”Consider that your road to wellness may not just be for you. You never know who you can and will inspire through your actions.” —Kevin Curry. As I prepared to work on another week’s worth of self-care challenges, this quote spoke to me while I was reading the intro to a cookbook. I was at a loss for words this week and kinda started to feel like I’ve probably come up with every possible intro that I can think of when I write my Sunday post. While simultaneously wondering if anyone was reading them as consistently as I was posting them. I don’t feel like I’m losing momentum, but I was a bit concerned that I was hitting a wall, but I knew that if I stepped away from the screen for a while, something would come to me, and it did.
The opening quote resonated with me because when I think about success I never imagine myself starting something and gaining a thousand followers that same day. I believe that slow and steady wins the race, that I have to walk before I crawl, and that I must remain consistent to see progress even when I feel like things aren’t going anywhere. I always say if I can inspire one person, then I’ve accomplished something big. So when I sit and write my challenges for the week, if you’re the one person who reads and participates in them religiously; please note that I write these blogs with you in mind. You’re my audience. Thanks for inadvertently keeping me accountable.
If this is your first time here, check out this blog post to learn about my self-care focus for the month of January. The goal is to hopefully help us find our own self-care love languages through the challenges, and I think this week’s post will help move us closer to doing just that. See below for what I have in store for us as we slowly approach the end of the first month in the new year.
Sunday–SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Go for a walk, a hike, or have a picnic in a park if you can. Sit in a park and read, or do a walking meditation. Whatever is feasible based on your location, time, and the weather in your area. We’ve been hearing it a lot but based on what’s going on in the world right now, it’s not so easy (or comfortable for that matter) for us to be outdoors anymore but I’m encouraging it because we need it, but please make sure you do it safely and please wear your mask. The alternative would be to open the window and let in some fresh air preferably a window that gives you a great view of nature and will let in a lot of sunlight. Another option would be to spend sometime doing these things in your backyard. Instead of having lunch, dinner, or breakfast inside, have a picnic in your own backyard. Better yet, have all three meals outside today if you can.
Monday–START A GARDEN (OR BUY A PLANT)
I’m writing this post on Saturday afternoon, and I went out to purchase my small plant earlier this morning because I don’t have the option to start a garden. I purchased a small succulent (pic below) because it’s the level of maintenance I can handle right now. Plus, I’m pretty sure this will be my first time taking care of a plant and I didn’t want to walk before I crawl lol. I wanted to incorporate this as a challenge for the week because Healthline states that having an indoor garden “relieves stress, boost creativity and focus.” The site also provides a list of benefits for having an in door plant. Some of which includes, recovering from illness faster and it improves the quality of our indoor air.
Tuesday–ENGAGE IN POSITIVE SELF-TALK
Do this all day. If you’re always hard on yourself or talking down to yourself, give it a rest today and be gentle with yourself. If you find yourself saying something negative, immediately follow it up with something positive. I know for most of us, negative self-talk is embedded in our vocabulary, we’ve done it so much that when it happens we don’t realize it because it’s become second nature for us. But you attract what you say and what you believe. I mentioned in an earlier post that our words themselves are affirmations so if you say it enough, you will start to believe it and attract it. So today (and from this point on) replace your “I can’t’s, and “I’m not’s” with “I am’s and I wills”.
I’ve used journaling as a self-care challenge a few times in the past but this time I want you to make it a priority everyday, not just today. I’m actually trying to make journaling a daily part of my life right now, my goal is to wake up each morning and journal before I start my day and I want to encourage you all to do the same thing if it’s not already a habit for you. I think journaling each day will give us the opportunity to be grateful for something before we start our day, it also creates the opportunity for us to have a semi-therapy session with something that will give us the freedom to speak freely without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Journaling is a process that creates a psychologically safe space for us to share freely.
Thursday–SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY
Plan a family game night. Self-care doesn’t always have to be spent alone. You can still look after you, while spending time with those who mean the most to you. Plan a night where you and your family engage in activities that you enjoy doing. Make sure that you soak up this time and fully engage yourself in the process. If this means unplugging from technology and not being available if someone calls or text then so be it. Enjoy those memorable moments with your family because that’s exactly what your’e doing, creating memories.
Friday–ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Start making a conscious effort to eat better, get more sleep, drink more water, etc. simply because our lives depend on it. As we all age, we’re not able to get away with the same lifestyle that we were involved in before. In addition to a host of other things, our metabolism slows down and we don’t digest foods the way we use to. In essence, our body slowly starts to break down as we age. If you weren’t taking really good care of yourself before, start today. It’s not a one day job, but you can start to put forth some effort. Check out this post from Friday, I interviewed a fitness professional about weight loss, keeping the weight off and overcoming procrastination.
Saturday–RELEASE WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL
This will not happen over night, it will likely take a lot of practice depending on the space you’re in mentally, with holding on to things. But we have to start somewhere. It does us no good when we choose to hold on to grudges and things that we can’t control. Some of you are so proud that you’re able to do this lol, I’ve seen so many memes that say things like “I don’t care how long it’s been, I’m still mad at you for what you did in 1995.” LOL that doesn’t even sound right. Just think about it. Let it go, or start learning how to let go. This is not benefiting you in anyway and is likely interfering with your growth as a person on some level. Free up that space of hate so you can welcome in energy that will benefit your growth.
If you’re a busy mom or a working woman who does not have time to participate in all my challenges because it doesn’t suit your current lifestyle, don’t worry, I have you covered. At the beginning of the year I started including my Self-care on the Go options in my Sunday post for moms and other working women. These are condensed versions of my weekly challenges (3-5 options). They are designed so you can engage in self-care while you’re catering to other priorities in your life. It’s in printable format so you can print it and hang it on the fridge or, you can screen shot and save it on your phone. You can access it HERE. Please feel free to share it with other moms and or working women that you know will need it. Also, I would love your feedback, if you think these aren’t working for women in your position, let me know what you think I should change or what you would like to see more of. I want to help you.
We are nearing the end of the quality-time self-care series. Has this month’s challenges resonated to your style of self-care? Leave me a comment and let me know. Also, if you’re interested, 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.