Posted in Slice of Life

Self-Care Days, We All Need ‘Em

If I’m being honest, this whole post is just me procrastinating on writing a personal statement for a job application, but that’s totally fine! It’s not like my future is completely up in the air or anything, she said with a slightly hysterical giggle.

Anyways, today started off perfectly fine. I know, you were expecting with the title that it started off a shit show, but NOPE. My students have actually been too exhausted the first week back to really do much mischief, as in the one boy I had to lecture yesterday slept through class kind of week. The morning meeting held no surprise drama, the first hour class was smoother than it had any right to be for a morning class, and the proceeding hours held students that did as told.

All the same, I felt worn out. Coming back to work and stressing myself out with the job hunt was grinding me down in little ways that just built up. Getting back into a normal sleep schedule, prepping for classes, filling out this application form, writing yet another cover letter, and then all of a sudden in the midst of this funk today it hit me.


For those of you who are new (Hi, welcome, glad you came), I recently started performing comedy shows. This new hobby fills me with joy, but as I’m the most amateurs of all amateurs, I’ve yet to get around to making headshots or bodyshots. These are semi-important for promotional materials, although I’ve just been getting away with sending bad selfies taken at the last minute.

Tomorrow, I’ve got to head up to Tokyo with a bunch of the Tokyo Women’s Comedy group to get our faces put on glossy paper by a fantastic camera guy, John. Which is great, necessary even, but my hair was shaggy as all hell. I hadn’t gone to my hair stylist in over a month because, ya know, winter vacation. I called up my hair salon and got the last booking for the day, thank God and Jesus and Mary.

I don’t know if anyone is aware of how amazing it is to get your hair cut in Japan, but it is beyond fantastic. I love that for only about $40 I can get a nice hair cut, shampoo, hair treatment, and then getting a scalp, neck, and shoulder massage before I get my hair dried. My hair salon also gives me candy and tea if I have to wait a long time.

This time I couldn’t go with my usual stylist, but this different girl (let’s call her Aya) was super nice. She talked with me about going to New York, and there she was taught by Cameron Diaz’s stylist! So I got my haircut by a person who was taught by a celebrity’s hair stylist, so I’m three degrees away from cool.

I actually will never tell my usual hairstylist, but my hair looked bangin’ after Aya was done. Also, when I mentioned I was thinking about plucking my eyebrows for tomorrow, she told me to wait a moment and got out an eyebrow trimmer from seemingly nowhere.

“Eh?!” I shouted in disbelief. “You do that here?” I said in bad Japanese.

“Yes,” she said in English, and then switched back to Japanese, “If only do the eyebrows, it’s usually 500 yen. If you do it with a haircut, it’s free.”

“I had no idea! That’s awesome. Please, yes, do it.”

And that’s the story of how, after two goddang years of going to this salon, I found out they did eyebrow work the entire time.

Sidenote: For those American ladies confused as to A) why I assumed they didn’t do eyebrow work and B) why on Earth would they use an eyebrow trimmer instead of waxing, it’s because in Japan hair salons are generally just for, well, hair. Also, even if they do eyebrows, they never use wax. You have to go to an actual spa for that service, and even then not as often as you might like.

So I left the salon feeling more pampered than expected, but my shoulders still felt stiff despite the best efforts of the trainee guy. As I was walking towards the direction of home, I realized of course my shoulders were tight, I’d been clicking and clacking away on my keyboard non-stop for a week. When I got to my train station, I remembered there was a cheap massage parlor the next floor up.

And from there, I decided the rest of this day would be about self-care. I went upstairs and reserved a time for a 40 minute massage, but needed to wait one hour. No problem at all, I just popped over to Tully’s Coffee for a Snow Man Latte, a nice sweet treat. I also stopped at the drug store for Biore face strips and bought face masks. Might as well do a home spa!

As you can probably tell, my forms of self-care are all easily affordable. I don’t really spend hundreds of dollars on myself, but when the mood strikes me I will put forth effort to care for myself in little ways. As it is the little things that get me down, it’s usually the little things that can pick me back up again.

My masseuse was a dude with a very nervous air about him. He tried speaking to me in English, which I appreciated, even if I’m fairly certain it was causing him several internal strokes trying to do basic words and phrases. Kudos for trying though! Luckily, for the 40 minutes, he mostly concentrated on trying to get the knots out of my shoulders, so we didn’t talk much. I am also fairly certain we went over 40 minutes, and I’m guessing that’s because no one came in during the entire time I was there to schedule an appointment, so yay for me!

After the haircut, the coffee break, and the massage I felt amazing. I honestly forgot what it felt like to be good to myself, and not just physically but even emotionally as well as mentally. I’ve been consistently harsh and critical of myself ever since November, telling myself that I should be better at nearly everything I’ve been doing: better at studying, better at applying, better at writing, better at vlogging, better at teaching, better at being this or that or the other.

As I’ve been home I took a long shower and I’m currently doing my face spa, I realized that I don’t need to keep beating myself up all the damn time. I can be good to myself, at least for this day. Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll start back up on wearing myself down, as my own worst enemy, but for the next little bit of time I have left today I want to remind myself that I’m worth the effort I’m putting into myself.

Hey, and you readers, be good to yourselves! We all need a little rest, relaxation, and self-care. You deserve it so let no one, not even you, say otherwise.