Meghan Markle is just a few months from becoming a princess (OK, technically a duchess, but she'll be a princess in our hearts), and that means as wild as her day-to-day likely is right now, with all the wedding prep, it will become approximately ten million times wilder once she begins living the daily life of a royal. So if you're wondering exactly what Meghan Markle's self-care routine looks like, and how she plans to stay balanced while attending more than 2,000 official engagements per year, you're not alone.
The intensity of royal life is no joke. Cosmopolitan reported than on top of those 2,000 engagements, the royal family's job is to "undertake official duties," which includes "entertaining 70,000 people and replying to 100,000 letters a year." You may be thinking, based on the sheer amount of socializing that will entail, that Markle's self-care tips might not be helpful to someone who socializes on a much smaller scale, but since these self-care tips come courtesy of archived pages from Markle's now-defunct lifestyle website, The Tig, it's reasonable to assume they'll work for someone who's a little less busy. You'd be surprised just how effective these tips can be across the board, whether you're hosting galas or just trying to prep yourself for giving your apartment a good deep cleaning. Here are some of her best practices for keeping it together and treating yourself when things get tough.
1. Make Time For Yourself
Markle recommended taking time for yourself as one of her big wintertime self-care tips in a roundup posted on The Tig back in January 2017. Winter especially "is a time when it can be easy to forget about our bodies and the vital role they play in our lives," she said, and when we do that, we can fall into bad habits.
"[G]ive yourself time to decompress and relax, whether it's a night at home, laughing with your friends, or being around family," Markle advised.
This may seem like one of the most basic self-care tenets, but when we're busy or stressed, it can be hard to remember to pause and check in with our bodies and our mental wellbeing. Taking a moment to be mindful about where we're at and then doling out some chill time as needed is what self-care is all about.
2. Travel As Much As You Can
A big part of Markle's The Tig focused on travel — seeing new places and giving yourself a chance to refresh by experiencing new things. She often posted insider's guides to travel locations, from Paris to the Catskill Mountains.
Even if you don't have the budget to travel to far-flung destinations, you can embrace Markle's passion for traveling in small ways. Drive to the next town and visit a locally-beloved restaurant you've never visited. Pick a nearby national park and plot a day of hiking. Heck, you can even go extra low-budget and simply pick a place within walking distance of your home that you've never been to. The point of this self-care tenet isn't so much to drop a few thousand on an across-the-world plane ticket; it's just to get out there and see new things.
However, if you do have the chance to visit a new city or country, you should take the chance to immerse yourself creatively, Markle told Birchbox, saying, "Find a great cooking class with a local chef, or an art or dance class."
Your living space is your temple, Markle said on The Tig, so if you've been struggling to get rid of "those concert tickets from ’99 or the four pairs of sherbert colored jeans that you really-seriously-had to have [...] it’s time to shake things up and streamline your living space."
Decluttering your physical space is the first step to decluttering your mental space, Markle added. She shared tips from fellow actor Fay Wolf and her book New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks (And Everyone Else), including the fact that your space isn't likely to ever be perfectly clean and tidy, and that striving for imperfection "can stop us from starting at all" when it comes to decluttering and life in general.
Starting small is also vital, Markle said, particularly if you have a list of big projects to tackle. Instead of taking on a whole dusty attic, straighten up your silverware drawer. If you don't have the oomph to clean out your whole fridge or do a whole sink of dishes, start with cleaning your counters. Small builds up to big.
4. Romance Yourself
Super relevant for the upcoming Valentine's Day, but also for every other day of the year: "[B]e your own Valentine," Markle said on The Tig. This is sort of an expanded, love-focused version of the ever-popular "treat yo' self." Markle's reason for romancing yourself involves treating yourself as well as you treat the ones you love — giving yourself the kind of attention and even the kind of gifts you'd give someone who isn't you.
"I think you need to cook that beautiful dinner even when it’s just you, wear your favorite outfit, buy yourself some flowers, and celebrate the self love that often gets muddled when we focus on what we don’t have," Markle said.
5. Leave Room For Magic
With all the external pressure and events filling up our calendars and mind, it can be hard not to let our brains pencil in "Be Anxious" and "Try To Get Even More Work Done" over all our free time spaces. That's exactly what Markle said we should be paying attention to. "[T]he only thing I aim to do is to approach life playfully," she said on The Tig. "To laugh and enjoy, to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher."
She mentioned telling a castmate about her packed schedule, when her castmate paused her and said, "Meg, I will just say one thing. Make sure you leave room for magic."
"And that is my point," Markle said. "To make my plans, and be okay if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change. To let the magic know that there is an open door policy with me [...] and that it is always welcome to join the party. I invite you to do the same."
When we think of self-care, we tend to think of treats like cool bath bombs and favorite chocolates, but Markle's self-care tips prove that sometimes self-care is less about treats and more about maintenance. We have to give ourselves the ability to stay on top of stressors and struggles, and in order to do that, we have to embrace what we have, who we are, and what we could be when we open our lives to new experiences and a little more magic.