HOW I SUNDAY
by Garrett Munce
HOW I SUNDAY
“If I’ve learned anything from the Sundays in my life, it’s that making time for yourself is one of the most important things one can do. It’s okay to do exactly what you want and no one should ever feel guilty about that.”
When you’re a magazine editor, your life is full of deadlines, midnight emails, press appointments, late night writing sessions, anxiety and buzzing frantic energy. I’m not complaining, it’s a life that I love and a job that I had for over a decade. The other thing about being a magazine editor is that you work a lot of weekends. Especially a fashion editor (like me) since shoots are not always reserved for work hours or you might get called in to the office for a last minute run-through. This makes it extra special when you actually do get a full weekend - especially a Sunday.
I learned early on in my career to take advantage of every free moment I had off. When I was younger, this meant sleeping as late as humanly possible then waking up and doing absolutely nothing. I was a tv binger before bingeing was a thing (I had every season of Golden Girls on DVD a decade before they were on Hulu) and I would order delivery for every meal. When I was in college, I would barely come out of my room. When I was on my own and living by myself, my whole apartment was my room and I never felt guilty staying in.
See, I’m a master compartmentalizer. It’s easy for me to run very hot and then need time to recharge. I put everything I have into a very public, very social job that requires me to interact with vast amounts of people, go to multiple events every night of the week and be charming, interesting and exciting. It works for me since I’m a Sagittarius - I have a deep sense of curiosity and also a deep sense of FOMO. I’m also a Leo rising, so the charming, talkative, engaging part comes naturally too. It’s like I can flip a switch and I’m on.
But every so often that switch needs to be flipped off and, frankly, it needs to be off more often these days. Sag and Leo, meet my Pisces moon. For all the fire I get from my horse and lion, my inner self is watery - sensitive, emotional and sometimes fragile. I crave alone time, I cherish moments where I don’t have to talk to anyone and I’ve often found myself lost in my own thoughts for hours with no concept of time. I’ve always been this way and if I don’t give myself a break (from the world, from myself) it makes me uneasy, anxious and short tempered. Learning this about my personality wasn’t easy but was necessary.
What does this have to do with Sundays? Well, Sundays have typically been the day where I give myself permission to do nothing. If left to my own devices I would probably not even leave the bed (or move far from the couch) and you know what? I would be totally happy. But I guess I’m an adult now, so I do have slightly different priorities than nursing a hangover by watching 12 hours of tv (I don’t drink anymore, but I do still watch that much tv).
The other thing that’s changed is that I’m not employed by a magazine anymore. When I got laid off from my job four months ago, I found myself for the first time in over ten years without a packed schedule, without emails coming in over night and without the constant hum of anxiety. As terrifying as that was to me, it was also freeing. And it also threw my lifelong on/off switch out the window.
As a freelancer, now I’m struggling to re-compartmentalize my life. I still work in the same fashion and beauty industry and I still go to many of the same events and interact with many of the same people. But now I work from home and spend much more time by myself. I don’t get as many emails; I’m not called into last minute meetings; I don’t get urgent projects thrown on my lap unless I decide to take them on. The quiet is really what is throwing me for a loop. I’m not used to quiet that’s not on a Sunday.
My home was always a refuge from work. It was where I could breathe. Now it’s also my office and it can’t be a hiding place anymore. I’m trying to recalibrate my surrounds so I can change my inner world; I need to find my focus in a place that is much quieter. Honestly, it’s not something I’m good at. When I walk in the door, my first instinct is to take off my pants and when I sit on the couch, my first instinct is to put my feet up and turn on the tv. When I’m home during daylight hours, my brain automatically goes into weekend mode. But now that my couch has also become my desk (the only other option in my 600-square-foot apartment is the bed), I have to actively ignore these instincts.
I suppose this new perspective is good for me. Most psychologists would agree, I think, that compartmentalizing is not healthy - that we should aim to live a more integrated life. My integration is coming from learning how to focus in new ways. I wake up at the same time as before, shower and get ready even if I’m not going anywhere. I make appointments in the mornings to get myself out of the house and try to go to as many nighttime events as I can. Free time has a time-warping effect for me and as a freelancer, I’ve learned that all you have is free time unless you choose otherwise.
That said, my Sundays haven’t changed all that much. I still need my day off even if the feelings are starting to bleed into other parts of my week; I need that structure, even if it’s all in my head. So what does that look like for me?
Sleeping Beauty (and the Beast)
Sundays are one of the only days that I don’t set my alarm. It feels so good to wake up when my body wants to instead of the grating sounds of my iPhone screaming by my head. My husband Adam usually gets up before me (he is an early riser) and takes out our dog Elvira. Lately, instead of waking me up too, she’ll come back to bed with me after she has breakfast. She burrows against me until I wake up on my own.
I’ve always needed a lot of sleep and I’ve always been a huge fan of naps. Adam claims that he never napped until he met me, but now we literally factor naptime into our weekend plans. Sometimes it’s a mid-morning nap after breakfast followed by a late afternoon nap before dinner (my version of two-a-days). Elvira loves it - she’s a really bad influence when it comes to napping. Any time I’m sitting down, she presses herself against me and starts snoring. This is sweet and comfortable on the weekends, not so good on the weekdays (but always cute).
Print Isn’t Dead
One of my favorite things about waking up on a Sunday is walking out to the living room and seeing Adam reading the paper. He still gets actual newspapers delivered every day and I get such a sense of calm when he’s sitting on our couch peering up at me over the pages. I only drink iced coffee so I try to remember to make a batch in our cold brewer the night before. I’ll pour myself a glass and head to the couch. I’ll put my feet on Adam’s lap and ask him what he’s learning. Sometimes he answers.
Adam is also a magazine editor (he covers culture and art) and is like a walking event calendar. He is obsessed with scheduling so typically makes plans weeks (or even months) in advance. He’s also a triple Leo so is super social and loves to be on the move. When we first started dating over eight years ago, every night was filled with something new - a concert, a play, a party. I realized early that nothing makes him happier than having a schedule.
I, however, hate to schedule my free time. My work life was always so packed that some days I barely had time to eat. I valued my free time as the only time I could be with myself and do anything I wanted (even if it was nothing). I say it’s because I like to be spontaneous but if I’m being honest, I mostly do it so I can do nothing. This isn’t to say that I never want to do anything, it’s just that I would rather not feel like I have to do something. I like possibility.
But that’s one of things that makes Adam and my relationship work. I am completely content tagging along with him to whatever he wants to do. I love that he schedules and I love that he constantly wants to do and see new things. What I love most is the fact that he plans it and I don’t have to (he just sends me calendar invites and I accept - or not). My Pisces self would rather go with the flow and is completely fine letting him lead the charge. Our Sunday events are usually plays or movies with an art show or lunch thrown in.
Prep Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
One of the only things we routinely do every Sunday is go food shopping. Since we both (used to) work very long hours, neither of us ever wanted to come home and cook a meal. We learned to prep most of our dinners on Sunday night so we always had something in the fridge. We typically make some sort of big casserole (like a paleo shepherd's pie that we love) so we can dip into it throughout the week as well as a few types of veggies and baked chicken so we can have it for lunches.
I’m also a big baker in my free time. There is something so meditative and zen about baking. Sometimes I’ll pull down one of my favorite baking cookbooks like Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh or Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft and try something I haven’t made before. It’s helpful when I do this before we go grocery shopping so I can get any ingredients I don’t already have (our kitchen is always stocked with baking materials). The problem arises when I make something and can’t finish it. I used to take it in to the office on Monday, but what do I do now? I haven’t figured out another option besides eating it all myself.
Candles are a big part of my life and it seems like there is always at least one candle burning in our apartment. I have spell candles that I’ve made and carved myself and intention candles that I’ve bought from places like Enchantments NYC and Spellbound Sky. Candles are powerful and can carry so much energy. I have certain candles that I light when I’m trying to stir up creative energy, when I need good luck, when I’m trying to change something in my life or when I want guidance. I’ve found in my personal spiritual practice that candles can be like prayers on steroids - a way to focus and target your energy into something tangible and real.
I’m also obsessed with more traditional scented candles - the bougier the better! Scent is a powerful energetic tool too and I really notice how a certain scent can alter the feeling of my space. I favor smokey, dark and earthy scents and I especially love Boy Smells St. Al, Cire Trudon Spiritus Sancti, Burnin’ For You Fever Dream and of course Sunday Forever Rich. Before anyone comes over to visit, Adam and I spend longer than necessary discussing what candle to burn to create the most appropriate “scent story.” Oh and don’t even think about opening the closet in our living room (spoiler alert: you’ll get crushed by an avalanche of candles).
When I was right out of college, my roommates and I started a weekly tradition where we ordered an ungodly amount of Domino’s pizza on Sunday nights. We somehow always had a coupon for, like, 10 pizzas for $5. It probably started as a budget thing but somehow grew into something we all looked forward to. The time we spent together gorging on pizza developed into quality bonding.
I’ve never been able to shake the tradition. I did it when I lived alone and now I do it with Adam. It’s so ingrained in my mind that I truly never want to eat pizza unless it is on Sunday. These days, we’re not ordering Domino’s and favor something a little more, um, traditional like one one of the delicious independent places in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. Since I’ve become freelance and money is a little tighter though, we have started to get the frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s. They scratch the itch just fine.
Self Care is the Best Care
On Sunday evenings, usually after I call my mom for our weekly call (a routine I started in college), I’ll start on my most intense self-care routine of the week. I view Sundays as a good time to reset and start the coming week off with a clean slate. I also always have a ton of new beauty and grooming products to try and Sunday nights are the best time to really go deep. My weekly routine is fairly streamlined (even with product testing involved) but on Sundays I can really take my time.
For me, it’s usually about using as many masks as possible. I always do a hair mask because I have thick curly hair that tends to get dry and frizzy (nothing drives me crazy more than when my hair feels dry). I take a shower (cold if it’s during the summer) and get my hair mask going. Lately I’ve been loving the customized mask from Prose because it’s custom blended for my hair type, scalp health and even environment. Then I’ll wash my face, get out of the shower, and do an exfoliating treatment. I don’t exfoliate a lot since my skin is pretty sensitive to exfoliation (plus since men shave, they tend to not need it as often). I’ve been using the Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial weekly and I love it. Then I’ll follow with a hydrating sheet mask. The Verso Deep Hydration Mask is one of my all time favorites but I typically switch this up since I have so many sheet masks to test.
Then it’s back in the shower to wash out the hair mask (trying to not rinse off too much of the mask serum). I’ll then either use an in-shower body oil like Apothecare The Restorer In-Shower Oil or I’ll use Monk Oil when I get out of the shower when my body is still slightly moist. I usually follow this with the rest of my nighttime skincare routine which varies based on what products I’m trying, what time of year it is, and how I’m feeling but almost always involves another serum (or two) usually with retinol, an eye cream (or two) and a night cream or facial oil.
A Cosmic Check-In
I draw a tarot card every morning to give myself an idea of what I should be thinking about that day. Sometimes it’s obvious (like a clue about how a project will turn out or how to deal with a problem) and sometimes it’s meaning doesn’t become clear till the end of the day. This daily tarot check-in is invaluable to me because it helps me focus on something other than anxiety or stress or however I’m feeling about the day ahead of me.
Adam and Elvira typically go to bed earlier than I do, so I like to do lots of my more esoteric work alone at night. On Sunday nights, this usually means giving myself a more involved tarot reading. I’ve recently gotten into the classic Celtic Cross spread and it’s blowing my mind. There is something about the complexity of how the cards talk to each other in the layout that really makes things clear. I like to do this reading on Sunday nights as a way to check in with my subconscious so I can start thinking about the week ahead. The crazy thing is that sometimes I know exactly what it’s talking about and sometimes the cards reveal issues or fears that I didn’t even know I had. Giving yourself a tarot reading is difficult because it’s easy to go round and round in your head so usually I talk out loud to myself (another reason I do this at night - I’m sure I look crazy). It helps me start the new week off with clarity and focus and I go to bed thinking about what lies in store.
If I’ve learned anything from the Sundays in my life, it’s that making time for yourself is one of the most important things one can do. It’s okay to do exactly what you want and no one should ever feel guilty about that. Now that my weekdays are a little bit more free though, I’m noticing my Sunday vibes creeping in at the edges. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
Garrett is a writer and editor in the men’s style and grooming industry. You can always find him checking out the latest skincare routine, playing with his pug, or cleaning his crystals. Follow his journey @garrettmunce