In January I mentioned that for the entire year my self-care challenges will be centered around a particular focus. To be more specific, they will be categorized under the five love languages. All of the challenges last month were centered around quality time and consist of some of the following self-care ideas:
- Taking a bubble bath
- Spending time in silence
- Writing a letter to yourself about what makes you, uniquely you
- Getting to know yourself better
- Starting a garden (or buying a plant)
- Journaling daily
- Doing a shower meditation
- Have a phone free night
If you participated in any of the challenges last month, did any of the self-care ideas resonate with you? I mentioned in a previous post that maybe your love language isn’t quality time, it could be any of the other self-care love languages or a combination of all of them (which I think may be the case for most of us). This month I want to focus on on self-care that’s centered around Acts of Service. As it relates to the relationship with your partner, this site defines acts of service as “feeling adoration by the things that your partner does for you. These actions go above and beyond to help you feel the love they have for you. This can be things like mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, or your partner getting up in the middle of the night to take care of the kids so you can sleep in.” In reference to acts of service towards yourself, this can mean giving yourself what you need when you need it and taking care of your basic needs. Below are the acts of service challenge I came up with for you this week.
Sunday–COOK YOUR FAVORITE MEAL (FOR DINNER) This can be any meal. But in one of the post from a few weeks ago, I mentioned cooking your favorite meal for lunch because lunch is not usually a meal the we plan in advance. Most people eat leftovers, go out to eat or make a sandwich for lunch. If cooking is not really your thing, then do what works for you. When I include cooking as a self-care challenge, the goal is to get you to be more mindful of the types of food you put in your body, to potentially plan each meal in advance (this can reduce stress or anxiety), and to engage in the process of cooking; because even if you don’t like to cook, maybe there’s a part of the cooking process that you really enjoy e.g. the plating process; this taps into your creativity by the way which is a form of self-care. Whatever that process is for, focus on that each time you decide to cook.
Monday–BUY YOURSELF FRESH FLOWERS I try to do this each time I go grocery shopping. I keep fresh flowers on my desk in my room as often as I can. They don’t even have to be expensive flowers, flowers in general are really pretty to me plus I don’t think the cheaper ones die out too much faster than the more expensive ones. Flowers makes me feel good, so I enjoy seeing them each time I walk in my room or when I wake up in the morning. If flowers aren’t your thing, treat yourself in another way. The goal here is to always do what works for you.
Tuesday–INVEST IN YOURSELF, WHATEVER THAT LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU The key word here is “whatever that looks like for you.” Some options would be to start a savings account or an emergency funds account if you don’t already have one. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do for yourself but you kept putting it off because of cost, do it (if you have the money). I always feel like some of us are more likely to invest in other things (in some cases materialistic items), but hardly take time to invest in something that’s going to benefit us in the long run.
Wednesday–DO SOMETHING NICE FOR YOUR LOVED ONE Speaking for myself, doing something for others makes me feel really good about myself so for me, that’s an act of service to myself because of the feeling I get from doing it. Please keep in mind that acts of service for this month’s challenges can translate to how it makes you feel after you’ve done that service. A few weeks ago my boyfriend told me he was going to order dinner and then go to bed. After we hung up I cash app’d him some money and said dinner is on me tonight. The idea just randomly popped in my head. It made me feel really good afterwards and I know he really appreciated it too. By the way, please do this without expecting something in return. Acts of service means a lot more when you do it out of the kindness of your own heart, not because they will owe you later or because you expect them to return the favor. Do this without any expectations.
Thursday–SCHEDULE A “ME TIME GOAL” AND COMMIT I’ve used calendar goals as a challenge a few times in the past, but when I came up with it this time I had something a little different in mind. As always, I suggest doing what works best for you but, I want these monthly goals to be an act of service that’s just for you i.e. a “me time goal.” This can be scheduling a mani/pedi, a massage, getting your hair done, not cooking, having a lazy day, setting some boundaries, having a glass of wine, etc. You can even look back on some of my challenges in the past and select from those ideas if you want. For each month in the rest of this year, schedule at least one day of uninterrupted “me time goal” but make sure you stick to it otherwise it serves no purpose.
Friday–DONATE TO ONE CHARITY THIS MONTH Similar to doing something nice for your loved one, this act of service is a service that will hopefully help you feel good about yourself. If there’s a charity your passionate about, send a donation or volunteer your time if you can. Another option would be to share some information about them on any of your social media platforms (your time is also a donation, even if you’re just posting something it’s called raising awareness). I read on social media earlier this morning about sending free valentines day cards to patients at St. Jude Hospital, read more about it HERE. Participating in St. Jude’s Valentines initiative is also a form of donating to charity.
Saturday–ASK YOURSELF “WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE MY DAY BETTER?” AND DO IT When was the last time you asked yourself this question? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Do you follow through? I don’t physically ask myself this question but I do try and give my body what it needs when it needs it. Even if I have a laundry list of things to do, sometimes I’ll 86 my list and give my body and mind what it needs at the moment. It’s cliche but it’s true. You can’t pour from an empty glass. Take care of you.
These are certainly a list of self-care ideas that you can include in your routine on a monthly, daily, or weekly basis. If all seven aren’t your thing, pick one or a few from the list and add it to your routine. I can guarantee that doing so will help you feel good about yourself consistently. Imagine how you would feel if you started donating to charity more often, or if you bought yourself flowers more often. If my list doesn’t work, think about somethings that you love that you don’t do often enough and add it to your routine moving forward.
You can even take some ideas from my Self-Care on the Go infographic. Self-Care on the go are essentially bite size versions of my self-care challenges. It’s open to anyone but it’s specifically created for moms and other working women; who may not have time to participate in all (or any) of the challenges above, because of their mommy duties or busy work schedule. You can access the infographic HERE. I’ve been posting them every Sunday since the beginning of the year and I really enjoy creating them. If you’re one of my readers who participate in, or enjoy these options because you find them convenient, leave a comment and let me know what you like about them or what you think I should change. Thanks for going on this self-care journey again with me this week. Creating this post is truly one of the highlights of my week.
By the way, if you’re interested, my Newsletter and Self-Care Accountability Worksheet is now available. The worksheet 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 worksheet is FREE, but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.
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