5 ways to bloom into your best self
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The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.

HarriEt Ann Jacobs

Ancestor Harriet Ann Jacobs was on to something when she said spring revives the human soul. We have survived what felt like the longest winter in the craziest year we’ve ever seen.

Brittany is sitting down on a bench at a park. She is wearing a navy blue sleeveless dress and her locs are hanging down. There are flowers in front of her and she is smiling.
Brittany Bruton is an educator and blogger living outside of Atlanta, Ga. Photo: Jasmine Smith Photography

As we transition into longer days with warmer temps, you deserve to feel your absolute best. Here are five ways you can care for yourself as we welcome this new season. 

Refresh your wardrobe

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent the last year working from home while sporting leggings and loungewear. After a little weight gain, I have struggled to even know what I look good in. If you are saying, “Me too, sis,” you may need to refresh your wardrobe. Take some time to find new pieces that fit well and make you feel amazing when wearing them. When you look better, you’ll feel better. And who doesn’t like to pop out in spring?

Incorporate gratitude and affirmation practices

I am a believer in the power of both thankfulness and affirmation. This year, I have started most mornings in a Clubhouse room hosted by my friends Emmy, Shirley, Maria and Sarah, where we share our daily affirmations, goals and sometimes wins.

I infuse positivity into my day by beginning each day reminding myself what I am capable of and who I am. I follow this up with sharing one thing I’m grateful for on my social media platforms, and it is the perfect way to set my attitude for success. Take a few minutes every morning for these two practices and good things will come your way. 

Go outside and get moving

Living in Atlanta affords me warm, bright days this time of year. Anytime I need an immediate pick-me-up, I pack up the stroller and get my family outside. We spend time watching the clouds, enjoying the warmth of the sun on our skin, meeting new friends or catching up with old ones. Whether it be for a quick walk in our neighborhood or an afternoon at our local park, the time always feels well-spent. So get outdoors and be one with nature. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Brittany and her husband Anthony are swinging their son Lennox by the hands. They are walking in a park on a sunny day. Lenny looks somewhat stoic but both Brittany and Anthony are smiling while looking down at him.
Brittany and her husband Tony are seen with their 19-month-old son Lenny. Photo: Jasmine Smith Photography

Connect with people you love

Being in virtual or physical spaces with people who bring you joy is another way to bloom into your best self. The pandemic has caused many of us to be isolated from friends and family over the last year. As a result, we’ve missed out on important gatherings and get-togethers that would’ve been filled with love.

However, as we find safer ways to connect, it will be good to do this. Spending time with the people you love – especially socially distanced, in-person – is a real balm to the soul. Just the thought of sitting at a table with my aunts, eating with my siblings and laughing with my besties brings a smile to my face. So when it can be safely done, consider planning to see the people you’ve missed over the last year. It will do your soul good.

Make time a priority

Finally, making time to truly love on yourself is a major part of feeling your best. A few weeks ago, the thought of changing another diaper or cooking another meal stressed me out. My sleep schedule fluctuated and I hadn’t read a good book in weeks. After expressing my feelings to my husband, he booked a hotel room for me so I could enjoy myself without any distractions. A few days later, I was sitting in my robe reading a book, eating snacks and crying through movies by myself. It was just what the doctor ordered. I returned from my staycation feeling lighter and happier. And I loved it so much that I plan to do it a few times a year from now on.

Whether you’re taking care of a family or living the empty nest life, we all need alone time. It may take some advanced planning, but if you are able to spend time connecting with yourself, the experience will give you wings. 

As Audre Lorde once said, “Self-care is not self-indulgence…” It is your right to feel and look your best. If you try out any of the suggestions I have shared, I’d love to hear about it. Have a beautiful first week of spring and keep blooming.

Do things because you love doing them

Another way to bloom into the best version of yourself is to do things because you love doing them. Much of adult life revolves around obligation and responsibility, but true joy comes most when we get lost in the moment and delve deeply into something we feel passionately about. 

Gerard Zappa Wooster’s bassist makes this point when it comes to playing music. It’s not about getting to the end of the bar or a riff. Instead, it’s just about grooving and loving the process. Nobody plays music as a means to an end. They enjoy it for what it is. If you want to become a musician, don’t make it a goal; simply love the journey.

Brittany Bruton is a blogger, educator, wife and mom living outside of Atlanta, Ga., with her husband, Anthony and their happy 19-month old, Lenny. She shares lessons about family, self-care and womanhood on her blog, BrittanyinBloom.com and on Instagram at @brittnbloom.