Micaéla Verrelien is a textbook Capricorn. For the uninitiated, that roughly translates to her having some serious ambition (she's a former Wall Street accountant and current full-time freelance creative), an appreciation for the analytical ("Numbers don't lie," she tells me matter-of-factly.), and a tendency to strive for the absolute finest things in life.
It also means she's good at damn-near everything.
"[Capricorns] get things done," she says. "We work hard, and if we say yes to something, we’re going to do the best that we can." That sentiment applies to everything — from her impressive work ethic, to her ability to carve out time in her day to practice self-care. But aside from being astrologically blessed, how does she find the time for those coveted self-care moments?
Especially during a year with an increasingly dismal news cycle, Verrelien emphasized that finding time for self-care stems from the need to look out for her own mental and emotional wellbeing, plus the wellbeing of her Black and brown peers. "Everything that’s been happening with Black Lives Matter, with the pandemic, you have to take care of yourself — especially more so if you’re Black or brown. You still want to live your life, and for me as a creative I still want to be creative. The only way I can do that is by feeding my soul by doing things that make me happy."
So: What exactly are the things that make Verrelien happy? To find out, Bustle virtually sat down with her to chat about how she's channeled her Capricorn energy into her self-care routine. And yeah, while she shared a few really smart tips and tricks that you would expect to read on a lifestyle website (just wait until you get a taste of her wine recs), she also revealed some inspiring perspectives that seem like they could turn any ol' day of the week into an opportunity for personal growth.
One of those perspectives? Despite the obvious train-wreck vibes, it's still possible to find joy and happiness in 2020 — all it takes is a willingness to adapt. "Weekends used to be all about travel. [Last year] I would take a long weekend and hit up the Caribbean, or even go to Europe just for four or five days, and that was my summer," she says. But given the restrictions around travel amid the pandemic, Verrelien has had to look a bit closer to home to find that same sense of exploration. And of course by that, I mean she's quite literally had to find it at home.
"I just moved into a brownstone, and now I tend to sit outside on the brownstone porch and just read," she says. When she's looking to take a simple afternoon of sitting on the stoop to the next level, she brings along plenty of small-but-impactful extras. From preparing a plate of her favorite fresh fruits to treating herself to a bouquet of fresh flowers, it's safe to say that she's become somewhat of an expert in the art of turning lemons into lemonade. But for Verrelien, the icing on the self-care cake can usually be found in a rich and vibrant glass of wine, like La Crema Chardonnay.
"A white wine during the day is the best thing," she says. "After a hard day, I can easily go outside and relax while I’m reading, drink some chardonnay, and not feel like I’m doing the most. [This ritual] guides me to the point of relaxation that I really needed during the day." We'll cheers to that.
Beyond just learning to adapt throughout 2020's curveballs, Verrelien has also found beauty in something she used to avoid at all costs: being alone.
Growing up in a suburban neighborhood, Verrelien was always someone who didn't want to do things by herself. "When I moved to New York, I got used to spending more time alone," which, especially throughout social distancing and stay-at-home orders, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. "To me, self-care is partly spending time alone, because a lot of the times we get so used to being around people that we don’t know our own voice. We don’t know how to simply be alone and have fun in our own skin and our own sound."
These days, Verrelien has learned how to turn these moments by herself into opportunities for self-care. Instead of experiencing fear around being by herself, she prefers to set a nice table (candles required), treat herself to her favorite dinner (spaghetti and meatballs), indulge in a favorite past time (watching a beloved movie), and pour herself a glass of red wine like La Crema's 2018 Pinot Noir — an accessible ritual that even the busiest of us can learn to get behind.
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This post is sponsored by La Crema Winery.