself back to peace, rest, health, and equilibrium. It’s letting yourself get messy when necessary, and then bringing yourself back into balance. It’s a push and pull.

I hope that this is a helpful post!

I would love to hear in the comments, what is something you’ve done lately that does NOT fit the picture perfect vision of self-care? Let’s hear it!




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  1. April says

    Thanks Jamie! What a great post! I stayed up ALL night one night last weekend and had such a beautiful nap day the next day with my boyfriend. It was fun and we made some great memories! I definitely can’t do that every weekend anymore!
    I’ve also just recently decided to wake up early for some extra me time and right now it feels good! Who knows maybe I’m a couple weeks I’ll want to stay in bed an hour later but I love your reaffirmation to listen to your body and be in the moment!
    Thanks again.
    I appreciate you!

  2. Jess says

    I love everything about this article because it really is about finding that balance! Self care is not rigid and boring. It’s smart, understanding, and sometimes adventurous. After the holidays, I wanted to get back into more of a regular workout routine because my body was craving movement and stretching. But looking back on this week, I really didn’t get much of that in. And I’m perfectly okay with that. The distraction is a spontaneous decision to plan a trip to Switzerland! While it will probably be 8 months out, I am so excited and have been spending all my extra time researching and preparing, and my soul is so happy and excited that it’s worth the trade off to be a little lazy. But I trust that my body will tell me when it’s ready to get moving again.

  3. Shayna says

    I love knowing that you give yourself permission to be “normal” Jamie. Just reading about the food you enjoyed with your family in France made me tense up. My question is, what do you do when you realize the reason you’re eating the bread and cheese is to quiet your anxiety, and not because you’re indulging during vacation? Why does it feel like the only thing that can calm me down while I sit down to do work, is 10 plates of cheese and crackers followed by a 3+ bowls of ice cream—whatever amount that will be sufficient to get me through the work I have to do?

  4. Melanie says

    I wanted to reach out and express I really love how real, related and transparent you are. The main lesson here is to go with the FLOW and be EASY to yourself.

    This past weekend I was preoccupied in a training course all day and had no idea that, Sunday was my roommates birthday. I came home empty handed and felt terrible, she was alone sitting in the dark on the couch and I wanted to do something special for her. I decided to walk to a nearby ice cream shop and buy her a sundae!! I figured why not get myself a (vegan) milkshake and man oh man I can’t remember the last time I had a dang milkshake. I felt no ounce of guilt in the process but it was what my heart wanted at that moment. I brought it back to her with 3 candles and sang happy birthday, and we enjoyed our non-dairy treats with full joy. She had no idea that it was vegan since it was that delicious, plus I was prepared with a jar/straw in my bag so no plastic wasted, triple win. This is what self care is about, those moments while not using unhealthy ways to deal with life.

    Thanks for what you do. Much love.


This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!