Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021 and the first set of self-care routine ideas to kick off the new year. I’ve been contemplating the changes I wanted to make to my challenges in the new year since mid November. I’ve said it many times in the past, I don’t want the challenges to be predictable and I try my best not to repeat the same ones too often. One of the major changes that I’m making to my self-care challenge post this year is they will be centered around a monthly theme. The general theme that I want to go with is love languages. If you’re not familiar with love languages, they are derived from the book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. Essentially the love languages (quality time, words of affirmations, gifts, acts of service and physical touch) are supposed to help you and your spouse (or significant other) express your love for each other the correct way. If you’re interested, you can take the love language quiz here.
Since this is a self-care blog, I wanted us to focus on our own personal love language in other words, doing things for ourselves but with a specific focus in mind, hence the reason I decided to choose themes for this year. For the month of January, I want us to work on Quality Time. Quality time is a defined as time spent in giving another person your undivided attention. It’s also defined as how you spend time while you’re together with someone no matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re attentive and focused. Keep that definition in mind but think of yourself, that will be the purpose of the challenges this month.
For January 2021, self-care quality time will mean the following:
- Being fully engaged in all the self-care activities
- Spending time with yourself
- Giving your undivided attention
- No phone or tv (this will depend on the activity of course)
- The purpose will be to get to know yourself and create space for other opportunities
- It will move you away from being reactive to being proactive
This week’s challenge will focus on emotional self-care. Emotional self-care are self-care activities that we use to take care of our wellness and wellbeing. This can take the form of therapy, meditation or journaling. The challenges this week all play a role in fine tuning our well-being, by creating space or having us engage in activities that make us feel accomplished or good about ourselves.
Sunday—Organize Your Calendar For The Month of January
I know it might seem predictable and cliche to do this at the beginning of the year but spend some time alone organizing your calendar for the month. This will help you get more things done and keep you on track. It will also help you get your thoughts organized. If you’re generally very busy, and not organized then chances are you’re probably going to forget to get a few things done this month. You might not remember every single thing in one day so make sure you’re working with a planner that has a notes section for you to jot things down as they come to you or as they occur. Don’t just use this as an opportunity to plan out your month, try to really connect with the entire planning process and think about how it makes you feel to do this for yourself. In other words, how does it feel for you to set aside time to plan out your entire month, instead of living and going through it day by day? If this is your first time planning out your month, I’ve included a very simple monthly planner worksheet to help you get started. If this was useful, overtime you may need to invest in a more comprehensive monthly planner. Check out some of the planners they have here on Shop Lovet Agency.
Monday–Toss Out Expired Products
Some of you are probably wondering how this particular activity would classify as self-care and how it falls under quality time. You have to look at the bigger picture. This is more than just a chore, it’s literally an opportunity for you to create space by decluttering and getting rid of items that you no longer need. I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder per se, but I have a tendency to hold on to things for years like old makeup (specifically mascaras and lipsticks) and hair products. My rule now is, if I haven’t used it in a while just throw it out. If it’s mildly used and not expired, maybe you can give it away but if it’s just sitting there taking up space and dust then it has no purpose in your life and should be tossed out.
Tuesday–Delete Old Phone Contacts
Similar to yesterday’s challenge, this is another opportunity for us to create free space. Some of us may already do this (I know I do) and if you don’t, you’ll be surprised at the amount of people who you don’t recognize on your contact list. I’ve said this many times while going through my contacts; “When did I meet that person?” If you go through your contacts and you find yourself asking that question, DELETE!! You can also use this time to delete unnecessary screenshots and old memes from your photo app to free up more space.
Wednesday–Take An Online Course On Something You’ve Always Been Curious About
Or you can do some research so you can sign up for the course in the near future. I think we are all guilty of saying “I’ve always wanted to….” well today is the day to look into whatever that is for you. I believe there a lot of free courses available online right now because of the pandemic and you might be able to find a few YouTube videos on your topic, a TEDtalk, or a PowerPoint presentation somewhere. A few months ago I was able to take free courses on Coursera on healthcare disparities. Coursera has courses offered by leading Universities like Johns Hopkins and Yale and large organizations such as IBM and Google. The course I took was offered by Johns Hopkins University and I was able to take them on my own time.
Thursday–Take A Long Bubble Bath
Today’s challenge is probably the epitome of quality time plus you can tailor it to specifically fit your current needs. If you’re creative or crafty you can make your own bath bombs and or add a few drops of essential oils. You can play music, or get a bathtub caddy and read a book and light candles. You can get really fancy and add a few rose petals or sprigs of lavender. This is one of the quality time self-care activities where I will encourage you to not have your phone. Make this real uninterrupted me time.
Friday–Eat All Three Meals Without Scrolling Through Your Phone
I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a meal without scrolling through social media or responding to a text. For some reason I consider my meal time my social media time and that’s not a good thing in my opinion. Today we should work on practicing mindful eating. Mindful eating means being fully attentive to our food while we consume, prepare and serve it so of course these no phones or any other distractions. To learn more about mindful eating, check out this website.
Saturday–Spend Time In Silence
For some this might seem a little strange to sit or lay in complete silence but it’s necessary sometimes. In this post I talk about how some of us stay on the move because we are running from ourselves. Is that the case with you? If so, then today’s challenge was created with you in mind. If spending time with yourself in silence is a problem, then take the time to think about why this is such an issue for you. The good thing about doing this by yourself is, you don’t have to worry about being judged by anyone. Use this time to be honest with yourself about things that has kept you in denial. If it helps, journal and do a brain dump during that timeframe. I would recommended a 15min moment of silence. Do more if you can.
Self-Care On the Go
In this blog post I talked about my Self-Care On the Go idea which is specifically designed for mothers and other working women. You should be able to print it HERE or you can take a screen shot and save it on your phone. Self-care On the Go is designed for convenience and it’s simply condensed versions (3-5 options) of my weekly self-care challenges. Starting today, I will be including them in my Sunday posts.
I’m honored to be able to create content to help you kick off the start of the new year. The new year always marks the first chapter of our 365 page yearly autobiography so we have to start it on a high note to set the tone. It is a challenge though to stay on track so we have to keep ourselves accountable. How do you keep yourself accountable to make sure that you accomplish your goals? I struggle with that at times and I would love for us to have a discussion about it.
My Newsletter and Self-Care Accountability Worksheets is now available. The worksheets will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The self-care worksheets are FREE but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.