More Croissants, Less Stress: A French Girl’s Approach to Joyful Living

I’ve always loved the idea of self-care. Scented candles, face masks, and the latest wellness trends felt like a warm hug for my soul. But somewhere between the matcha lattes and meditation apps, I started to feel overwhelmed. Was I doing it right? Was I glowing enough, journaling enough, being enough?

Then, I moved to Paris. And my whole idea of self-care changed.

Finding Joy in Simple Pleasures

Parisians don’t obsess over the latest health trends or feel guilty about enjoying a croissant. My friend Sophie once told me, “Why would I deny myself the simple joy of a good pastry? Life is too short for that.”

This simple statement struck a chord. I realized self-care isn’t just about green smoothies and yoga. It’s about finding joy in the everyday, whether it’s a glass of wine with lunch or a quiet walk in the park.

Embrace Your Own Everyday Joy

Think about the small things that bring you pleasure. Is it a cup of coffee in the morning sun? A handwritten letter to a friend? Make time for those moments, guilt-free.

Embracing Imperfections

One afternoon, while struggling to perfect my winged eyeliner, my Parisian roommate laughed and said, “You know, makeup is meant to enhance, not hide. Your little imperfections are what make you unique.”

Her words were a revelation. I started to see my freckles, not as flaws, but as constellations on my skin. My curls, not as unruly, but as a crown of sunshine.

Celebrate Your Unique Beauty

Take a moment to look in the mirror and find something you love about yourself. Maybe it’s your smile, your strong hands, or the way your eyes crinkle when you laugh. Celebrate that part of you.

Cultivating Meaningful Connections

Parisians value deep, meaningful connections over superficial interactions. I remember being surprised at how openly people discussed politics and philosophy on the metro. It was a refreshing change from the polite but often shallow small talk I was used to.

This taught me the importance of surrounding myself with people who truly get me, who challenge me, and who bring joy into my life.

Invest in the Relationships that Matter

Think about the people who light you up. Reach out to them, schedule a coffee date, or simply send a heartfelt message. Let them know you appreciate their presence in your life.

Honoring Your Body’s Needs

In Paris, self-care isn’t about following the latest fads. It’s about listening to your body’s unique needs and honoring them. Whether it’s a long bath to soothe sore muscles or a walk in nature to clear your head, Parisians have simple, time-tested rituals that work for them.

Create Your Own Self-Care Rituals

What makes your body and mind feel nourished? It could be a cup of herbal tea before bed, a few minutes of stretching in the morning, or a walk in the park. Whatever it is, make it a regular part of your routine.

Finding Beauty in Simplicity

One of the most striking things about Parisian life is its emphasis on simplicity. From fresh, seasonal ingredients in their meals to minimalist skincare routines, Parisians find beauty in the unadorned and uncomplicated.

I learned that self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee in silence, savoring a ripe peach, or taking a few deep breaths before starting your day.

Embrace the Art of Simplicity

Look for ways to simplify your life. Maybe it’s decluttering your closet, choosing whole foods over processed snacks, or opting for a natural skincare routine. Let go of the excess and embrace the beauty of simplicity.

A New Kind of Self-Care

My time in Paris taught me that self-care isn’t about striving for perfection or following trends. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, embracing our imperfections, nurturing meaningful connections, honoring our bodies, and finding beauty in simplicity. It’s a gentle, intuitive, and deeply personal journey of self-discovery and self-love.