This is the second week of my quality time self-care series. You can check out last week’s self-care challenge post for additional details but the series are essentially adapted from the Five Love Languages. My goal is to hopefully help us find our own self-care love languages through the challenges. Each month I will focus on one of the love languages. The challenges will be tailored to fit the language I chose for the month. One of the biggest obstacles I’m dealing with is the concern that some of you may not see the benefit nor see how some of these challenges fit into the specific category. One example is the challenge from last week that suggested organizing your calendar for the month of January. It may not seem like it has anything to do with quality time with yourself or self-care but I always encourage you guys to look at the bigger picture.
Self-care is not just about pampering yourself, sometimes it’s about creating space to allow room for better opportunities and more chances some examples are de-cluttering or organizing. Think bout how you feel inside when you get rid of junk or clean up a messy room in your house. It’s also about connecting with what you’re doing at the moment otherwise is there really any benefit? For example, would it really be considered SELF-CARE if you’re just applying a face mask or just painting your nails. It could easily be considered getting a task done if there wasn’t something meaningful behind it. But maybe for some, those mentioned activities are just that, activities. Maybe some women wouldn’t consider painting their nails a form of self-care. Maybe their self-care falls under words of affirmations (e.g. writing or repeating affirmations daily) or acts of service (e.g. buying themselves fresh flowers every week) this is why I decided to work on the self love language series, to help us determine which category we fall under.
I’ve talked about emotional self-care a lot in some of my old blog post. If this is your first time reading my blog, emotional self-care are self-care activities that cater to our overall wellbeing. Some self-care exercises that fall into this category are meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, or therapy. The quality time self-care challenge definitely taps into our emotional self-care. The challenges usually cater to our wellbeing by allowing us to spend time doing things that help us become better versions of ourselves and creates opportunities for us to get to know ourselves. Emotional self-care is especially important for people who are CONSTANTLY on the go. If you’re always busy, when do you find time to really connect with, and spend time to get to know who you are? Sometimes we think just being alive is enough but connecting with ourselves is extremely important.
Sunday–WRITE A LETTER TO YOURSELF ABOUT WHY YOU’RE UNIQUELY YOU in this post I talked about writing a love letter to yourself. I got the idea from birchbox, I even created a simple template that you can print out. Today’s challenge is similar but instead of why you love yourself, I want you to think and write about what makes you, uniquely you. It’s said often but we are truly not like everyone else and that’s a GREAT thing. If you question who you are and why you’re not like everyone else (or someone you admire), please take note of this next statement; being you is a real blessing and you should celebrate rather than criticize that aspect of yourself. Honoring your uniqueness is a gateway to self acceptance (read about the four methods of self-acceptance in this post ). If you have a journal start writing. Or grab a sheet of paper if you don’t have a journal or notebook. You can write out a list of things or write a letter whatever works for you.
Monday–SPEND SOME TIME IN A PARK if you choose to do this make sure you’re social distancing and wear your mask. I’m not a winter person so I wouldn’t enjoy sitting out in the cold but some people might. If you’re anything like me the alternative would be to take a quick walk or pull your curtains back, crack the window open a little, sit by the window with a blanket if you need it and enjoy the fresh air. This would be the perfect time to grab a cup of hot coco or a cup of tea and enjoy nature while you’re safely inside.
Tuesday–DRAW OR PAINT this is a good one for anyone who’s artistic. I’m not but I’m doing this anyway lol. Creativity can be relaxing especially if you’re painting. If you’re not comfortable painting or drawing you can also color. These activities are a form of art therapy. Art therapy are “creative techniques such as drawing, sculpting, coloring or painting to help us express ourselves and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in our art.” Or it can just be an opportunity for you to get lost in your attempt at being creative.
Wednesday–TAKE REGULAR BREAKS FROM YOUR JOB TODAY sometimes we only take lunch breaks and that’s not always enough. Even if it only takes a few minutes, take several small breaks for yourself throughout the day and do something for you if you can. Some ideas would be going outside for a bit, walking around the office, if you’re big on journaling take some time to journal, do some breathing exercises or a short mindfulness practice.
Thursday–PAMPER DAY the possibilities are endless with this one because everyone’s pamper session may look different. Years ago I use to spend my weekend pampering myself. I would unplug from all my electronics, put on some music (my favorite was Esperanza Spalding’s album titled Esperanza). I would light a candle, do a body scrub and shave in the shower, then do a face, hands, and feet mask while I meditated and I would end the night reading a magazine. I don’t know why I stopped but I think that will be my pamper day routine for this challenge.
Friday–GET TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER this challenge sounds like a bit of a challenge lol. But I think I want this to be an opportunity for you to do things you love but also be open to trying something new because trying something new is an opportunity to learn something new about you. This is the chance for you to do something that you’ve always wanted to try but have been afraid to do it or you just kept putting it off. If you’ve tried something in the past that you don’t like try it again and see if it’s different for you this time around. Step outside your comfort zone, that’s one of the goals for today’s self-care challenge.
Saturday–COOK YOUR FAVORITE MEAL FOR LUNCH lunch seems random but I chose it because based on my experience, it’s usually a meal that we go out for or we warm up leftovers. I don’t hear about anyone cooking lunch very often. Since it’s Saturday you might have a little extra time to yourself if you don’t have to work. If you’re reading this post a head of time plan a small lunch menu so you can go all out for lunch on Saturday. Cooking is like therapy for me so this would be my ideal quality time for self-care. This may not be the case for a lot of people but the entire cooking process is really relaxing for me. If you don’t like everything about cooking that’s okay, maybe there’s one thing that you really enjoy about the process (plating, chopping, or prepping) focus on that aspect of the process once you get to that point. I say it often celebrate the small wins. If plating is your thing, celebrate that even if it’s only a 30 second process.
I introduced my Self-Care on the Go infographic last week which is specifically designed for moms and other working women. They are essentially condensed versions of my self-care challenges (3-5) options. Check out this week’s self-care on the go challenges here if you’re not able to participate in the ones I’ve listed for this week. The self-care on the go challenges are designed so you can screen shot and save them on your phone or you can print them out. Feel free to share them with someone who you think might need it.
That’s it for this week. I hope you’ve been enjoying the challenges, because I really enjoy creating them. We should chat, leave me a comment and let me know what you do and don’t like about them or if you have a question just ask. 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.