“We also have a blogging theme for August! In honor of Leo season, it will be J-fashion Self Care. This can mean many things for many people, especially in the J-fashion sense. Here are some ideas!”BAK Bibliotheca
What did you buy for yourself recently?
Trying to be a lot more mindful on what I purchase. Buy things that require me to save a bit, so I can look forward to having them. No more filler stuff. Wear the nice things regardless if I’m going out or not. Things that are custom or bespoke, I buy from a smaller business and have a closer rapport between myself and the maker. It’s almost always worth the wait and nice to have clothes that are meant to fit you rather than the other way around (which I find much more depressing). I go for things that are made to my measurements and avoid things that have vanity sizing.
I also like to send a nice personal thank you whenever I can and to link them in my social media whenever I wear their pieces to show the outfits I’ve made.
are there any other ways you treat yourself that fall into the j-fashion category?
I like to live and celebrate my life whenever I am able to muster it, and one way is to wear my wardrobe out, regardless if there is a specific reason or not.
I don’t want to wait for an opportunity, instead I go for when the mood allows. This works for me because I struggle with anxiety on committing to things. I get the sense of being trapped and obligated to do something, and I constantly worry if I am up to it or not. At its worst, I literally could not step out the front door because of panic and feeling of death if I did. What makes it easier for me is if I have an option to get out, in which I am more likely to carry through with it.
Another way is if it’s for a small, casual thing; my anxiety is a lot more tolerable. There was never an expectation to dress up and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter. If I do, I can focus on self-care in my makeup ritual and do something I genuinely love to do.
If one gets a nice dopamine hit in wearing what they want, why not?
Watching and following others who are in the J-fashion community. I like how passive and chill this activity is, and I like that it’s one way to show support, contribute, and to have a bit of company. There is a lot of overlap with the main fashion topics, but what I find interesting are the different hobbies and formats for the much more niche things. I like tuning into a streamer while I have things to do. This is especially helpful if I am baking, ironing, drawing… anything that takes me away from my desktop. It makes for easy listening and low commitment in participating. I have a small list of people I follow exclusively for the fashion:
I also have my own Twitch account but I’ve yet to find my niche!
Writing about it, AKA The Blog. From physical diaries from middle school to high school to ~20 years online, it has always been a therapeutic activity for me. It organizes my thoughts, my feelings, and nowadays, my outfits. I can communicate and talk to others through my writing when I may not talk much at all in person. I like that I can pick up where I left off regarding my posts. Not only that, but I haven’t posted in a while because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. I made the choice to turn off comments because I didn’t want to write for others, or to feel obligated in responding to all of them. Those are things that can build up my anxiety, and it’s the last thing I want. If I can keep it as blank of a space as possible, it’s a great outlet.
What do you do to decompress?
I try to avoid using retail therapy whenever I can; it’s an easy way to go overboard, and it’s an old coping method of mine that I am working on changing.
This can easily become an issue, but I’m taking the time to invest in products I want rather than buy for the purpose to be happy (which is short-lived for me). I will wait a little longer and go for the things that will add a bit of luxury for me. Here are some of the things I’m currently using:
compagnie de provence
I’ve been feeling these bar soaps from this brand lately. I switched from liquid soap to be a little more eco-conscious; it’s not perfect, but it brings me peace of mind. They’re also pretty portable, which makes it great when I’m traveling and staying overnight somewhere.
I have a variety of perfumes sitting on my vanity. A good most of them were gifted to me, but I do have maybe one or two I’ve gotten on my own. I get the strongest memories from the olfactory senses, so these bring me nothing but happiness. Every so often, I just don’t have it in me to do anything else but to lay down in bed. Being able to smell these on my sheets or my clothing is one low effort thing I can do for myself.
I bought Fragile Violet by Eric Buterbaugh during my last trip for an event. Wearing this brings back beautiful memories from Paris. Going out to small and intimate restaurants. The nighttime strolls and slipping into a bar or two for cocktails. Spending a day shopping for beautiful lingerie from all the different boutiques. Dressing up for Fêtes Galantes at Versailles. All the wonderful wine! In addition to the scent, I love the way the perfume has a deep violet blue hue.it looks in addition to its scent (the perfume itself is a beautiful violet blue hue). This is a great pick me up when I am feeling especially lonely and missing my friends.
There are times in where I am feeling particularly spicy, I will often wear Rouge by Dita Von Teese. Usually reserved if I will be going out to dates or nighttime events, but occasionally, I’ll pair it with a wine if I want to do a girl night thing for myself.
red roses cologne
This unwittingly became a sort of ‘signature scent’ and I had many people (especially Uber drivers weirdly enough) compliment me on it. I didn’t like the attention it brought, and I find it strange and a bit uncomfortable to be singled out wearing this, and it’s one of the reasons I no longer wear this out as often. It’s one thing when it comes to wardrobe and knowing people in a niche community since I am consciously choosing and expecting it, but it’s another thing entirely when it’s something I didn’t plan for. I get the same anxious feeling when someone comes up to talk to me when I am not dressed or ‘on’; I view my everyday wear as my incognito mode.
It is a beautiful scent to be sure, and I recommend this to anyone who wants or likes roses. I originally bought it in a small bottle as something to have in my travels. This may be the only one I have mixed feelings about. I will wear it if I’ll be at home wearing pajamas, and I like its scent when it lingers on my sheets.
These are just some of the perfumes I own. Small things that can do a lot for me when I am having a rough time. I don’t save them for a particular reason or an occasion because in this case, I am the reason.
A big one in J-fashion, especially as a whole we have to confront the ways we think about social media, being in a community, our own self image & worth, burnout, etc. How do you make sure you stay mentally healthy with all this going on? How do you make sure you are treating yourself gently (of course, please add a content warning to anything that needs it)?
Gardening has been a wonderful addition to my life and a strong arsenal in self-care. I was diagnosed around the time when my youngest was born. I struggled with Postpartum depression and anxiety, it was through that we were able to also catch the underlying general anxiety and depression I’ve always had. Learning about anxiety and depression has taught me a lot about myself and much better coping mechanisms that are less self-destructive.
I took up gardening last year, like the many others during the pandemic. At first, my garden was simply two wooden raised garden beds. I had a few types of seeds along with some periwinkles to plant. Most of them died due to my lack of knowledge (I most likely overwatered them). I was able to transplant my herbs to pots, and I started again. Having those survive encouraged me to continue, and I got better.
Now, my garden has extended to half of my backyard; with a variety of flowers, and this year I’ve started taking on plants like tomatoes, corn, bush beans, peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, and bananas. I have quite a forest of tomato plants outside and every morning we pick the ripe ones. The wooden raised garden beds didn’t even survive a year, so I transferred my plants into a galvanized tub and grow bags.
There is always something to do in the garden. Watering the plants is a start, but there is also things like deadheading flowers, trimming back branches and growth for them to flourish. I have plenty of cuttings from my several tomato plants, most of them have taken root and transferred into their own little space. Some were given away, but I still have plenty that are thriving!
Taking care of my plants allows me to take breaks and go outside. This brings me great pleasure in seeing them grow by tending to them. I like to have my coffee first thing in the morning, and oftentimes I’ll step out to bask in it. During group meetings via video calls, I’ll take a glimpse outside to take notice of one of my pride and joys.
Another thing I have is my corner of inspiration and admiration. These are women who are my (fashionable!) friends, idols that I look up to and aspire to have their work ethic. This is an area where my vanity lives, and I like to pretend and visualize having them in my company as I do my makeup. It’s my space in where I pamper myself, and no one is allowed to interrupt it.
I let people know ahead of time if that’s where I’ll be; I don’t want to accidentally interfere with my partner’s space if they will be unavailable for our kids. We try to be respectful to each other towards the things we enjoy, or the need to have a moment. So if I say something like, “I’m thinking about wanting to do my face” it means to leave me be for a bit.
Every so often I am treated to a glass of wine or coffee delivered to me, and it’s a way of my partner acknowledging what I need and also a way I can feel fancy!
There are plenty more things and activities that I treat myself to when it comes to a mental health day. I do occasionally take a day from work to keep my symptoms in check; it’s a collaborative effort with my job. Things like massages, crafting, watching horror movies funnily enough are outlets that help. I’ve also started managing and sorting trading cards, and I found it to be a relaxing and meditative activity for me. I am going through my partner’s old Rage collection, and I’ve wrapped up sorting Magic cards that were given to me. We’ve also taken collecting Pokémon TCG, creating different decks, and playing the actual card game.
This will be a lifetime of an invisible illness for me, and I see it as my task to be as open and communicative as much as possible. I’ve been told that I hide it well, and I agree, sometimes I feel like I subconsciously do that to myself as well. I really don’t want it to take over my life and to hurt others because I feel hurt and lost.
It is a constant work in progress and there are times in where I feel so defeated and tired. These small little things can help in taking the edge off when I am in the midst of a really terrible time.