Two Sundays ago, I got super f*cked up on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel with my friend Owen and ten of the most gorgeous gay men you've ever seen.
It all started with the seemingly innocent idea to get bottomless brunch.
"Don't get f*cked up. You're going to hate yourself on Monday if you do," my roommate said to me when I told her about my Sunday plans.
"Don't be silly! I'm going to have ONE glass of champagne. Two, TOPS!" I said to her as I threw on my signature black leather bomber jacket, spritzed on a hefty spray of Dolce & Gabbana and flew out the door with the innocent grace of a mystical fairy.
"Famous last words!" she said. I could hear the sarcasm echo down the hall as I made my way down six flights of stairs.
I slid into a taxi and rolled my eyes when I thought about my roomie's bitchy comment. Who the f*ck does SHE think she IS? I thought as I applied an extra coat of Kat Von D Lovecraft lipstick to my lips.
Kat Von D Lovecraft Lipstick, $21, Sephora
Two hours and four glasses of champagne later, I ended up at the notorious Sunday gay disco at Le Bain at the Standard Hotel, buying $24 cocktails like they were going out of style. I was swilling martinis and dancing out a lifetime of repressed issues to modern disco music like the clichéd, troubled gay that I am.
I followed Owen and our friend Matt out to the rooftop for a smoke. (I don't smoke; I just like to watch.)
"I'm sorta f*cked up," Owen slurred, taking a long, meaningful puff on his cigarette.
I looked out at the brilliant view of New York City. I'm never f*cking leaving this town, I thought to myself. I know I'm buzzed when I start to feel overcome with a romantic love for New York.
"Me too," I slurred back.
The rest of that fateful Sunday is a blur. I have a flash of drunk-dialing my father and asking him repeatedly how the dog was doing. I have another flash of sitting in the back of an Uber and blasting Lana Del Rey's "High By The Beach" on my iPhone, much to the dismay of the driver.
I woke up the next morning with my heavily mascara-ed lashes intertwined like crushed spider legs and a headache so severe I could feel it sucking my soul out of my brain. I looked at my bank statement and saw that I'd ordered $75 worth of sushi on Seamless (Wonderful, I thought. I can't even pay my rent). My desert-dry eyes felt like someone had poured peroxide into them, and my heart was beating so loudly that it taunted me. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. YOU'RE A F*CKUP, YOU'RE A F*CKUP, YOU'RE A F*CKUP.
What the HELL am I doing with my life? I thought to myself, taking in the sight of my puffy face and blood-red eyes in the mirror. Black eyeliner had settled into the bags underneath my eyes, which made me look like a cartoon drawing of a raccoon.
As I cabbed to work, I had a pivotal realization: Sunday Funday was my downfall.
Sunday Funday always takes a dark turn into the Sunday Scaries. What's supposed to be a few drinks at lunch always leads to me falling asleep on the couch while cradling a bag of carbs and waking up at 4 am with regrets, shame shudders and embarrassing flashes of lewd behavior followed by an early-morning breakdown.
It's no way to start the week. It sets me up for failure, and at this stage in the game I don't want to feel like a failure. I've wasted enough of my life feeling that way.
So this past Sunday, I skipped out on the boozy brunch and had a Self-Care Sunday instead. And let me tell you, kittens: It's going to be my new Sunday routine. I'm trading in martinis for manicures. To top it off, I've had an amazing week that was FREE of meltdowns. Considering that I've recently stopped taking my antidepressants, that's saying a LOT.
Self-Care Sunday is the NEW Sunday Funday. So, my darlings, here are Zara's official tips on having the best Self-Care Sunday possible.
Read in bed.
Wake up at your leisure (but try not to sleep past 11 am) and make yourself an indulgent cup of coffee with as much creamer as your sweet, little heart desires. You're going to save a lot of calories by NOT drinking, so go heavy on that creamer.
Grab a magazine or a book and READ in bed. Lying in your soft sheets and curling up with a book is a whole different kind of indulgence -- one that's far more soul-fulfilling than booze or drugs or disappointing morning sex with the f*ckboy you slept with Saturday night.
Take a long walk.
Don't go to the gym on Self-Care Sunday. The gym feels like a punishment, and today you're going to be KIND to yourself.
However, movement is pivotal in feeling mentally healthy. (I know this because I'm screwed up, and exercise is one of the few methods that heals my screwed-up-ness.) Walking is nice, gentle movement.
Plus, you will get some vitamin D and be reminded how big the world is. The Sunday Scaries often come being cooped up in your apartment, feeling trapped in your dismal life and forgetting that there is a world outside your small, suffocating studio.
Buy fresh flowers.
Having fresh flowers in your apartment will really give you a falsified sense of well being.
Even when you're in the act of buying them, you will start to feel like you have your sh*t together. Pick out some pretty, pastel-colored, chic roses, take in their glorious scent and feel like you're a f*cking perfect Instagram yoga star (those bitches always post pics of flowers).
Instagram your fresh flowers.
Oh, whatever. I don't care if you want to bully me for this one. WE ALL know that social media gives us a little quick fix of validation, and Self-Care Sunday is the day to indulge in that.
Instagram the fresh-cut flowers on your coffee table and make everyone who is partying the day away feel momentarily jealous of YOU for being so healthy, together, and responsible.
Listen to Lana and deep-clean.
The reason I recommend listening to Lana while deep-cleaning is because she's a BAD BITCH. She goes to all the deep, raw-girl places. This will allow you to get ~soulful~ in your thoughts while you clean your apartment. You can reflect on your sinful life right alongside sinful Lana.
Plus, come on! You're CLEANING on a Sunday. You need a little bad-girl energy in your life when you're being such a good girl.
Also, I can't tell you HOW good you will feel by having a super clean home on a Sunday. Like my best friend Ruba says, "Clean home, clean mind."
Get a manicure.
I always tell people that you can tell the state of my mental health by the state of my nails. When they're chipped, my life is chipped. When they're perfectly polished, my life is perfectly polished.
I quickly realized that if my life is falling apart, I can remedy the situation with a manicure.
And lez be honest girls, most of us are typing at a computer all day, right? You really want to be gazing into ratchet nails? Nah, honey. You're too pretty for that sh*t. POLISHED NAILS, POLISHED THOUGHTS, POLISHED LIFE.
Get a raw juice for nine dollars.
Cleanse away your Saturday night SINS. I don't care if it's a placebo affect, but raw juices are like antidepressants for me. I swear I can feel my body rejoicing with all the expensive, organic vegetables swishing through my system.
Instagram that sh*t for optimal results.
Get down and dirty with yourself.
It's not a Self-Care Sunday if you don't take care of yourself sexually. Give yourself a mind-blowing orgasm.
Treat yourself to ONE vice -- in moderation.
Maybe you like a glass of red wine. Maybe you're like me and Sheena and like a little puff on a spliffy. Maybe you're like my mother and just crave a bit of the ol' chocolate.
Remember, it's NOT Deprivation Sunday. It's Self-Care Sunday. Part of taking care of yourself is allowing yourself to indulge in something that makes you feel good.
Just don't do it if you CAN'T do it in moderation. If one cookie will lead you to recklessly consume the whole box, don't eat the cookie. Have an extra orgasm instead.
Feel your feelings.
The best part of being relatively sober on a Sunday is that you're not numbing your feelings. You're allowing yourself to ~feel~ them instead. It's Sunday, and you've probably built up a ton of feelings during the past week that you've stuffed down. You've distracted yourself with work and booze and sex.
Sunday is the day to just let those feelings wash over you. Don't fight them. Make sweet, sweet love to them instead. F*ck them like you would f*ck an ex you still secretly love.
Because feeling your feelings is the ultimate cleanse. And honestly, once you let yourself feel, you will realize it feels SO GOOD TO FEEL. And you will start Monday as new woman with space for new feelings.
Happy Self-Care Sunday, kittens!