Every year, we look forward to Pride month. We love our LGBTQ guests and team members, we love drag brunch – and who doesn’t love an excuse for a destination party? But as much fun as we have during Pride, we believe in celebrating diversity, self-acceptance, and inclusivity all year round, not just in June. For us, Pride is a principle. It means, “you do you,” all year long.
Here are five self-care tips – from the Kimpton team and Muneer Panjwani, Head of Corporate Development at our long-time partner, The Trevor Project – to help you celebrate your individuality all year.
1. Find Your Top 5 and Lean on Them.
“I make a list of people, foods, activities, etc. that always center me and give me the break I need, and I update it often,” says Muneer. Choose things you can mix and match: different days call for different pick-me-ups. “The current list includes chewy chocolate chip cookies, SoulCycle, reading, being outdoors in the sun, and happy hour.” Keep your top-five list up to date, so that when you need a moment of self-love, you always know exactly where to turn.
2. Get Your Body Moving in Ways that Feel Fun
Pride is all about accepting and loving yourself – and the people around you – as-is. This is a great opportunity to take a look at your exercise routines and habits and ask yourself: Does this make me feel good? Is this me? While some of us might love to sweat it out on a treadmill or in spin class, gym workouts aren’t for everyone. Reconnect with the joy that physical play brought you when you were young. Maybe that means hopping in the lake for a swim, signing up for a dance class, or joining a Frisbee team. Maybe it means taking bike rides around the neighborhood or getting more hikes on the calendar. Maybe it means scheduling a long walk with a friend through the city…with a glass of wine waiting at the end. It definitely means loving your body while you’re doing it all.
3. Learn to Say, “Mmm… No, Thanks!”
This could mean leaving your schedule open for spontaneous social plans or embracing your “JOMO” by making a date with yourself each week. “We’re pulled in a million different directions by our jobs, families, friends, that cute guy from last weekend that demand our time,” Muneer says. “I’ve learned over the years how important it is to say ‘no’ when I know, deep down, I’m only saying ‘yes’ to please others. Saying no creates space for things I want to say, ‘hell yes’ to.”
4. Establish a Daily Ritual for Yourself
No matter how busy you are, it’s important to carve out a little time for yourself – every day. Your self-care ritual should be something that makes you feel good. It’s as simple as that. Maybe that means making a fruit parfait every morning, ending the day with a gratitude journal, reading a book at lunch, or lighting a candle while you get ready in the morning. Create rituals that scale to the amount of time you have each day – maybe you only read one page instead of 30 today, but you’re always pulling out that book. Make sure to pencil in a “weekly reset” to recommit to your ritual or consider if it needs an update.
5. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to
“Big annual vacations are fun to plan because they give us something to look forward to. Who hasn’t counted down the days, hours, and seconds before vacation starts?” asks Muneer. “I tap into the same feeling by planning concerts, brunches, hikes, and nice dinner, to give myself something immediate to look forward to. This tactic makes those especially hard few weeks before a deadline a bit easier.” And speaking of vacation – why not book a solo trip? We all have busy lives, and it can be tough to make vacation calendars align with friends and even with partners. But that’s no excuse to stay home! Book a trip to the tropics during the February slump, venture out to see autumn leaves in a new place, or just pamper yourself with a swanky room and stay in all weekend. Whatever you put on your calendar, make sure you indulge in that sweet anticipation: the build-up can be as energizing as the experience.
Who says you need a new year to make a new resolution? Pride week is as good a marker as any for a fresh start! So, after the parades have wrapped up, and after you think you’ve gotten every last bit of glitter out of your hair, go ahead and pull up your calendar or open your journal, and let the year-long self-celebration planning begin.