Most of the things I know were taught to me by women, and I truly wouldn't have it any other way. Recently, I asked the women of the BuzzFeed Community to share with me the habits or routines they adopted for themselves after seeing another woman do them, and the power of womanhood is so real. Here are some of the most useful, wholesome, and handy practices women shared:
1."I always use the word 'extra' when I compliment someone. Saying something like, 'You look extra nice today,' implies that they look nice every day and gives the compliment a little razzle-dazzle."
2."I ALWAYS keep tampons and pads in my car, and there's always extra in my purse so that if anyone asks or needs some, they're there. I usually give tampons or pads to women who are panhandling. I almost never have cash on me, but what I will have is a medical necessity that you don't have to sacrifice buying food for. After I saw this mini-doc about how unhoused women in New York make makeshift pads and tampons, it changed my whole perspective."
3."Every day, I write out a list of 10 things I'm grateful for and five things I like about myself. The second list is kinda cringe, I know, but the amount of self-esteem I've acquired from doing this small task is actually astronomical."
4."I learned about having an 'inner purse' from a former colleague. It's not a new concept, but basically, having an 'inner purse' is when you have a smaller cosmetics bag (or something similar) to keep the little things for a 'just in case' moment — tissues, lip balm, ibuprofen, extra cash, extra pads, etc. You keep it all in one small bag so that you can easily transfer it to whatever purse or tote you decide to carry that day. Having one has saved me a lot of time in the morning because I'm not scrambling around transferring things from one bag to the other. It also just helps keep your bags tidy and organized, and it makes finding things so much easier. I've seen ads for clear purse inserts that have pockets and compartments for a more 'professional look,' but I have a cute tropical-themed cosmetics bag with flamingos on it that I love!"
5."I had a boss who told me to try not to handle a piece of paper more than once. When you receive a task, do what needs to be done to complete it."
6."This is maybe a less wholesome tip, but I live alone, and every time I leave or come back to my apartment, I pretend to greet/say goodbye to someone. This is a safety thing. If someone were to follow me, they'd think that I live with someone and that my apartment isn't empty when I'm not there. Also, if you think you're being followed, I've learned to not immediately turn your apartment lights on when you get home."
7."I saw a relative tie her hair up in a bun just using her hands — no hair tie or anything. I asked her to show me how to do it, and it's so useful. I love that I can just put my hair up right away without having to look for a claw clip or hair tie!"
8."My mom was full of household hacks. The one I'm most grateful for is using a squeegee after taking a shower. I don't have to use elbow grease, and it takes wayyy less time to clean."
9."As a young mother, I struggled with my oldest son (who we later discovered has ADHD). He was so sweet but was also very difficult to manage and keep track of, especially in public spaces. One day, while we were out shopping, it was particularly frustrating because I wasn't getting much accomplished. I was about to lose my cool when an older lady approached me and said, 'I see how hard you're working with him. Keep it up — it'll pay off. You are a great mom.' It was like a huge boulder was lifted off my shoulders. Since then, I make an effort to compliment the parents I see out and about, especially when it looks like they're having a hard day."
10."I was in Victoria's Secret, and there was another shopper buying all-black panties. I commented, and she said there wasn't a reason not to feel pretty even while on your period. I didn't ask for the details because it just simply made sense to me. It was a game-changer, and I taught my daughters to have the same mindset. You can feel pretty whenever!"
—Kellee, 46, Ohio
11."My mom gets everything ready for the next day the night before. She lays out her outfit and accessories, she fills her water bottle, and her vitamins and snacks are packed — the whole nine yards. I started doing it, too, and it was truly life-changing. No more chaos in the morning!"
12."I visited a close friend's house who'd recently redone her bathroom. She put the shower mat across the tub edge rather than leaving it on the floor so that people only step on it when they put it out to exit the shower. After you're out of the shower, the mat goes back up! It's such an easy way to keep it clean!"
13."My best friend is a very kind and extroverted person who compliments other women all the time. I'm shy and introverted. Whenever I'm with her, if I walk past someone and I like their shoes or think they're just really pretty, I just say it to my friend because I get nervous to let the person know. My best friend always says to me: 'Women love to hear compliments. You never know; it might just make her whole day.' She has a point. Whenever I get complimented by a random lady, it sticks with me for a while and makes me feel good, so why not pass it on? So now, I try to get out of my comfort zone, and I compliment people as often as possible."
14."I saw a lady on social media make her own makeup with unused makeup/products. For example, she ran out of concealer, so she took an eyeshadow that matched her skin and mixed it with lotion. It totally worked! She did the same thing with blush and even lipstick! I started doing it, and it makes my makeup look so much cuter and better!"
15."Cleaning up as I go and making sure things are put away while on my way to bed is life-altering. When you wake up in the morning, you wake up to a nice, clean house. It made my home 'company ready' at any time and has relieved the stress of running around and cleaning up whenever company was expected."
16."I always tab my ends. Another nurse taught me to fold over the end of the roll of tape onto itself so that the very end doesn't stick to the roll. That way, you can easily find the end to pull off another length of tape. This works particularly well for packaging tape, but it's a tip for pretty much all tape!"
—Theresa, 54, Pennsylvania
17."I've gotten into the habit of bringing my own tall glass, tea infuser, and tea herbs with me to work. That way, I can have a decent tea that doesn't taste bland because of the tea bags. It's like bringing some comfort from home with me."
18."On the morning train (an overground, long commute-type), I saw a woman put two skin moisturizers on. One was an under-eye cream, and the other was for the face. She let it sit for 10 minutes while staring out the window. She then brought her laptop out and started working as she put her makeup on. Every time I saw her on our commute, she always took those 10 minutes of self-care, and now I do, too."
—Hannah, 33, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
19."I never used to brush my hair before bed, so I'd wake up looking WILD. In college, I lived with a friend who always walked out of her room with seemingly flawless hair, even if she only woke up 10 minutes before. I asked for her secret, and she told me her simple routine of brushing her hair before bed, applying leave-in conditioner to the tips, putting her hair in braids, and sleeping on a silk pillow. She said all she'd do was wake up, shake her hair loose, gently brush her hair with a comb, and walk out. She told me she'd rather get 10 more minutes of sleep than spend 10 more minutes doing her hair when she wakes up. To this day, I do her routine every night."
20."Before I leave the living room at night, I tidy around, put the dishes and any rubbish away, sweep, clean, and just generally leave the room a nicer place to walk into in the morning. I've done this for the last three or four years, and the feeling I get walking into a clean room in the morning never gets old. Just try it!"
—Sarah, 53, United Kingdom
21."I feel like a lot of self-care habits for women often focus on things like makeup and skincare routines — and there's nothing wrong with that. But I'll always appreciate my mother for showing me the benefit of other forms of self-care, like sewing, drawing, and gardening. I'm not interested in makeup or beauty, and I think if I hadn't had my mom's example, I would've ended up feeling less 'womanly.' But she showed me that not all women are interested in spending a lot of time on their appearance, and that doesn't make you any less of a woman. There are other things you can do for yourself that still count as self-care."
22.Lastly: "In my late 20s/early 30s, I worked in a doctor's office. The owner of the practice was the sweetest, most compassionate doctor I've ever met. She had a way of speaking to people that would immediately put them at ease. And when she asked you to do a task, it always sounded like you'd be doing her a personal favor — you were eager to do it and do it well. I've always had a hard time with that, and I actually lost a management job because I didn't know how to ask people to do things without sounding like a terrible person. I asked her one day how she did it, and her words have been etched into my brain for life."
Oh, how I love being a woman! Do you have any habits or routines that you still do to this day after picking it up from a woman? Let me know in the comments, or you can anonymously submit using this form!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.