It’s, like, *really* easy to copy Michelle Obama’s dream self-care situation


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When you think of self-care, your mind probably instantly goes to the lavish fruit-filled baths, fancy face masks, massages, and perfectly frothed turmeric lattes you see on your Instagram feed. The truth is you don’t have to do anything over-the-top to give yourself the extra TLC you deserve. Just ask Michelle Obama, whose dream situation just so happens to be one of the easiest to replicate.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey for ELLE—because who’s more worthy of interviewing a queen than a queen?—Obama opened up about the transition period after moving from the White House to their new home in Washington—AKA “the first regular house, with a door and a doorbell, that I have had in about eight years,” she said. During one of her first nights alone when Barack was traveling and her kids were out, she got to make her own toast—cheese toast—without someone trying to help or do it for her. Then, she sat outside with her dogs, eating her toast and taking in her new life…one that didn’t involve having a full SWAT team around or following a list of rules so intense that she couldn’t even open a window.

“It’s that quiet moment of me settling into this new life. Having time to think about what had just happened over the last eight years. Because what I came to realize is that there was absolutely no time to reflect in the White House. We moved at such a breakneck pace from the moment we walked in those doors until the moment we left. It was day in and day out because we, Barack and I, really felt like we had an obligation to get a lot done. We were busy,” she said. “I would forget on Tuesday what had happened on Monday. I forgot whole countries I visited, literally whole countries. I had a debate with my chief of staff saying, ‘You know, I’d love to visit Prague one day.’ And Melissa was like, ‘You were there.’ I was like, ‘No, I wasn’t. Wasn’t in Prague, never been to Prague.’ She had to show me a picture of me in Prague for the memory to jog. So the toast was the moment that I had time to start thinking about those eight years and my journey of becoming.”

“It’s that quiet moment of me settling into this new life. Having time to think about what had just happened over the last eight years. Because what I came to realize is that there was absolutely no time to reflect in the White House.” —Michelle Obama

For Obama, self-care is (finally!) having the opportunity to be truly alone with her favorite snack, some peace and quiet, and all the fresh air. Sometimes it’s the simplest moments that have the biggest impact, and this is proof—no fancy jade rollers or essential oils required.

Here’s how to turn your tiny bathroom into a self-care sanctuary. Or, find out why Lady Gaga watches horror movies to unwind—and why psychologists say her scary self-care habit can work.

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