Sundays are a day to recharge and reset by hanging with friends, turning off your phone, bathing for hours on end, or doing whatever else works for you. In this column (in conjunction with our Instagram Self-Care Sunday series), we ask editors, experts, influencers, writers, and more what a perfect self-care Sunday means to them, from tending to their mental and physical health to connecting with their community to indulging in personal joys. We want to know why Sundays are important and how people enjoy them, from morning to night.
For Jaclyn Fu, the co-founder and CEO of small-chested bra brand Pepper, living in Denver has been a major help for her mental health. Recently, the weather has been warm and sunny, and so on Sundays, she's been able to hang out all day at home or in the mountains. "I love that living in Colorado means I can get to nature in less than an hour," the 30-year-old tells HelloGiggles.
As the force behind a company trying to revolutionize the undergarment industry by only focusing on AA, A, and B bra sizes to help women be unapologetically themselves in her bodies, Fu admits that the boundaries between work and life can be incredibly thin. She tries her best to establish a sense of normalcy and prepare for the workweek by getting a full night's rest on Sundays. "I love waking up on Monday morning with a refreshed pep in my step," she explains.
For this week’s Self-Care Sunday, we spoke to Fu to learn more about her current routine and priorities. Here, in her own words, are her go-to Sunday activities, plus advice for people who are struggling to feel accepted and understood.
My mental health has been pretty good. I’ve been feeling a lot of gratitude for family, friends, and life. I’m also naturally an introvert and have been loving the alone time and not having to feel like I constantly need to make plans or commit myself to social activities.
Go-to mental health practices
Giving myself exactly what I need to feel happy and rested in that moment. For example, at the beginning of quarantine, it was taking a toll on me to have to plan, cook, and grocery shop for every single meal for me and my boyfriend (he struggles with even making ramen). So I stopped cooking for two weeks, we ordered takeout, and it was glorious and just the break I needed. It feels empowering to be able to give myself permission to take care of myself.
Wind-down practices to combat Sunday scaries
To be honest, I haven’t felt a sense of Sunday scaries in a long time now that I have the job of my dreams. Any blueness I feel is usually because I just had an extremely fun weekend and I want the fun to keep going. My favorite wind-down practices are to eat a super yummy dinner, light a candle, and watch what could be argued as trash TV.
At one point I was working out every single day and feeling like a beast. It was my favorite part of the day. Then, out of nowhere, my body just didn’t crave it anymore and it was no longer bringing me joy. So I gave my body a break. Right now, physical activities at home usually consist of walking to/from the fridge and watering my plants. My preferred physical activity on a Sunday, though, is to go on a (socially distanced) hike.
Since quarantine, I’ve actually been moving around and spending a lot of time at my boyfriend’s rather than at home. To find serenity there, I’ve been slowly adding more plants and candles to his place.
I’m a sexual health advocate and think self-pleasure is the ultimate form of self-care. On a Sunday, I might just hang out in bed with my favorite toy (the Kip from Dame and the Siri 2 from Lelo) It's the best way to really get to know and stay connected with your body.
hellogiggles - $159.00 Available at Lelo
Staying connected with loved ones
It depends on what I need that particular weekend. Sometimes I want the whole day to myself, sometimes I’ll crave social connection. The last few weekends, I’ve been enjoying playing small group board games. I also discovered you can play Settlers of Catan virtually online, and it’s sooooooo fun.
Supporting the community
Pepper was born from the community (we started from a 470% funded Kickstarter campaign!), so supporting our Small Squad is super important to us. In the last few months, we’ve donated $10,000 to a COVID-19 relief fund by the National Domestic Workers Alliance that supports care workers (the majority of which are women of color); donated hundreds of bras to healthcare front line workers; created a small business directory featuring business owners in the Pepper community; donated 1,000 to The Period Movement to get menstrual products to women in need; donated 5,000 across various Black Lives Matter organizations; donated 100% of launch sales of our face mask to G.L.I.T.S to help provide sustainable housing for Black trans people; and most recently, launched our $5K Startup Grant for Black Women. This grant is a no-strings-attached financial grant that also includes mentorship from the Pepper founders and experts in the industry. Applications are open until August 20 and you can learn more here.
I love HoneyMami body care products. It’s a Black woman-owned business and she handmakes all her products, one small batch at a time. I’m particularly obsessed with her Whipped Souffle body cream and her Rosé oil (I use the oil on my face instead of a face moisturizer, and it makes it look super dewy). All her stuff makes you smell like a goddess!
Small hack to make your showers feel like a spa: Get this eucalyptus shower aromatherapy spray.
I also notice when I put on jewelry, it brings me a lot of personal joy, even if I’m just hanging out at home. I might not be combing my hair right now, but I will sparkle with my favorite jewelry from Amarilo, an Asian-American-owned L.A. jewelry brand that makes the perfect minimalist gold pieces.
These candles by ILHA will make your place smell super luxurious and are hand-poured in Brooklyn by an Asian-American female founder. My all-time favorite scene is White Tea.
hellogiggles - $32.98 Available at Amazon
Sunday must-do ritual
Quarantine silver linings
I think I’m saving more money right now because I’m not traveling, but then I look at all the random knick-knacks I’ve been buying lately and that probably isn’t true. I’m glad to be giving up the anxiety of being in a social setting with a lot of people (i.e. networking events, big parties).
Advice for people who feel like they want to change who they are to feel accepted and understood
My advice would be that feeling accepted and understood comes from within, and being around the right people. Unfortunately, society and social media have made that really hard by establishing what feel like unattainable body/beauty standards. Unfollow any “influencer” that makes you feel like you’re not enough. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and celebrate you as you are. You have so, so, so much to offer beyond just your looks or one single aspect of yourself.