Lenéa Sims, Founder and Editor, Gooey Girl
Hai! I'm Lenéa [@leneasims] and I'm the founder and editor of this very site. I also work full time in marketing and event planning for a company called Advancing Women Executives that does exactly what it sounds like we do. Essentially, we work with female execs to get them recognized, networked, and promoted so they can change the world.
I'm very fortunate in the sense that my day job let's me work from anywhere and at pretty much anytime so committing to a self-care lifestyle is pretty do-able for me. It was super critical for me after burning out after nearly a decade of intensive schooling that I be able to explore myself and my interests and have a fulfilling life outside of working. And, obviously, since I decided to start this site, self-care is incredibly important to me and it's my mission to make it an integral part of every woman's life. That said, it's incredibly important to me to walk the walk so I do my best to care for myself in some intentional way every single day.
For me, self-care means any and every thing you do for your own sheer enjoyment. It means exploring your interests wholeheartedly, figuring out what helps you cope, and then committing to practicing those things as often as you can. It's also all about intention so if you want to eat a pizza at 11pm and watch Justin Bieber music videos with your bestie, decide that's what you need and enjoy that shit with no shame.
When I'm feeling really stuck, I like to turn to professional healers. I know the idea of healing work can be weird for some people, but if your fav pair of sandals had a broken strap, wouldn't you go find a cobbler? Well the same goes for your spirit: when that ish is broken, hire someone who knows how to fix it! Weird metaphor but go with it.
One of my favorite healers is Aimee Bello who, among other things, leads a Sacred Reiki Circle at the House of Intuition once a month. This woman cultivates good vibes for a living and being around her makes me feel like I can tackle any problem with ease.
Since I've built a whole website dedicated to self-care, you best believe I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. There are some things I do pretty much erryday – i.e. taking a brisk walk to start my day and stretching to end it – but on the whole, I just keep a mental tab of things that make me happy and try to do as many of them throughout my day as possible.
On days where I'm feeling mostly okay, I do little things to keep my vibration up like listening to 2 Dope Queens on my way to the coffee shop, taking a computer break with my lil bb plant friends, or reading the mantras on the little Buddhist card I've had by my bed for the last decade. When I'm feeling like I need to work out my willies, I'll do a Kundalini yoga practice with Kia Miller on YogaGlo or just hula hoop for a few minutes to dissolve some body tension. I've also recently been attuned to Level 1 in Reiki so I often give myself some loving energy before bed. If the willies are in my head, I'll carve out time to sit down with The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and take notes on passages that are really speaking to me. (This book is basically my bible, go buy it plz.)
If I've been in an anxious headspace for more than a few days, I know it's time to really recharge so I do some meditation with Insight Timer or I sit down and do a beading project to get myself out of my thinking brain and back into my intuitive one. Speaking of intuition, whenever I'm struggling with major indecision (so like once per minute), I consult my tarot and/or oracle decks. The Voyager was my first and will always be the most familiar to me, but I also love Vessel Oracle by Mary Elizabeth Evans when I need a quick, simple word of encouragement. And, of course, I also have my bestie Tara Carrara's deck whenever I'm feeling like I need a spiritual hug; her face is literally on every card so I get to profit from her BFF advice without having to deal with time zones.
As yet another option, sometimes I just stand at my dresser/altar and burn sage or palo santo, hold my crystals intentionally, or play my singing bowl to clear out any lingering weird vibes from my day. It really helps to have a little area dedicated to my own healing so that, even when I'm not sure what I need, I still have somewhere to turn.
Above all else, I feel incredibly fortunate to have found so many ways to cope with my anxieties, tensions, and hard moments in life. I'm blessed to be surrounded by supportive people who make me want to live in my truth and that includes myself. And if I could leave you with one closing note of self-care wisdom, it would be just that: get honest with yourself. Get curious about what you need to feel like your most self, pay attention to the practices, people, and places that make your heart soar and do your best to keep close to them all. You don't have to get it right every single day, but you do have to try.
First image by Bernita Ling; all other c/o Lenéa Sims