Liz Moody, Brooklyn-based author of the, Healthier Together cookbook, shares her take on self care and how her surroundings play a part in her well-being.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name’s Liz, and I’m a writer and cookbook author living in NYC. Oh yeah — I’m a podcaster too, so basically I have 17 jobs. But I love them all! By day, I’m writing and editing food content at mindbodygreen, one of the leading wellness websites, and by night, I’m working on my podcast, also called Healthier Together, which is all about intimate inner lives of wellness stars, or documenting my thoughts and meals on Instagram. After bopping around the world for years, I’ve settled (for now!) in Brooklyn with my husband, Zack, and our very loud cat, Bella.
What was your New Year resolution?
I don’t love making resolutions — I’d rather set intentions. Resolutions are something you can fail at and feel shitty about yourself, while intentions are just little reminders that of ways to make your life better. If you do ’em, great. If you don’t, don’t worry about it! That said, my intentions recently have revolved around cutting down sugar consumptions (I’m a cookie monster) and letting go of my need to control everything all the time, which is so important in helping with anxiety, something I’ve long struggled with.
Why is taking time for self-care important to you?
I actually have rather intense thoughts about self-care—namely, that there are a lot of problems with the way we talk about it in today’s world. The origins of the concept stem back to something researchers and doctors recommended to people with extremely stressful jobs, like surgeons and firefighters, to make sure they balanced out the crazy intensity of their day. Now, we live in such a productivity-focused, always-on world that pretty much every job feels so intense—thus the rise of self-care. I also think self-care has turned into a commoditized industry, and advertisers are preying on everything I mentioned above to get people to spend more money, which could be it’s own rant unto itself.
That said, I think the best self-care is constructing a life where you don’t need self-care, if that makes sense. I’m making a concerted effort to try to fill every day of my life with as much intention and satisfaction as possible, rather than running myself ragged than boomeranging back the other way.
What does self-care mean for you?
In line with what i said above, self-care means setting up a life that I genuinely feel satisfied and content with as much as possible. For me, that means giving myself time to read books regularly. It means spending time with friends and family several times a week. It means creating a living space that’s calming and beautiful. It means not randomly scrolling on Instagram, but using it mindfully to create real connections with people. It means drawing hard boundaries between working time and off time. It means eating delicious food on a regular basis, and frankly, it means a few glasses of natural, funky wine now and then.
How have plants become part of your self-care routine?
Having a beautiful space is an immense source of daily pleasure in my life. It’s one of the best kinds of pleasure, because it’s passive — all you have to do is set up the plants and from that day forward, every time you’re in the same room as them, you’ll be a little bit happier. I think filling your life with passive or easy-to-come-by pleasures — a standing coffee date with a friend, a beautiful home, a pet name you call your partner that always makes you smile, a candle that always makes your house smell good — are some of the best ways to fill your life with so much regular joy that self-care, as its own isolated pursuit, no longer becomes necessary.