Earlier this week, I broached the idea of taking a mental health day—a day of rest, and time dedicated to getting a little introspective for the sake of welcoming back a clear-headed, creative mind. Since then, I’ve been thinking about what that kind of day might actually look like. Would it be spent on the couch in my PJs, the fire roaring in the background, or would it be a walk at the park, hubby and hound dog in tow?
I eventually came to the conclusion that it just can’t be planned. “Me” time has to be one of those spur-of-the-moment adventures motivated by getting to that point when you want to throw your hands up in the air in surrender and slam that laptop closed for the rest of the day.
Now, this is the moment when I suggest something just a tiny bit controversial. Why can’t a mental health day consist of something as indulgent as retail therapy? I’m not implying that we all run out at the first sign of a crappy day and max out our credit cards, but I think there’s something really invigorating about the prospect of wandering your favorite shop looking for a little treat just for you. Although it wasn’t exactly planned, a recent work day of mine turned out to be just the dose of inspiration I needed.
Earlier on this year, I decided to set a date to get myself out of the office and drive to the Anthropologie store in nearby Charlottesville. The aim was to, first, spend a day taking photos for the blog outside of our house, and to also partner with the fun team at Anthropologie. To be candid, the brand doesn’t sponsor or pay me to create this type of content (a corporate rule), but it’s still fun to collaborate with local women and to have a chance to play with their beautiful inventory.
Not wanting to do all of this by myself, I invited my creative friend Bethany Mallory along for the ride, and then we spent nearly two hours wondering the store. We styled and photographed a couple of gift guide posts right there on the hardwood floors of the store, and then decided to shoot a quick video while we were there. That spontaneous decision ultimately inspired the theme you’re reading right now—a challenge to invest in yourself for once, and to consider retail therapy as a way to reset your creative perspective.
Whether it was a book I flipped through, a quilted floral comforter, or even the cool cut-out packaging on a bottle of lotion, this trip really piqued my interest in new colors and styles for spring. Of course, that’s the entire aim of a store like Anthropologie, and we gave in (hook, line, and sinker), but the experience was still an eye-opening and exciting one—feelings I never would have enjoyed had I spent the day at my desk like always.
Despite the fact that it was actually a pretty long work day and I had hours of editing ahead of me to bring it all together, I still managed to walk out of the store feeling sort of refreshed—and I didn’t have to buy anything for myself to feel that way!
Locally-owned Charlottesville Shops To Discover: Rock Paper Scissors, Eloise, Roxy Daisy, Duo, Circa, The Yellow Button, Bittersweet
Ultimately, there’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a little retail therapy—in fact, I think it’s one of those types of things that I’m going to start working into my schedule on a monthly basis.
My parting thought for you this Friday morning (other than clicking play on that video above!) is this: consider investing a little time in yourself this season, whether that’s at your favorite shop or boutique, park, art gallery, or coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be extravagent—it just has to be hell bent on the purpose of reawakening your instincts and opening your eyes to new colors, processes, and styles. Have a great weekend, guys!